THE SEASON is here and the hard work isn’t over, writes John Dams. Don’t get stuck in the gym doing things you’re good at; get on the pitch and WORK HARD! Develop a weekly training schedule that works for you and stick to it.

Warm up
These first two moves are good preparatory exercises and are a great extension to your on-field warm-up.

  • Ankling (left): have knees slightly bent, shoulder-width apart
  • Push up/down aggressively, alternating feet. Repeat laterally
  • Lateral movements drills (right): Move laterally, crossing your foot in front and behind you alternately
  • Start with low knee/foot punch and work progressively higher

Key movement one
These are to maintain your strength levels in season. Both are easy to perform and are well-balanced strength exercises.

  • Barbell lunge (left): take a big step/lunge forward. With weight on front leg, shift down but not forward
  • Lunge until back knee touches the floor. Push back to start
  • Chest-supported dumb-bell row (right): Keep chest on bench
  • Pull dumb-bells to side of bench. Lead with elbows and pull

Key movement two
These are ‘accessory’ exercises to add to your programme – a body-weight exercise and a core-strengthening exercise.

  • Bar dips (left): with bars a little wider than shoulder-width. Support body weight through hands
  • Lower chest until 90° bend at the elbow. Push back to start
  • Wood-chop with medicine ball (right): start above shoulder height, to side. Rotate down across body below knee and back up

Conditioning tool
Two hard drills! One is running based, the other a collision/contact-based drill. Combine the two to take it to the next level.

  • Repeated speed (left): set cones 40m apart. Sprint between each cone every 30 to 40 seconds
  • Make sure you stay within 80-90% of your top speed
  • Heavy bag slams (right): Pick up a heavy bag and slam it
  • Work on a 1:1 work:rest ratio

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

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