Most of our sporting population
in the clinic are our footy players. Rugby is a gruelling sport challenging
many aspects of fitness – cardiovascular fitness, balance, endurance, strength,
plyometrics and mobility. Our focus
topic this month is on in season maintenance so this blog highlights
specifically our recommended gym maintenance for our footy players to ensure
they are injury-free. We recommend these
exercises to be done in a gym setting.
The purpose of mobility exercises
is to ensure adequate joint and muscle range of motion. Adequate range of
motion leads to improved sporting performance. Mobility exercises should
constitute part of a daily gym programme. We recommend a good 10-15 minutes
spent on mobility exercises per gym session. Here are good examples of mobility
Pipe stick shoulder overhead rotation.
4 point kneeling wrist flexion/extension rocks
Pec stretch rocks
YTWL with theraband
Alternating lateral lunge
Hip flexor rocking
Dynamic calf stretch
Thread the needle
Bow and arrow
Cat and camel
2. Weekly cardiovascular aerobic exercise
Footy is cardio vascularly taxing
on the body. There is a lot of running involved and quite often this is through
sprinting. Therefore, cardiovascular fitness must be worked on through season.
We recommend doing 2-3 times a week of cardiovascular training. This can be a run,
bike, swim or row. At the gym works well but so does outdoors.
3. Isolated Muscle Strengthening
For the body to work efficiently
as a whole unit, individual muscles should be strengthened in isolation. In the
gym, we recommend our footy players to use machines at the gym using the
following parameters: 10-15 repetitions and 3 sets per exercise and working at
40-60% of 1RM per exercise.
We also recommend an upper and
lower body split.
Chest press machine
Overhead press machine
Bicep curl machine
Triceps extension machine
Knee extension machine
Leg curl machine
Calf raise machine
4. Functional Strengthening
We advise our footy players to
also incorporate functional strengthening into the gym regime. This is
different from isolated training because this comprises of exercises working
more than one muscle at a time (compound exercises) and in a functional (relating
to the sport) manner. These exercises can be trained using the following
parameters: 10-15 reps and 3 sets per exercise and working at 40-60% of 1RMs.
Common functional compound
Barbell overhead press
Dumbbell chest press
Bent over barbell rows
5. Balance Training
Rugby is a multiplanar sport with
many changes in direction and body positions. This means that balance is
crucial. Dynamic balance, which is the body’s ability to maintain its’ centre
of mass over its’ base of support which moving, is particularly important.
Some good balance exercises for
footy players include:
Kettlebell single leg Romanian deadlift
Single leg bosu squats
Cable pallof press variations (overhead press,
forward press, single leg, foam mat surface)
Forward jump with one leg landing
Lateral jump with one leg landing
6. Power and Plyometrics
Rugby always incorporates fast
explosive movements, so plyometrics must be included as part of in season gym
maintenance. Plyometric exercises consists of a rapid stretch phase followed
immediately by a rapid contraction. This follows the principle that the faster
you stretch a muscle, the harder and faster it contracts. We recommend doing a
plyometric session once per week, ensuring you are well warmed up before hand
and you have a good baseline level of strength. Recovery post-session
Some good plyometric exercises
Medicine ball throws – forward and rotational.
Clap push ups
Single leg deadlift hops
The above exercises not exhaustive but outlines all aspects of fitness needed for a footy player. Each area must be worked on during season to keep up overall conditioning of the body. This avoids injuries and makes for a hassle-free season.
If you are experiencing any niggles on field, don’t hesitate to come see our friendly team. Book an appointment online or call us on 07 3352 5116.