Werner Kok’s Guide To Beastly Upper-Body Strength

Strengthening your upper body has compound benefits: it makes you faster and more powerful.


Megan Flemmit |

Strengthening your upper-body has compound benefits: it makes you faster and more powerful. South African Sevens star and Men’s Health cover guy, Werner Kok, explains how he builds a body that’s ready to take and dish out some strong tackles.

Werner’s Upper-Body Secrets

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“I’m not a flashy player. I’m not one of those guys who are crazy with their feet, but I like hard work,” says the Blitzbok.

Explosive moves keep Werner quick on his feet, while focusing on upper-body strength sees him through every game. “You use it for tackles, for getting up off the ground, in the scrums. You use it everywhere on the field.”

Werner’s Go-to workout:

Single-arm dumbbell presses, one-arm rows, and clean and jerks are three moves Werner keeps in his arsenal to improve his arm strength. Using one-arm exercises also challenges his stabilisers.

“You always have to be very disciplined in what you do. So when you’re training, don’t skip any reps or sets, and make sure your form is right.”

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The 25-year old also makes sure he gets enough relaxation and recovery time but also advises that one doesn’t have to completely avoid exercising on one’s off day.

“Your rest day doesn’t have to be a whole day off. Doing something different, like cycling, helps your body recover quicker.”

The MH Standard

Using a weight you’re comfortable with, perform three sets of eight reps of the clean and jerks.

Related: 11 Rugby Stars Who Have Flexed Their Muscles For Our Cover Over The Years

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