Top 5 Gym Exercises for Rugby!

To enhance your performance on a rugby pitch isn’t only achieved on the training paddock, work can be done in the gym to better the way you operate, play and perform. The following exercises don’t solely focus on building size and mass, but concentrate on the functionality of your body, performing crucial movements to prepare you for the game! Read on to find out our Top 5 Gym Exercises for Rugby!

1. Box Squat
This alternative to the squat will help you improve that explosive power needed to further your speed, pace off the mark, agility and leg drive. You don’t need to go too heavy on this one, enough to get 8-12 repetitions; remember you’re aiming to build power, not strength! Put the desired weight on the bar, squat slowly until seated and then explode back up, all the while maintaining form and engaging your core.

2. Single Leg Romanian Deadlift
I promise you this is much simpler than it sounds. Increased neuromuscular control, joint flexibility and muscular function are just a few of the positive outcomes you can expect by incorporating this movement into your training regime. This exercise will stabilise your knee and ankle joints, improving their movement integrity and preventing or rehabilitating injuries, all vital areas for a rugby player to strengthen and maintain.

3. T-bar Shoulder Press (Landmine Press)
Building explosive upper body power is vital, and the T-bar shoulder press should be the go-to exercise for all rugby players looking to develop this area of their fitness. Similar to the box squat, start by slowly lowering the bar to the shoulder and then power up towards the ceiling. Keep the opposite arm to the one you are working behind your back to ensure no momentum can be generated from a swinging arm.

4. Alternating Dumbbell Chest Press
For building both upper body strength and shoulder stability, you’ll struggle to find a better exercise. Using one arm to press at a time requires concentration, balance and strength, making your body work much harder than it would during your standard bench press. Boosting both function and strength, this is an ideal exercise ‘bulletproofing’ your shoulders and preparing you for the inevitable upper body bashing!

5. Bent Over Rows
There are vast variations of this particular exercise, but one thing to always remember is to keep your back straight and let your arms do the work. The pulling motion is one used often in the game, whether you are tackling, rucking or mauling. A tremendous developer of size and all-over body strength, the bent over row is a compound exercise all rugby players must be regularly performing.

So if you’re considering rugby or you’re already a player looking to further your prowess on the field then these exercises are definite no-brainers. Whether you’re adding them to your existing workout or performing all five as a single workout in itself, the benefits they’ll offer you are way too good to be missing out on! 

Matthew Maynard

Matthew is both a keen rugby player and health and fitness enthusiast. An English Literature graduate, he's also pursuing a career in writing. Alongside developing articles for Keep Fit Kingdom, he plies his skills writing freelance for an academic journal.

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