Best Cardio Exercises to Improve Fitness For Rugby
Everyone that has stepped onto a rugby pitch to play will be aware of just how challenging the game is in terms of stamina and fitness. If you are a part-time amateur player, it can seem virtually impossible to keep your cardiovascular fitness at its best. Here are some great ways to mix up your training and improve your fitness for rugby.
On Your Bike
Cycling is a form of exercise that is often overlooked. A road bike is a great way to train as your local area will offer a range of surfaces and inclines, but if you are only available to train after dark or do not fancy being out on the roads, the stationary bikes in the gym can work to your advantage too. Interval training is the buzz word of the year, and this applies as much to the bike as to anywhere. Basically this means varying your intensity levels. Rather than just cycling flat out or forcing yourself to struggle up the steepest incline level you want to be mixing it up a bit. Always warm up before you hit the main session but then aim to go for full intensity for about three minutes then switch to a more chilled ride for 3 minutes. Repeat this cycle a few times before cooling down. Intensity training means workouts are shorter in terms of time but a higher impact on the system making them efficient.
On Your Legs
Clearly, you will need to run during the game, so this needs to form part of your cardio training. Again looking at the interval training principle, you can use either circuit training or the run/walk/run principle. This still gives you a really high intensity work out that really improves endurance. A game lasts 80 minutes, so you need to be building up your body so that you are able to be strong from the first moment to the last, and not just hanging on adrenalin come the end as this is when injuries happen.
Cardiovascular exercise is termed to be anything that elevates the heart rate sufficiently so that it is working at between 60 and 80% of the maximum intensity. A cardio workout needs to be longer than 20 minutes but anything over 40 minutes is actually overworking the body. Training games are useful because they give you a real-time feeling for how fit you are and should highlight areas where you might need to work a bit smarter. In order to avoid injury you need to make sure that you warm up properly before you really go for it, and remembering to stretch when you finish is also paramount. There is no easy way to get to peak fitness levels, it is a long haul, and you will need to be prepared to put in regular work. However, the smart training methods all do now incorporate interval work as this has been proven to be the most effective way to get results as quickly as possible.