Monday, March 12, 2012

For many in the US, the matrix/league season will be coming to an end and most teams will be preparing for play-offs. The rugby play-offs throw up an interesting challenge in the US with knock-out games on back-to-back days. How do you maximize your performance? With great recovery techniques including ice baths and stretching. I would start using these after hard training sessions to acclimate your mind to something additional in your routine. For an ice bath, try to spend 5-10 minutes…it isn’t easy, but the results are amazing. The lifts change this week with the focus more movement and less heavy lifting.

Warm-Up:
Mobility: 10 forward hip circles, 10 backward hip circles each leg, 10 forward arm circles each leg, 10 backward arm circles, 10 squats, 10 lunges each leg, 10 pushups, 30 second plank, 10 pushups, 10 forward leg swings each leg, 10 sideways leg swings each leg, 10 iron cross reaches each leg, 10 scorpion reaches each leg
Heart Rate Spike: 2 x (10m high knees, 10m butt kickers, 10m carioca, 10m falling start acceleration)

Lift:
1. Hang Power Clean + Power/Push Jerk. 5 (sets) x 3 (reps) + 2 (reps). Use about 60% of your 1RM power clean and focus on keeping your torso upright and letting your hips do the work on the clean and the jerk. For this to happen you will need to drive into the ground with your legs and open up your hips before bending your elbows.
2. SUPERSET: DB Incline Bench Press. 4 x 8/Chin-ups. 4 x 8. The incline bench should be a pretty heavy lift with the bench closer to upright than horizontal. The goal is to keep your core locked and drive the DB into the air explosively. A chin-up is with hands facing your face and still needs to come to full extension at the bottom.
3. SUPERSET: Broad Jumps. 3 x 5/Box Step-Ups. 3 x 12 each leg. For the broad jumps, focus on jumping as far forward as possible but landing in a good take-off position so you can land and rebound into your next jump without moving your feet. For the box step-ups, hold DB in your hands and focus on driving through your heel and your hips to stand up fully on the box with two feet before stepping down.

Conditioning:
Rugby is all about getting up off the ground and moving quickly. This workout will tax your ability to do both. Complete rounds of 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, & 1 of Russian KB/DB Swings and Burpees. For the swings use a heavy weight and focus on keeping your core tight and driving through your heels to open your hips. This will help you generate more power as you open your hips, much like a power step in contact. For the burpees, NEVER STOP MOVING, IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD!

Stretches:
Lower back, calves, achilles, quads, hip flexors, shoulders and chest.

 

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