Combat workouts

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    Hi Ashley,

    I’ve noticed that boxing, wrestling and fight-type workouts are getting used more and more in rugby, and i’ve seen that you recommend them in most programmes too.

    I’d like to include something like that once a week as a non-running conditioning session but other than using a punch bag in a traditional 1-minute-round format i’m not sure how to approach this style of training.

    Any ideas would be great….

    Thanks, and all the best


    Hi Tom, best to get a real boxing coach to take you through the techincal points so you do not strain your wrists and also a good pair of wraps is essential as well, we have a specialist come in during our off season to take 1 or 2 sessions a week including body sparing, I mainly do a session during season as a cross training session or for lower body injured coming back, here is one of the sessions, cheers, ashley

    Boxing Session

    Warm up 60 seconds each

    Overs/Unders/Hooks then swap with partner then

    L jab for 30 secs then R jab for 30 secs then change

    now build up to a 7 punch combo

    1. L jab/R cross 30 seconds each

    2. L jab/R cross/L upper 60 seconds each

    3. L jab/R cross/L upper/R hook 90 seconds each

    4. L jab/R cross/L upper/R hook/L cross 2 minutes each

    5. L jab/R cross/L upper/R hook/L cross/R upper 2.5 minutes each

    6. L jab/R cross/L upper/R hook/L cross/R upper/L hook 3 minutes each

    then conditioning work:

    1. sit up 1 – 2 punch partner standing on partners feet 90 seconds each

    2. push up 1 – 2 90 seconds each

    3. seated punch over head 90 seconds each

    4. 10 hits and grab 90 seconds each

    then cool down with 3 minutes of shadow boxing


    great, thanks ash. i’ll be giving that a try tomorrow!


    Hi Guys,
    Anybody got any ideas on a good wrestling and grappling conditioning session that includes short interval sprints that could work well for rugby?

    Any you guys use a similar program at your clubs?any thoughts/ideas would be great.

    What are peoples thoughts on the similarities between mma strength and conditioning and that of a rugby program, what stuff could you use from mma to help with rugby?



    3mins of wrestling, in pairs in knees trying to pin partner on their back, change partners on the whistle every 15s.

    Rest for 60s.

    Complete 3 mins of a running drill of your choice

    Rest for 60s.

    Complete a 7 min conditioning game (including a 60s half-time).

    work through 3/4 sets.

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