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Rugby Tip of the Month – At Home Strength Exercises, Part 4

Tight 5 Tips from a Weight Lifting Titan, Strength Coach Ed Cosner

As a way to continue my recent education, I reached out to legendary Strength Coach Ed Cosner in an effort to broaden my depth of knowledge for coaching different positions, more specifically, Tight 5 athletes. Coach Cosner is a former World Champion Power Lifter, former World Champion Highland Games athlete and has worked with athletes in every professional sports league. As the current strength coach for NOLA Gold, specializing on Tight 5 player development, I asked Coach Cosner one simple questions:

“What exercises do you feel translate best for Tight 5 athletes?”

“Without a doubt, it would have to be the Squat and the Power (or Hang) Clean. When done correctly, and safely, these two exercises can 1) improve the athletes’ ability to get into and  maintain a strong scrum profile and 2) generate and absorb the forces similar to what will be necessary in the scrum.  To truly execute both movements means the athlete needs proper mobility at the ankle, hip and lower back while maintaining stability in their knees and upper back. Without those, their scrum technique will be jeopardized anyway, so they might as well put a lot of focus into making sure their form is close to flawless. And if it’s not, they should work to get it there!”

Ben ready for 135kg clean from the blocks Photo Credit: James (Red) McLeod of Whero Films

Ed Squat:

Are you a Tight 5 athlete that wants to connect with Coach Cosner? You can follow or send a DM to him on Instagram (@TIght5Performance) or Facebook (@PowerSportStrengthConditioning).

Want to connect with Coach Cosner directly? Send an email to with TIGHT 5 in the subject line. 

Justin Goonan, MSc, CSCS Strength & Conditioning, Sports Performance Consultant USA Rugby – Director of S&C, High School All-Americans USA Touch – Head of Athlete Performance NSCA – Chairman, Rugby Special Interest Group


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