It’s important to keep on top of your speed for the end of the season, says Darren Grewcock…

Quick feet into pass
Working in small 5m grids, combine high-knee, quick-feet movements with quick repetition of low passes off the ground to a standing target.

  • Perform quick-foot drills at max speed for 8-10 seconds at a time
  • Immediately do 8-10 passes off the ground, off left and right hands
  • Try and exaggerate your range of movement (high knees and a low centre of gravity) when performing both exercises

Reps and Sets
reps – three            sets – four
rest – 60 seconds       tempo – dynamic

Shuttle and speed punch
Working in a 10m grid, start and finish each set of shuttle sprints with quick-fire hands on the punch pads. Concentrate on speed not power.

  • Rapid-punch with both hands on the hand pads for 15 seconds
  • Then turn and sprint, shuttling between two markers 10m apart, getting low on your touch turns for 15 seconds
  • Complete the rep by speed-punching for a further 15 seconds

reps and sets
reps – one               sets – eight
rest – 45 to 60 seconds        tempo – maximal

Horizontal reaction bounds
From an upright, relaxed bouncing position, react quickly into a wide-stance, low squat before immediately launching yourself as far forward as you can, and landing softly on both feet.

  • Bounce on both feet for a few seconds, then drop into the squat
  • Keep moving and swing your arms, launching forward from both feet
  • Catch your body weight and land softly before repeating

reps and sets
reps – six          sets – four
Rest – 90 seconds         tempo – maximal

Alternate shuttle starts
A great variation on reaction starts. Perform a horizontal sprinting action on your hands before powering upwards and forwards.

  • Supporting 80% of your body weight with arms, chest and shoulders, slide knees to chest and back as fast as you can for five seconds
  • Take off fast from a high-knee, low-bum, high-chest position
  • Sprint for 15m. Then turn around and do the same again

reps and sets
reps – four            sets – four/five
rest – 90 seconds         tempo – max out

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


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