WITH WINTER approaching and the temptation for comfort food rising, it’s important to keep tabs on your body fat, writes Harlequins’ head of strength and conditioning John Dams. If you’re struggling for motivation, find a training partner to help.

Warm-up
Two new mobility drills: one a variation of a hurdle drill and the other a great one to help the range of motion in your hips.

  • Hurdle walkovers (left): put hands on head facing hurdles. Keep chest up and hips square. Step over hurdles, alternating lead leg
  • Squat to stand (right): place your hands under your toes and pull yourself into a squat position
  • From squat, straighten your legs whilst keeping hands in place

Key movement
Perform these exercises back-to-back with no rest – a superset. It’s a great way to add a conditioning element to a strength session.

  • Dumb-bell bench press (left): weights shoulder-width apart
  • Lower the dumb-bells to just below your shoulders whilst keeping your lower arms parallel
  • Chest-supported dumb-bell row (right): keep chest on bench
  • Pull dumb-bells to side of bench. Lead with elbows and pull

Conditioning tool
These next two training exercises are both high-intensity conditioning ideas to help reduce body fat.

  • Battle ropes (left): hold ropes in each hand. Move them up and down as hard as you can, each arm doing opposite of the other
  • Work on a 1:1 work:rest ratio, working no longer than 60secs
  • Prowler push (right): use a robust sled and keep low
  • Push hard and work to a 1:1 work:rest ratio

Recovery tool
These are two recovery tools after an intense workout. Foam rolling aids muscle recovery and function.

  • Foam roll glute (left): sit on roll. Place ankle on opposite knee
  • Gently roll over each glute muscle group
  • Foam roll calf (right): sit down on floor and place roll under calf. Rest other foot on top of the other
  • Roll from back of knee to Achilles tendon

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

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