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Game-changing Training Tips

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Assume rugby is all about scrums and rucks? Not quite. Rethink the beer and get involved...

Let us guess – you spent a lot of time in the gym this summer so you could look good on the beach. And now you’re getting ready for post-summer reality. Things aren’t as bleak as they seem. O2 Touch Fit sessions (developed in conjunction with England Rugby) are a series of workouts to aid not only touch rugby conditioning but also general fitness, and have the backing of England star Danny Care. And meeting new people and going out for drinks with them is a fundamental aspect of the programme.

We spoke to Richard Tidmarsh, owner of Reach Fitness (r4reach.com), to find out the key moves he had the O2 Touch Fit participants doing between pub sessions.

Mobility

Shrimp Roll “Lying on your back, pull your knees into your chest creating a round shape and then roll from your shoulder blades to your sit bones. This opens up your lower back and is great preparation for rugby training.”

Shoulder Bridge “Lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor so you can touch your heels with your fingertips, push your hips up towards the ceiling. This opens up your hips, which is key to improving the way you move.”

Speed & strength

Reptile Crawl “Create a small box-like shape with your hands and feet on the floor, with your knees low to the ground. Staying low and controlled, and with a flat back, create a crawling movement. This is a full-body strength exercise and gets your body used to being under tension.”

Lateral Stepover “Dynamically step from one foot to the other as if you were crossing a small hurdle. This footwork drill increases speed and develops your ability to change direction on the field.”

Conditioning

Bodyweight Squat “With your feet just beyond hip width, squat down to 90 degrees or below, maintaining a flat back with weight driven back into your heels. It’s a simple movement pattern that increases leg strength to make you a more dynamic runner in both attack and defence.”

Crocodile “From a press-up position, drive your knee up to the outside line of your body to the corresponding elbow while twisting through your mid-section. This is a full-body strength and core developer to help injury prevention.”

Power

Gorilla Run “From a crouched position, place your hands on the floor out in front of you and then fluidly drive your feet through to the outside of your hands, popping your chest up to sit back into a crouched position. This helps provide speed on the pitch.”

Aeroplane Hold ”Lying flat on the floor, lift up your feet, with arms out like wings, so that your hips are the only area touching the floor. Back strength is key to power.”

Nutrition

Swap beer for spirits “When you drink beer it alters the chemical balance in your body, attacking your testosterone, which makes it harder to train. Switch to vodka and soda or just tequila. They have a much smaller effect on your body’s chemical make-up.”

Prep your food “Make sure you have your Tupperware prepared the night before along with your gym kit and recovery shake. When you start thinking ahead you become a full package.”

O2 Touch is a fun, sociable way to get fit with centres nationwide. To find your nearest session search ‘O2 Touch’

[Images: Tania Richards, Rex Features]

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