Are you trying to get stronger this rugby season? You should be! The strongest rugby players are often the best. This archive includes all our years of research into strength training for the rugby field. 

Complete with workouts, programs, training protocols that are position-specific. Playing prop? You might need hypertrophy training. Training for Winger? You need strength without bulk. Use these rugby strength training tips to build your perfect program.


Brandon Lee

Returning to Rugby at 37 Years Old

There was a familiar feel, sound and smell when walking into the rugby changing room after being absent for nearly two years. I made a couple of cameo appearances off the bench two years ago, so it is more like four years away from the game. I had never been in this particular changing room but immediately felt comfortable…

Anaerobic Fitness featured image
Brandon Lee

Rugby Fitness Drills and Anaerobic Fitness Games to Try

As a player, the perception of a tough loss might be different to what the coach sees. So, when you turn up to training and all your coach wants to do is load the team up with boring old fitness drills, morale can take a hit.

Brandon Lee

How Strong Are Rugby Players?

Rugby is one of the few sports that require a high level of all-around physical fitness. a rugby player’s strength can be measured with four exercises: back squats, bench press, deadlifts and overhead press. So this raises a question: How strong are rugby players?

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 strength do less
Training Team

Rugby Strength: Do Less for Better Results

With shorter, more targeted workouts, you’ll have all the time and energy you need to do justice to all the other aspects of rugby training and recover better too.

how strong should you be to play rugby
Training Team

How strong should you be to play rugby?

How strong do you need to be to play rugby? If you are asking this question, the answer is probably “stronger than you are now!” Strength is, after all, the foundation of every other type of training that you do.

rugby player doing 5x5 workout
Tim Howard

Why 5×5 is bad for rugby players

While any strength training is better than no strength training, if you are going lift weights for rugby, it makes sense to try and get the best results from your time and effort. 5×5 is a popular type of strength training, but it is not ideal for ruggers.

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.

Squat variations to prevent injury
Training Team

Squat variations to guard against injury

Is it possible to improve your 1RM back squat without risking injury from heavy squat sessions? You bet! Try these squat variations – in particular the overhead and front squat – to develop functional strength without the added stress on your joints.

mechanical dropsets for rugby
Patrick Dale

Mechanical drop sets for extra muscle gain

Why would you need extra muscle in rugby? If you’re under-sized, it can be really hard to compete in contact, set piece and at the breakdown. Adding some bulk using mechanical dropsets to drive hypertrophy can also be a terrific way to prevent contact injuries.

ankle strength for rugby season
Patrick Dale

How to get strong ankles for rugby season

One of the most debilitating body parts to injure is the ankle joint. Twists, sprains, and breaks can stop even the hardest charging rugger in their tracks – luckily we have Pat Dale to explain how you can strengthen your ankles for this rugby season.

Bodyweight training for in-season strength maintenance
Patrick Dale

Bodyweight training for in-season strength maintenance

Research suggests that just one or two workouts per week can maintain strength and power during the in-season rugby training period. During this time, you’ve also got rugby training, games and recovery sessions, so it’s critical to tailor in-season training maintaining strength.

gymnastic strength training for rugby
Tim Howard

Gymnastic strength training for rugby players

How can you use gymnastic strength training to become a better rugby player? Our training team explains the relationship between rugby and gymnastics. Especially for older rugby players, the gymnastic focus on flexibility and mobility can help you prolong your rugby career.

rugby abs without sit-ups
Training Team

Getting rugby player abs without sit-ups

Strong abs are a fitness must-have, but for rugby, they are much more than a fashion accessory. Here’s our playbook for getting rugby abs without sit-ups. Caution though: you’re going to have to eat well and train hard if you want to get anywhere near having rugby-player abs.

Rugby strength without killing your joints
Training Team

Rugby strength without killing your joints

Rugby and strength training can both be tough on your joints. Here are Ruck Science’s 5 rules for successful joint-friendly strength training for rugby. We promise you fewer injuries, a greater range of motion and ultimately, more strength for the season.

Single arm movements for rugby-focused strength
Training Team

Single-limb movements for rugby-focused strength

What are the best single-limb movements for rugby players to use to develop strength for the rugby field? Here’s our breakdown of the top nine single-limb movements that (when incorporated into your training program) can help you become a better and stronger rugby player.

speed and power for rugby centres
Training Team

Speed and power for rugby centers

Both inside and outside centres need to be strong, fast, agile, and able to kick, pass, sidestep, and tackle like a boss. Centers are usually in the thick of it on the rugby field, so their training should reflect this reality.

building rugby-prop strength
Patrick Dale

How to build rugby prop strength

How do you build the strength of a rugby prop? This prop workout program is designed to help you develop the strength to play in the front row. Props need to be bulky, powerful and ultimately, really damn strong – that’s what this program promises.

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.

building neck and trap strength for rugby players
Training Team

Building neck and trap strength for rugby players

For props and hookers especially it’s imperative that you have a strong neck and traps to scrummage. Here’s how to build that neck and trap strength for all rugby players. It’s most important for the front-row but all rugby players need strong necks.

how is your hip drive in contact
Patrick Dale

How to develop hip drive for rugby

How do you develop hip drive for the rugby field? Read our complete guide to hip drive for rugby players and get to work this off season! It’s a much overlooked part of mobility and strength for rugby players.

strength and power relative to tackling ability
Training Team

How strength and power impact tackling ability

Tackling ability correlates directly with lower body power. During the season, tackling ability only gets better if your lower body power stays constant. Therefore, rugby players must maintain leg strength to improve or maintain tackling ability.

odd object lifting for rugby
Training Team

Unconventional rugby training using odd objects

Unconventional rugby training begins and ends with odd object lifting, Michael Hedlesky explains how to get better at rugby by lifting weird stuff. Pick it up, put it down and over it around. Suddenly, you’ll be stronger and fitter!

bear complex - the single bar strength workout
Training Team

Bear Complex – single bar rugby strength workout

Looking for ways to get both strong and fit during pre-season? Try the bear complex. It’s a single-bar strength workout that works on power and conditioning for your entire body. The Bear Complex is absolutely ideal for rugby players!

get strong ruggers big will take care of itself
Training Team

Get strong ruggers, big will take care of itself

Should rugby players lift for size, strength or both? In this article, we lay out the case for rugby players training to get stronger rather than bigger. The recommendation is underpinned by the fact that professional rugby players are getting much leaner.

rugby leg workout for power
Training Team

The best rugby leg workout for power

Everybody wants a workout program to gives them rugby legs. Today, we bring you the best rugby leg workout for gains in strength and lower body power. You’ll be doing plenty of squats, but also pairing these with explosion plyometric exercises.

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