Imagine Rugby Blogs

Weightlifting for rugby fitness - the back squat

Increase strength in your legs and lower back

Posted Sep 06, 2010 by Tips and Techniques

The back squat

This week we're going to look at a training technique that will help develop strength of your legs and lower back so when you go out onto the rugby pitch you are in top condition. We're going to focus on weightlifting for rugby fitness, and in particular, the back squat - a simple yet effective training technique.

In rugby, strength is crucial and can take your game onto the next level. The squat is an excellent strength development exercise for the whole body, in particular the legs and the lower back. It is very good for developing overall strength for the various movement patterns in the rugby.

How to do the back squat properly:

1. Step into the rack, get into a comfortable position with your grip, the bar is going to sit across the fleshy part of your traps. Don't put it onto the spine of your neck.

2. Stand up straight out of the rack and take one step back.

3. Get comfortable with the feet shoulder width apart with toes slightly pointing out. Stand in a perfectly straight line through the ear lobe, the shoulder, the hip, the knee and the ankle.

4. Initiate movement, squat down, press back up through heels, into full standing position driving your hips forward. Your head stay in good position and the back should stay flat and the knees will track out over line of the toes.

5. At bottom, ensure the hip crease is below the line of knee-cap for full squat, the weight is through the heels and your feet are flat on the floor.

6. Repeat five times.

7. To finish, come up, take one step in, touch on upright and lower onto bar.

Be aware of the common faults. You should avoid doing these:

1. Feet pop off floor

2. Knees drop in mid-line

3. Back often rounds in squat, must stay strong

4. Head rises up. Imagine you've got a tennis ball under your chin you're trying to keep in position.

Remember that poor form often leads to injury and always seek professional help if you don't know what you're doing. Enjoy and good luck.

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