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Strength & Power > Power

Rugby League requires the execution of skill in motion, and almost all of these motions become more effective when executed with more force in less time. Power may be described as the optimal combination of speed and strength to produce a dynamic Rugby League movement such as a ferocious tackle or a great offload.

Power exercises must involve a rapid initiation of force production - even if the load is heavy, your aim is still to perform the movement quickly.

Systems of PowerTraining
Power training is characterised by long recovery periods (3 - 10 minutes) between sets of exercises to allow for the replenishment of the anaerobic energy (phosphocreatine).

Your major training options for power development are:

  • Power Speed Sled - towing a weighted sled over short distances
  • Weighted Vest - accelerating and jumping drills while carrying an extra weight created by the vest.
  • Medicine Balls - explosive throws with medicine balls weighing between 1-10kg
  • Power Speed Resistor - partner resisted drills using a harness
  • Plyometrics - see below
  • Olympic lifiting - see below

Olympic Lifting - Just treat the word Olympic as 'power!'
Olympic lifts are multi-joint exercises that involve all major muscle groups, similar to most Rugby League movements. More players and coaches are turning to the Olympic lifts and their variations to enhance power. They are ground-based exercises so you have to exert force against the ground, which is specific to Rugby League.

When performed correctly, these exercises constitute one of the best ways to develop power, which successfully tranfers to Rugby League. By their nature, all Olympic style lifts provoke a high power output as they allow you to move a relatively heavy weight at a high speed.




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.


Extremely high power outputs are generated during Olympic lifts
Visit the Rugby League Fitfiles for Strength & Power drills
More players and coaches are turning to the Olympic lifts and their variations to enhance power