Rugby is an internationally popular and extremely fast-paced contact sport played outdoors. Like other athletes in competitive sports, rugby players must have a winning combination of dedication, determination, fitness (check bestelliptical.reviews) and skill to excel in the sport. Professional rugby players may be required to undergo physical, tactical, and technical training a maximum of five times a week. A good way for them to keep physical fitness is to use fitness equipment like rowing machines.
A typical rugby practice has four stages. First the team will undergo a series of warm-up activities including jogging, calisthenics, stretching, and sprints to get players’ heartrates up and loosen their muscle and joints before entering stage two of practice.
The second phase of rugby practice is dedicated to drills. In this stage, players engage in a series of exercises to work on a specific skillset. Examples of rugby drills are: running, ball-handling, passing, situational, and simulation drills. These exercises are meant to increase muscle memory, thereby reducing players’ reaction times when it matters most, during subsequent matches.
During the third stage of rugby practice, the team will scrimmage. In this phase, the players will get a chance to apply the skillset learned during the drill stage of practice. This allows the players to get a better idea of how the skillset might be used during a match. During scrimmage, however, players will not be competing at 100%, and the plays will most likely be interrupted by the coach for some constructive criticism.
At the last stage of practice, the coach will wrap it up by leading a cool-down session and discussing the main things covered during the practice.
Although rugby players get a thorough, full-body workout during practice, there are cross-training opportunities for them that will only enhance their performance on the pitch. Here are five unconventional ways rugby players stay fit.
Rowing is great, low-impact exercise for arms, back and legs. It will improve general aerobic fitness and strength. For rugby players that are injured, or want to give their overworked joints a break, rowing is a great cross-training alternative.
Swimming is an especially low-impact exercise for players with injuries to the lower body, but still need to train in some way. To get the most out of cross-training in swimming, make sure to mix up your strokes, swim with alternating sprint and relaxed intervals, and use hypoxic training by varying the number of strokes between each breath.
Pilates activate and strengthen local muscles so that the rugby player can avoid serious injuries during practice and matches while improving core stability and flexibility. By strengthening the local muscles, pressure is eased off the global muscles – hamstrings, quadriceps, chest and arms – enabling players’ global muscles to increase in strength and performance.
Although ballet and rugby are seemingly opposites (Beauty and the Beast comes to mind) cross-training in ballet will give rugby players some much needed flexibility, local muscle strength, balance, and footwork. Ballet will help a rugby player spin out of tackles and jump higher for a ball. Both sports not only physical agility, but mental as well. Ballet will undoubtedly challenge any rugby player’s mental agility.
Boxing or Kickboxing
Another total body workout, boxing and kickboxing are great cardiovascular exercises. The ability to mix up your workouts using a hanging bag or focus pads or varying combinations of speed, power and intervals will make you less likely to get bored with this exercise.
If you’re a rugby player, and you’re looking to spice up your exercise routine, or if you’re feeling overworked and prone to injuries, try your hand at rowing, swimming, Pilates, ballet, boxing, or kickboxing. They might not be obvious choices, but they sure will make you feel better and enhance your rugby performance.