Having a high cardio capacity is a winning formula for rugby players. But how much cardio do you need? And how can you do it without killing your joins and creating RSI injuries?

This page includes all our best literature on cardio training for rugby players. Want just 1 tip? Get on the rowing machine, it’s the best thing you can do today for a full-body cardio workout without crushing your knee cartilage.


Brandon Lee

Most Important Rugby Exercises and Why?

Few sports are as physically demanding as rugby. To be an effective rugger, you need strength, power, muscle mass, aerobic fitness, anaerobic fitness, agility, and mobility.

Brandon Lee

French Contrast Training

Training for rugby can be very time-consuming. As well as developing a decent level of aerobic and anaerobic fitness, you need to be quick, agile, strong, and powerful, too. You’ll also need to find time to work on your mobility and flexibility and continue improving your rugby skills.

Brandon Lee

10 HIIT Workouts For Faster Rugby Fitness

10 HIIT Workouts for Faster Rugby Fitness Facebook Twitter Share Time is arguably the most valuable commodity. It’s something that often seems to run out fast, and it’s tough to make more. That’s especially true for rugby players because, on

rugby player riding assault bike cartoon
Training Team

Assault Bike Workouts To Complement Rugby Training

Much like rowing, air bike workouts provide a full-body burn that can leave you as exhausted as rugby training. What is an assault bike? Your greatest love and worst enemy all at once.

swimming for rugby
Tim Howard

Is swimming good for rugby players?

Swimming is an excellent addition to your rugby fitness training schedule. The fitness developed in the pool should transfer well to the pitch. However, you should still include at least some running in your workouts.

rugby anaerobic training focus
Training Team

Are ruggers too focused on anaerobic training?

Sprinting, tackling, scrummaging, and lifting and jumping in the lineout all utilize the two anaerobic energy pathways – the creatine phosphate system and the lactate system. But before you hang up your running shoes for good, it’s important to consider the role of the aerobic system in rugby.

rugby player running on treadmill
Patrick Dale

Best Treadmill Exercises for Rugby Training

If it’s the middle of winter (or summer) and you can’t get out on the rugby field, how do you get your cardio up for the season? If you’re looking at the cardio machines in the gym, think about using some of these treadmill exercises and get after it!

building a crazy cardio base
Training Team

Building a crazy cardio-base without running

How do you build a cardio base for rugby season without running? It comes down to exercise selection. The #1 thing you want to do is avoid injury. So we recommend eliminating impact in your cardio training by jumping in the pool, on the bike or the rowing machine this pre-season.

cardio for rugby players
Tim Howard

How much cardio do rugby players really need?

How much cardio do rugby players need? The answer is it depends on your levels of fitness, position and goals for the upcoming season. But in general terms, you probably want to have a higher cardio base than you have now. Here’s how to get that cardio.

Rugby-specific fitness tests
Training Team

Fit for rugby? Five rugby-specific fitness tests

How do you know if you’re fit enough for rugby? These fitness tests will give you a good baseline if you’re training for the upcoming rugby season. Note that fitness does not equal strength, there’s more to being rugby-fit being benching a whole lot.

beep test variations rugby fitness
Training Team

Get rugby fit with these beep test variations

Beep testing is usually used to test Vo2 Max in athletes, so it’s not typically a training methodology. But pushing your Vo2 Max is also a great way to get fitter. Get rugby-fit by implementing these beep test variations.

rugby training shoulder start with cardio
Training Team

Why rugby training should start with cardio

Cardio puts everyone in the mood for rugby, gets the heart rate up and helps guarantee a minimum fitness standard. So we recommend that if you’re a rugby coach, start your team’s training sessions with 20mins of cardio!

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