Rugby players are known for their physical appearance. While muscular throughout, these athletes tend to have sturdy midsections and legs built like tree trunks. Due to the need for lower body strength, while involved in scrums and to push through opposing players, the lower body receives more attention than is the case with most other athletes. If you want to build the physical appearance of a rugby player you’ll need to focus on developing a strong, lower body. This means lifting big and heavy. Here are eight great exercises you’ll need to implement into your workout routine to look like a rugby player.
The deadlift is an important lift not only for your lower body but for your core, back, and shoulders as well. It may work more muscles than any other lift out there. It also helps teach you explosive movements, which is another reason why it’s a good idea to add the deadlift to your workout routine.
To perform this lift, you’ll want a barbell. Stand directly behind the barbell with your legs a little more than shoulder-width apart. Crouch to grab hold of the bar, but never bend your back. Keep your back straight. With a solid grip, push up through your feet as you explode back to standing.
Return to the starting position, making sure to not bend your back or arch your shoulders forward.
As you’re going for strength, you’ll want to max out at around four to six reps per set for three sets (this should be standard through all your exercises).
2. Shoulder Squats
Use a squat rack for this, not a Smith machine. A Smith machine stabilizes your squat, reducing the work your stabilizer muscles perform (and reducing the quality of your squat).
Position yourself under the barbell and align it behind your neck and on your shoulders. Grab hold of the barbell, then push up with your legs (which are slightly more than shoulder-width apart). Lower yourself down so your thighs are at a 90-degree angle, then explode back up. That’s one rep.
3. Leg Press
You’ll need the leg press machine for this. With this lift, you’ll sit with your back slightly elevated off the ground. Remember, you want to lift big with this. Unlock the press and explode with your legs, pushing the weight away from you. Just make sure to not lock your knees as this opens you up for injury.
4. Sumo Squat
Grab a heavy dumbbell with both hands (you can use a kettlebell for this as well). Spread your legs extremely wide apart, like a sumo wrestler. Slowly lower yourself down with the dumbbell held in between your legs. Hold with the weight just above the ground, then push yourself back up.
5. Farmer’s Walk
Take hold of heavy dumbbells on each side of your body. Now just walk. Walk around the gym or on a sporting field. Walk as far as you can, set your weights down, take a 30-second break, then continue. Try to walk for a total of 5 minutes.
6. Wall Sits
Place your back against the wall and slide down, so it’s like you’re sitting on an invisible chair. Shoot to eventually hold this for 90 seconds straight.
Stand, holding heavy dumbbells on each side. Lunge forward and lower yourself down but keep your knees from touching the ground. Return to start and repeat with the other leg.
8. Squat Jump
Go down into a squat position, then jump into the air. When you land, lower yourself back into a squat position, then jump again. Do this instead of jumping jacks. Shoot for three sets of a minute with 30 seconds in between.
By following through with these eight great exercises, you’ll begin to transform your body into that of a rugby player. While you’ll still need to work on physical endurance should you want to play the sport, these eight exercises are a must for building lower body strength and size. Rugby is one spot that constantly reminds you to never skip leg day. If your goal is to take on the physical appearance of a rugby player, now’s the time to begin.