Rugby Training Workouts To Improve Your Game

Players today are fast, but in the modern game, strength is every bit as important for backs and forwards. Former sprinter, England and Lions winger Ugo Monye uses five key exercises to help. It’s all about High Intensity Interval Training, so each is five sets of three repetitions, with a 90-second rest.

Clean Press

Start in a squat with a straight back and an overhand grip on the barbell. In a single movement, lift the weight to shoulder height and drop the body back into the squat. Then, pushing through your heels, extend the arms and lift the barbell above head height. Control, lower and drop the weight.

Clean Jerk

Start as above and get underneath the barbell as you lift it toward the shoulders. Straighten your legs as you stand, then bend them and use the momentum of a small jump as you jerk the bar and push above head height. Reverse the action to return the barbell to the floor.

Barbell squat

With feet shoulder-width apart, hold the barbell across the upper back but not against your neck. Flex the traps and upper back muscles as you squat, keeping your head up and back straight with your bottom out, until your hips and knees are aligned. Push back to standing in an explosive move.


This final exercise with the barbell again starts with a squat. Hold the bar with hands shoulder-width apart. Pull your shoulders up and keep your eyes straight ahead, chest up, to lift the bar off the floor. Keep it close to your legs and lift to thigh level, hold, and then return to the floor.

Box Jump

Place feet shoulder-width apart at a comfortable distance from the box. Drop to a quarter squat, then jump onto the box, using your arms to help. Land as gently as you can before stepping off backward, staying under control.

For more inspiration for rugby drills, try Rugby Coach Weekly. There are lots of resources available online from specialist such as Sport Plan, so whether it’s a rugby drill video or ideas to adapt into your current training plan, you can tailor each session to exactly what you need.

Keep things fresh by adding new drills every few weeks to prevent boredom, and practice if you’re serious about improving your game.

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