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Rugby Tip of the Month – Summertime Strength & Conditioning recommendations for HS athletes

Guest Post, Justin Goonan, Universal Sports Strength & Conditioning


Summer is a great time to increase your strength & conditioning, especially if you are headed to some recruiting camps or high-profile tournaments. Here are a few things to consider, regardless of your practice or competition level, when thinking about a summer workout routine:

-Schedule Any S&C training should prepare you for, and work within, your sports practice or competition. Be careful not to overload your body on the same or consecutive days. Taking a day for rest and recovery could be a better decision, long-term, than squeezing in one more workout.

-Goal A summer football 4-day workout routine may not be the best option if you attend rugby training 2-3 nights each week plus tournaments on weekends. As competitors, we want to continue improving. However, trying to make gains at the wrong time of year could leave your body vulnerable to overreaching (short term) or overtraining (long term). Be sure the program you use aligns with your immediate, and long-term, goals.

-Accuracy There is no “one size fits all” program. Workout routines need to be adjusted based on your experience level, health (have you been injured recently?), and technique.  The weight room should be used to reduce, not increase, your risk of injury. Ask a certified strength and conditioning specialist to walk you through some basic movements that are safe and effective for you, personally.

-Adaptability Great workouts can be done without the use of any weight room or gym equipment, so going on vacation or working a summer job is no excuse. Modifying simple bodyweight exercises (squats, push-ups, pull-ups) is a great way to increase or decrease workout intensity based on different training goals. Plus, it is much easier to gather family members, friends, or teammates who can motivate and challenge you to work harder.

-Best practices Young athletes are easy targets for social media and marketing advertisements because they can be attracted to new, cool-looking ideas. The pressure of being a “top lifter” leads individuals to believe they must lift the most weight or reach a PR. But, just like with rugby skills, your long term potential can be restricted if your technical foundation is not established properly. Programs such as yoga or pilates once or twice per week improve your body’s mobility and flexibility.  Use swimming or other cross-training activities to prevent overuse injuries, as well as mental burnout. These key details, along with proper nutrition and recovery, can protect you from major injuries while allowing your body to perform at its best.”

Looking for personalized S & C training? Reach out to Justin for a consultation and make this summer your best yet!


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