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Fitness & Health

01st Jul 2019

England star Owen Farrell lists the best leg exercises for explosive power and strength

Ahead of this summer's Rugby World Cup, England captain Owen Farrell shares his workout of the day for building legs of steel

Alex Roberts

Ahead of this summer’s Rugby World Cup, England captain Owen Farrell has shared his workout of the day

Farrell’s favourite gym exercises are key for boosting explosive power and strength. These are attributes that every rugby player needs in abundance, regardless of position.

Warm Up

For Owen Farrell, mobility and activation are the orders of the day when it comes to warming up. The best holds to perform are:

  • Spider Man Stretch
  • Forward Lunge w/ Hip Flexor Stretch
  • High Knee to Cossack Squat

Spend 60 seconds on each to really get limber before hitting the weights room.

Owen Farrell is set to captain England at the Rugby World Cup (Photo: Getty Images)


Farrell says, “As rugby is a positional field sport we need to work all three planes of motion and use key movement patterns.”

The three main planes of motion involved are sagittal (forward and back), frontal (side to side) and transverse (rotational).

As a lot of power in rugby stems from the lower body, Farrell has based this workout on legs. The largest muscles in the lower body such as the quads, hamstrings and glutes will particularly feel the force of this circuit.

All exercises are to be completed with two to three sets of 8 to 10 reps.
  • Kettlebell goblet squat (use two kettlebells if advanced, as below
  • Hip hinge deadlift (with two kettlebells)
  • Backward lunge with one kettlebell
  • Lateral lunge (both sides, one kettlebell)
  • Single leg deadlift (one kettlebell)

Explosive power

Rugby is a team sport, and in the same vein, this part of the workout is best performed in pairs.
  • Start with a 15 metre sled push
  • while team rotates on the assault bike
  • Assault bike – max power for calories
  • Sled pushes max push up and down 15m track
Repeat for three to five rounds.

Working out at The Yard

Farrell’s workout was performed at The Yard, a brand new functional workout space at London’s Third Space gym in Canary Wharf.
The Yard has been designed, and programmed, to cater for members of all abilities. Whether you’re a complete beginner or top-level athlete, its variety of dedicated training areas can take your training to the next level.
  • The Yard is set across 8000 square feet, featuring an expansive gym floor with custom built multi-functional rig. The mezzanine hosts a dedicated combat zone making room for an enlarged free weights area.
  • It boasts a variety of cross-training and strongman equipment, a state-of-the-art free-weight are, sleds and sprint tracks, as well as a new performance combat zone and dojo.
  • With the new space, comes a host of new class concepts designed exclusively for The Yard. Yard Strong, Yard WOD and Yard Circuits take centre stage in the main rig area along with boxing, kickboxing and Thai boxing for combat enthusiasts everywhere.

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