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Rugby Fitness & Conditioning
A ground-breaking approach to
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Speed & Agility > Speed Strength

Speed is often incorrectly perceived as independent from strength.
Strength and speed strength training are prerequisites for acceleration and deceleration. Speed strength training enhances rapid force development and high power output and is the foundation for improved speed and agility

Speed strength is an expression of power
The acceleration of your body weight requires strength and stability - highlighting the reasons why core stability training has positive effects on speed and agility

Speed Strength Training Concepts
The major training concept for developing speed strength is resisted running. This is a functional method for developing speed strength and includes accelerating while wearing a weighted vest , pulling a sled , or against the resistance of a partner .

The aim is to apply resistance without affecting the player's running mechanics too much and provoking an explosive knee and arm punching action, and explosive leg drive off the ground. A weight no greater than 10% of your bodyweight is recommended for sled acceleration training. However, a heavier weight may be used for contact power and breaking tackles.


Plyometrics are jumps or combinations of jumps that produce quick, powerful movement using a stretch reflex. A stretch reflex occurs when a muscle lengthens (stretches) and then immediately shortens - the reflex action occurs when the muscle changes from the lengthening to the shortening action. These drills are a specific training mode for Rugby League because the movements replicate the game's mixture of vertical and horizontal acceleration against the ground and the triple extension of the ankle, knee, and hip joints. Plyometric drills enhance power, speed, and agility.

Plyometrics may be introduced only after you have successfully completed a core stabilization and strength phase of training. So that these drills will also help to prevent ankle and knee injuries, multidirectional movements are incorporated to reflect the multidirectional nature of Rugby League. These drills have a strong proprioceptive component (they challenge balance and the self-awareness of muscles and joints) and positively affect agility, coordination, and stability strength. Visit the Rugby League Fitfiles for plyometric drills.

Training for speed strength should be progressive and introduced once a sound strength and stability base is present.


Mini hurdles are ideal for introducing plyometrics to your programme.
Visit the Rugby League Fitfiles for plyometric drills