Running or weight training? What's the right way to prepare your body for rugby? We explain what you need to do.


Physical preparation is crucial when it comes to playing rugby. It is something that cannot be overlooked. It involves a number of different phases: stamina, core strength and weight training. We'll give you some key tips in this article and tell you about some exercises that will help you build your fitness.


Stamina is key when you're playing rugby. That's why you need to train and work on it. For example, you can do block training that includes 30-30s or 30-15s. This involves 30 seconds of high-intensity training followed by 30 or 15 seconds of rest. This training could be sprinting in a straight line for 30 seconds, recovering, and then sprinting back again for 30 seconds, trying to cover the same distance in the same time. You can also do shuttle runs, which involve placing markers every five metres, running to the first marker and back and then  running to the second marker and back, and so on. You end by running to the furthest marker and back. Do two to three blocks of eight minutes, taking a break of three minutes between each block.



Building your core strength is very important preparation for preventing injuries especially during contact. There are a number of ways in which you can improve your core strength. You can do, for example, two to three blocks of three minutes of core strength training with a minute's break between each block. Do a minute face up and then 30 seconds on each side. 

You can also go face down on hands and feet for a minute while one of your team-mates tries to knock you off balance. And you can work on your neck muscles too by supporting your head. Do this for two minutes and then swap with your team-mate, with each taking four or five turns.



To make workouts more fun you can do them with a ball. Set up a game of touch rugby with teams of seven to eight players: when a team scores they receive the ball again from the restart and when they lose possession the ball goes to the opposing team. The idea is to play short but intense matches of ten to 15 minutes and then take on another team.


In rugby, staying in shape and weight training in particular are important when it comes staying the distance in a match and avoiding injuries. There are many weight training exercises you can do. Here are just a few examples: 

Chest and back:
Bench press: four sets of ten reps. Followed by seated lat pulldowns. 
Incline bench press: four sets of ten reps. Followed by bent-over row. 
Decline bench press: four sets of ten reps. Followed by hyperextensions. 

Shoulders and trapezius: 
Overhead press: four sets of ten reps. 
Front raise: four sets of ten reps. Followed by side raise. 
Barbell upright row: four sets of ten reps. Followed by shoulder shrugs.

Deadlift: four sets of eight reps. 
Front squat: four sets of ten reps. 
Leg extensions: four sets of ten reps. Followed by leg curls. 
Barbell lunges: four sets of ten reps.

That's all our advice and the exercises we recommend for preparing physically for rugby.