Being a sports professional takes dedication, commitment and physical and mental strength, and this is especially true for rugby players. Anyone wishing to play rugby at a high level needs the ability to train consistently hard in order to keep at the top of their game and be prepared to push themselves to the limit over and over again.

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A barbell can be used in several ways to develop strength and fitness throughout the body.

Barbell Push

This exercise can be done initially using two hands and then with just one hand. By lifting one end of the barbell underneath the plate and pushing it repeatedly into an upright position, athletes will be mimicking a handoff and developing strength in their arms and biceps.

Barbell Bench Press

This exercise works the whole chest area as well as the triceps and shoulders, preparing athletes for opponent tackles. Lying on an exercise bench with feet flat on the floor, you should lift the bar up and down in a straight line from the chest upwards, ensuring the lift up and down is controlled at all times.

Barbell Squat

To be a successful rugby player, players need to have a good strong core and balance and have strength in the legs and hips. Repetitive squats done correctly work all these areas, improving the body’s power and stability.

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Managers and players can get team and individual rugby training drills from companies such as suitable for all levels of player.

Mental Training

Visualisation is key to developing confidence in players and preparing the mind for matches. By spending ten minutes in a quiet place, with eyes closed, athletes should practise deep and slow breathing while focusing on the different scenarios that could arise in the game.

Some players use trigger words to help prepare mentally for a match and have these words displayed either as a reminder on their phone or in their training kit or even written on their hand.

A key tactic used in rugby is intimidation, and England players have recently been discussing their response to the New Zealand teams’ traditional Haka, which saw the team fined.

As with all exercises, players should only undertake exercises such as these under supervision and ensure they are carried out correctly so as not to risk injury.

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