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Between games, pro rugby players use this workout to speed up their recovery – and to build functional strength and endurance for the next one.
Directions: Perform the exercises as a circuit. Start with the first exercise and do as many reps as you can in 30 seconds. Rest 30 seconds and immediately move on to the next exercise and repeat the pattern. Once you’ve done all the exercises once, rest 60 seconds. That’s one round. Do four. (Complete three to four sessions a week.)
1. Box Jump
Stand facing a box and assume a quarter squat; then jump up. Land softly on the box with bent knees. Step down and repeat. Pro Tip: Start with a 24-inch-high box.
2. Reverse Lunge to Step-Up
Stand facing a bench (or box). Step back with your right leg and lower your right knee until it nearly touches the floor. Pause, push back to the starting position, and immediately place your right foot on the bench and step up onto it. Return to the starting position. That’s 1 rep. Pro Tip: squeeze your glutes and lift your left knee at the top of the step-up.
3. Elevated Push-Up
Assume a push-up position but with your feet elevated on a bench (or box). Keep your arms straight and hands below and slightly past your shoulders. Bend at the elbows as you lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Pause, and push yourself back up. Pro Tip: If you can’t do quality reps for 30 seconds, switch to a regular or kneeling push-up.
4. Lateral Lunge
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step to your left and lower your body by pushing your hips back and bending your right knee. Return to the start and repeat, this time to your right. Pro Tip: Drop your hips as low as you can.
Hang at arm’s length from a pull-up bar using an overhand grip. Pull your chest up to the bar. Lower yourself to the starting position and repeat.
Pro Tip: If you can’t do quality reps throughout, switch to a lat pulldown.