The ultimate guide to getting fitter for rugby

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There’s no doubting that rugby is a very demanding game, both physically and mentally as there is both skill and tactics involved. There is a place for players of all shapes and sizes, and the thing that unites them is that they must be very physically fit.

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To cope with all the different demands, you should be ready to undertake a variety of exercises in training to cover strength, endurance and skill. Building up a selection of different exercises will help maximise the benefit of the training you’re doing.

Creating a portfolio of exercises might seem daunting at first but there are plenty of rugby trainIng drill videos available online that can be tailored by you as an individual or by your squad. Used together, you will start to build youf fitness in no time.

Strength training

Getting fit and building strength goes hand in hand with rugby, and both are important given the intensity of tackles these days. Squats have been shown to help players perform at a higher intensity during a match, so build these into your workout.

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Body composition

Put simply, this is the ratio between fat and muscle in your body. Decreasing the mass of fat, which doesn’t provide any benefit on the field, will improve your speed and fitness allowing you to move around with more agility.


This intense training is a combination of stretching and contracting your muscles to build the fibres and help build strength. It helps build explosive power, which a game like rugby certainly requires. There is also evidence to suggest that plyometric training can also prevent injury.

Rugby Warfare has an example plan for you to follow as you get fit for rugby, and rugby training drill videos can be watched at Sportplan.

Aside from exercise, there are other factors to consider when getting into shape for rugby. Be sure to get enough sleep to allow your body to recover and reduce risk of injury. Stay hydrated with plenty of water and isotonic drinks, and eat a balanced diet so your body is properly fuelled for the game.

However, you’re exercising, it’s important to warm up thoroughly beforehand and cool down again afterwards to avoid injury. Be prepared to rotate your exercises too to avoid a plateau.

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