The BridgeAthletic Building Blocks Series is a set of 5 exercises that can be performed by rugby athletes of all levels at the training facility or on the practice field. Each Building Block has a specific focus to boost your performance on the field.
Methodology: This introductory building block series is a great addition to any rugby training session and is designed to give you a full body workout. Include these bodyweight exercises with your next skills session to prepare you for your fieldwork.
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- Up & Out Jacks
Movement: A fun alternative to the standard jumping jack to get your heart rate going. Start standing with your hands at your sides. Execute a jumping jack by jumping both feet out to the side and simultaneously raising your arms overhead. Reverse the movement to return to the start position. Next, jump your feet to the side and raise your arms to the front and above shoulder height. This time bring your feet out again while bringing your arms directly in front of your body to shoulder height. Reverse the movement to return to the start position. Repeat this sequence for the prescribed number of reps.
Bridge tip – Work on coordination and timing of the movement to get the most out of this dynamic warm up.
- Band Bent-Over Neck Pull
Equipment: Resistance Band
Movement: Start facing the bands holding a handle in each hand. Hinge at the hips with a slight bend in your knees, keeping your back flat. Raise your arms up in front of you in-line with your ears, creating a slight tension in the bands. This is your starting position. Pull your elbows back toward your rib cage squeezing your shoulder blades together at the end of the movement. Pause. Return your arms slowly to the start position. Pause. Repeat for the prescribed reps or time.
Bridge tip – Emphasize moving slowly. The key is to keep your back flat throughout each set, especially as you fatigue. Maintaining form while fatigued is essential in performing at the highest levels.
- Bulgarian Split Squat
Movement: Place the bench behind you and start facing away from the bench. Place one foot behind you on top of the bench, with your shoelaces facing down. Keeping your chest up, bend your front knee while bringing the back knee toward the ground. Stop the movement when the back knee is a couple inches off the ground – note: avoid bouncing the back knee off the ground. Push through your front heel to initiate the movement to return to the starting position. Pause. Repeat for the prescribed number of reps before switching legs and repeating on the other leg.
Bridge tip – Adjust the distance of your front foot in front of you to keep your front knee from tracking too far over your toes when squatting. Keep your chest upright throughout the movement. Move slowly.
- Spiderman Pushup
Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Movement: A progression from a regular pushup and a great multi-joint and connective exercise for rugby. Start in the pushup position. As you perform a pushup bring your right knee to your right elbow. Pause. Drive back up to the start position returning your right leg to it’s original position. Pause. Perform another pushup, this time bringing your left knee to your left elbow. Pause. Drive back up to the starting position. Pause. Repeat for the prescribed reps each side, alternating each time.
Bridge tip – For novice athletes, perform the above movement with your knees on the ground in the starting position.
- Band Rotation – Long-Lever
Equipment: Resistance Band
Movement: Start standing in a squat stance, perpendicular to the bands. Hold both handles in your hands with arms extended at chest height. With arms extended, rotate to your right and control the contra-movement as you return to the start position. Keep a slight bend in your knees as you rotate. Perform the prescribed reps in one direction, then switch and perform the movement in the other direction.
Bridge tip – Keep your back flat and rotate from your mid-section.
We hope you enjoy this full-body bodyweight entry in the Rugby Building Blocks Series.
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