AS THE festive season looms, you will need to manage your time and social life well, writes John Dams, Harlequins’ head of strength and conditioning. So while others take a break from training, it’s your turn to work harder than everyone else.


Lateral hurdle walkovers are good for improving mobility around the hips, while the wall slide is a thoracic mobility exercise.

  • Lateral hurdle walkovers (left): put hands on head. Keep chest high and legs straight. Step over without breaking at the hip
  • Sharman wall slide (right): Sit up against a wall with a small bend in knee and arms on wall. Keep lower back against wall
  • Push hands and elbows up and down the wall

Key movement I

Stay focused on training despite festive distractions. These two intense lower-limb lifts will help you through to the New Year.

  • Box squat (left): use box positioned at appropriate height, with thighs slightly below parallel
  • Keep weight through heels. Control descent to box, pause, lift
  • Pistol squat (right): use band or rope to assist movement
  • On a single leg, sit down as deep as you can and then push up

Key movement II

This chins-dips superset will help you add volume to the upper body and drive down body fat – useful at this time of year.

  • Perform one set then the other with no rest between exercises
  • Chin-up (left): keep chest up and get your chin over the bar
  • Bar dips (right): position bars a little wider than shoulder width. Support body weight through hands
  • Lower chest until 90° bend at the elbow and push back up

Conditioning Tool

Wrestle mania! These are two intensive conditioning tools to help you maintain that physical edge.

  • Thai-style clinch (left): start with one hand on back of partner’s head and on ‘go’ work to gain head control with two hands there
  • Greco-Roman wrestle: aim to get two arms around partner above the hips. Start with one arm under theirs
  • On ‘go’, work to get both hands around partner

This article appeared in the December 2012 issue of Rugby World Magazine.

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