We all know rugby’s a physically demanding sport and if you hope to last a full 80 minutes you better be in good shape. Rugby training programs are a must for both men and women who play at the top level. There is a lot of talk about training differences for the genders. The truth is that training programs should be very similar. At the end of the day though, men and women play rugby on the same pitch and follow the same rules.
With women’s Rugby Union training it is important to consider differences in hormones and metabolism. Because women have lower testosterone levels they will respond differently to weight training. The training principles are the same, but it is important to individualise progression based on their development! Women also have a slower metabolism, making weight loss more difficult. Again this just means it is important to see how they respond to the training and adjust the program based on their capacity.
Female rugby players are also more susceptible to injuries in their lower limbs, especially their knees and that’s why many women’s teams concentrate more on the skills of the game more than the physical aspect of it. It also means that injury-prevention based warm-ups are more important. These warm-ups should prepare women for the training regimen that follows. If the training session is going to include jumping, sprinting, and physical contact, then it’s a good idea to cover these in the warm-up.
It doesn’t matter if you are playing mens or womens Rugby Union, you need a Rugby Union training program to play your best!
Guest post by David Boyle
David Boyle is a Level 3 Master Coach and Board Member of the Australian Strength & Conditioning Association. Visit David Boyle’s website to learn more about him and his Rugby Union Training Programs.