Top rugby players follow this upper body workout for strength and size
Rugby is unique in the way it demands equal levels of strength and endurance
Lung-busting runs up field are one thing, fending off a 20-stone prop as you drive to the try line another. Building muscle and endurance is a similarly tough task, but one that top players have cracked.
These two physical adaptations need to be trained with the correct exercises to ensure a balance is created. Together, Saracens players George Kruis and Dominic Day put together this upper body workout for muscle gain and endurance.
- The daddy of all pressing exercises, the bench builds your pecs, triceps and shoulders
- This comes in handy on the pitch when you're looking to barge your way over the tryline
- Press the bar in an upwards curve motion, contracting your pecs at the top of the movement
- Slowly lower to the beginning, with a slight flare in your elbows
Prone Barbell Pull
- Due to the stability it provides, a strong back is actually as important for building your bench press as the chest
- The prone pull/row is the best way of going about this
- Row the bar into your chest area and contract your lats at the top portion of the movement
- This doesn't just build your lats - it recruits all muscles in the back, including the traps and rhomboids
Neck Holds with Band Pull-Aparts
- This unconventional-looking move is demonstrated here by Day
- It provides stimulation for all the muscles involved in keeping your neck strong, which is vital in rugby for protecting against injury
- Resistance band pull-aparts build your rear delts and help keep your shoulders healthy
Side Plank Holds
- The standard plank hammers your abs - the side variation does too, but also works the obliques
- Don't allow your body to drop from its straightened position, this recruits the maximum amount of abdominal muscle
- Your shoulders are the fulcrum for upper body strength, and the landmine press builds both functional strength and muscle size
- Ensure the barbell is wedged safely in the corner of a room or using a Rogue attachment
- Keep your abs tight and press the weight vertically above your head
Med Ball Press-Ups
- The tricep muscle consists of three heads
- Studies show the diamond press-up actually recruits the most of this tricep muscle
- You can ramp up the tension even further by performing these on a medicine ball
All of these lifts should be performed for three to four sets of 8-12 reps.
Kruis and Day have started their own CBD oil range, Four Five CBD.
- Thor actor Chris Hemsworth gets in superhero shape with this HIIT workout
- Carve out a strong core with this Swiss ball abs workout
- The five best YouTube workouts for building muscle and strength
- The eight-minute HIIT workout for people who hate the treadmill