Getting into condition to play rugby is very different than getting ready for other intensive sports such as soccer. Conditioning is done both mentally and physically, and there are a number of different types of gym equipment that rugby players will need to utilize in order to get to the top of their game and in the best condition of their life. American football players and global rugby players will need similar conditioning tools and tricks in their arsenal.
Rugby is played in 30-second bursts, so training your mind to understand and react to that is just as important as training your body to have quick bursts of energy and then short rest periods. This is a different type of training, as not everyone has this type of interaction with their exercise routine or sports. When rugby is played at the highest level, it is unlikely that you will get more than a minute off, when you have a 30 second burst of activity. This can lead to an incredibly exhausting game if you are not conditioned to and used to this type of bursts of activity. Rugby is also a relatively long game, at about 80 minutes with only a 5-10 minute halftime; meaning you could potentially have sixty up to eighty bursts of thirty seconds of activity in one single game!
Shoulder and Knee Stress From Rugby
One of the main pain points of rugby is the stress that it places on your shoulders and on your knees. Think about it – one of the best places that you can tackle someone in rugby is by grabbing them around the knees and taking them down with your shoulders. Those two things together can cause a great deal of stress and strain on your joints, especially over the extended period of time around a season of 8-12 matches with additional practices every week. Keeping your shoulders and knees in great shape is a priority, and you can use a treadmill in order to get started. Begin by running on a track as quickly as you can for thirty seconds, then walk for thirty seconds and back to running for thirty seconds. Repeat for as long as you possibly can. Next, do burpees/squat thrusts which will help build shoulder strength, chest, knee and leg muscles while building stamina. Pull ups will help build upper body strength and stamina, and are a great exercise that you can do using gym equipment.
Workout Tools You Can Use
There are plenty of different types of workout tools that you can use to create the perfect rugby training, including things like Stairmasters, treadmills, stationary bikes, actual moving bikes, or even spinning and aerobics classes and rowing machines. Even though you do not technically need a gym in order to train for rugby, it certainly does not hurt to be able to have access to all of these machines at the same time. Mostly, rugby players can do a great deal of their training simply by going outside and running or biking, as long as they are doing it for prescribed periods of time, such as walking for a set number of minutes and then working out hard for a few minutes and then back to walking. This type of training really helps rugby players get in great shape.
On-Season Workout Tools
During the season, your body is already experiencing a significant amount of impact, so you should look for any type of activity that gets you off your feet. Some great examples of what you can do at the gym include things like rowing machines, bikes – either stationary or physical, elliptical trainers – since they have a lower impact than traditional running or walking, and individual muscle trainers like shoulder presses or knee presses. Swimming can also be a great low-impact workout that will not cause additional damage to your already stressed knee joints and shoulders.
A great option for working out during the season and in the off-season are some weight lifting and weight bench exercises, where you should do as many sets as you comfortably can during a one minute period, have a short rest, and then begin again. For machine leg presses, you should do 1 set of as many of the exercises as you can do comfortably while pushing yourself. Front and back neck machines are also a great option to keep your shoulder strength high while not taking the chance at tearing any delicate muscles in that area that are already under stress. Dumbbell deadlifts can be helpful in building strength and endurance as well as chin ups and dips. Rowing machines as noted before are incredibly helpful as well to keep the knees safe.
No matter your fitness level as a rugby player, there are plenty of types of gym equipment that you can use in order to enhance your fitness level both during season and in the off-season.