THE FESTIVE season always leads to an increased intake of food and drink. But try to keep your diet in check, maintain some sort of training routine and get rid of any extra body fat, writes John Dams, Harlequins’ head of strength and conditioning.


This month we have a new mobility exercise and a speed drill to help improve your acceleration.

  • Walking tabletop (left): stand on one leg, the other pointed behind you. Reach forward with your arms until you’re parallel with floor
  • Banded acceleration (right): place band around waist and accelerate off the line. Provide enough resistance to keep form
  • Offer resistance for five metres and then release

Key movement I

Increase your strength for the new year. Here are a couple of different key lifts for the upper body.


  • Bulgarian split squat (left): set in lunge position. Place rear foot on bench. Keep weight on front leg and press straight up
  • Concentric bench press (right): place the bar on pins at chest level. Press hard and fast
  • Drop the bar on the pins and then repeat

Key movement II

It’s important to vary your training routine. These are two very different and challenging upper-limb exercises.

  • Rope chin-ups (left): use a rope instead of a bar
  • Pull up until your chin is over your hands
  • Ring press-ups (right): position the rings a foot off the ground and set yourself at the top of a press-up position
  • Lower until your hands are near your chest and press

Trunk strength

Over-indulging over the holidays? These two tough trunk exercises will help firm your stomach.

  • Half-moons (left): grab one end of the barbell in two hands
  • Drop weight to your hip. Twist in a ‘half-moon’ arc to other hip
  • Med ball slams (right): hold a medicine ball in two hands and raise it above your head as high as you can
  • Slam the ball onto the floor as hard as you can

This article appeared in the January 2013 issue of Rugby World Magazine.

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