WIN THOSE HEADERS
More after the break
Tom Wood, back row line-out king
Set-up: Tie a bungee cord around your waist and have your partner hold the other end to the ground, creating tension.
Technique: Start in a squat position and explode upwards. Drive your feet into the ground and burst upwards, taking the force up through your body to achieve maximum elevation.
What to do: 3 reps, 3 sets, 2-3 times per week.
How it helps: Building the strength in your legs will boost your leaps for aerial challenges.
SHRUG OFF MARKERS
Andrew Sheridan, powerhouse prop
Technique: Jam one end of a barbell into the angle between the wall and floor. Grip the other end with a hand above the weights. Start slightly squatting, with the barbell at shoulder height and your arm at a right angle. Explode up through the legs and shoulders, extending your arm, pushing the barbell away.
What to do: 4–6 reps, 2-3 sets, 2-3 times per week.
How it works: A powerful upper body absorbs impact and helps you to shrug off markers.
Shontayne Hape, swivel-hipped centre
Set-up: Mark out a square using four cones. In one corner stands a defender, in the other stands an attacker. Starting without the football, the attacker tries to side-step the defender and reach the scoring zones. Try to suck the defender in and at the last possible moment, drop your shoulder and explode in the other direction. Progress drill by introducing a ball.
What to do: Introduce to your pre-match warm-up or training sessions.
How it helps: Fine-tuning your change of direction and footwork will help you evade those last-ditch tackles.