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Young, quick, strong and ambitious: this new breed of South African rugby player has the training secrets to get you into the best shape of your life.
The rules of fitness are rapidly evolving along with the game. It’s becoming clear that bench pressing doesn’t win games; explosive power does
Bulls utility back, and Springbok starting centre, JJ Engelbrecht does a lot of power work with the focus on rate of force production. He does a lot of jumping and landing exercises as his position requires him to stop and re-accelerate. Most of the energy supplied during actual ball-in-play time is from the anaerobic energy system. Exercises that develop this system are vital for a backline flyer like JJ Engelbrecht. Bulls coach Andre Volsteedt recommends hang cleans followed by box jumps and rapid hurdle jumps.
Your move: Depth jumps
Stand on the edge of a 30cm box. Step off the box so that you land on both feet simultaneously (balls of feet first, followed by heels). When you make contact with the floor, jump as high as you can. That’s one rep.
The depth jump is one of the best drills for improving your vertical leap. Try it twice a week, doing four or five sets of three repetitions at the beginning of your workout. Rest for 60 to 90 seconds between sets.