• This topic is empty.
Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Author
  • #23447

    Hello All,

    Given the unique nature of scrummaging, and of the physical stresses that it places on the body, do any of coaches have their props do anything “unique” in terms of training compared to other positions?

    To me scrummaging is a kind mixture of a squat/good mornings/deadlifts whilst wrestling, with strength and power needed for anywhere from 10-30 seconds, depending on how long the ball stays in the scum.

    Obviously good posterior chain strength and power (plus neck strength) is paramount, based on squats, good mornings, deadlifts, glute ham raises. However do you play with sets, reps, foot positions, isometrics, or any particular drills to specifically help prop with scrummaging?

    And given the similarities between heavy squatting and scrummaging, should props be coached to breath as if they are heavy squatting and “push” stomach out during each scrum to protect their backs?



    I condition my front row forwards much the same as most of the other front five players. Working along the main principles that you mentioned: heavy squatting, deadlifting-emphasis on posterior chain development. They also supplement this with a good neck programme. In terms of breathing in a specific way-i dont do this. Probably they best training they can do is scrummaging practice. Once I make them strong I leave skill development to the experts-rugby coaches.


    I’ve been employed as a specialist scrum coach for the past 3 years and agree wit what’s already been said. Especially Tom’s stuff about heavy in the gym and leave it to the technical side.

    It annoys me though when coaches create scrum specific core work for players in field sessions. I can only assume this is a time issue and ensures the players are getting some ‘core’ work in, for those who don’t go to they gym themselves. Personally, I really like the levels of core strength training as discussed by Jim Smith in Combat Core. Essentially, build a base before SPP and execution in sport.

    Funny you mentioned the “pushing out”/hoop tension issue, its something I’m hoping to play around with with one of the squads I coach. I think it could work well for engagement and the initial shove, but not sure after that ie resetting with weight coming through.


    Forgot to mention in the first post is another aspect. I like to refer to the idea/ quote about westside barbell using GMs 70% of the time for ME squat workouts. Training for chaos and the GM imitating the most chaotic position in a squat. Now can you think of anything in world sport as chaotic as a scrum?
    You get push forward, backwards, up and down all at the same time, not to mention twisted in many way. In a squat you stand on flat ground with flat shoes, unrack out of a monolift, squat and re-rack into a monolift. That is a fairly controlled environment compared to a scrum (or most aspects of rugby) if you ask me. Therefore, some aspect of your strength work or core work needs to contain an element of chaos training.


    could you please give examples of chaos training for scrums?


    @prop 1286 wrote:

    could you please give examples of chaos training for scrums?

    The most obvious stuff that comes to mind is strongman type stuff. Yokes, farmers, axle clean and press etc. Its not necessarily going to mimic scrum specific positions, but compared to 30 seconds of planks, I think you get the idea. Also simple things like odd objects and sandbags.


    I do not believe there is any specific exercises for “chaos training”
    for the scrum, as I do not think there are any rugby specific exercises
    as much as some position and head coaches would like there to be, get
    them strong and powerful, fast and aerobically/anaerobically conditioned
    and let the coach give them the skills and the tactics, although I do
    love the Zercher lift and squat and the combo good morning movements for
    my front 3, cheers, ashley


    One thing we have found with throwers is that cable/band pull throughs with a strong explosive drive hams-glutes-lower back combined with reverse hypers (band resistance) great for working those lower back-posterior chain drivers while offering a degree of (compression) offloading to the spine

    we use these when we feel the athletes need a little more “spinal recovery”

    May be of benefit in season when recovering from heavy scrumming??


    Onspeed, I have used similar approaches with our fast bowlers when bowling volume increases are starting to meet the increases in intensity (ball speed & run up velocity) during preparation blocks. (LxS stress is a big risk factor with this type of athlete)
    I find it is a nice way to keep up the stimulus to the posterior chain while reducing compressive loading to LxS as well as reducing pelvic shear from excessive unilateral loading during this tricky crossover period with skill progression.
    Not sure about the application to scrummaging, not exactly my area I am afraid. Look forward to further discussions on this type of stuff. Keep up the good work,


    Nice Aaron

    interestingly throwers suffer similar lumbar injuries as fast bowlers … L4 and L5 very vulnerable and spondylol. a common observation

    Love the cross sport stuff .. its good fertile ground

    thanks mate

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.