Coach Terry's Corner - The Rugby Blog

If At First You Don't Succeed Listen To Your Rugby Coach
Pull-up for explosive power in rugby players
5 Jul 2017

How to do Pull-up for Power Rugby Players

Why do I need to do pull-ups? This is the most common reaction I get from rugby players when I tell them to do pull-ups and chin-ups.

Pull-ups and Chin-ups help you with explosive speed. Pull-ups work mostly your latissimus dorsi, biceps brachii, and your infraspinatus muscles. Secondary muscles that are worked with pull-ups to a lesser degree are the lower trapezius, the pectoralis major, the erector espinae, and the external obliques.

When you want explosive speed your body’s fitness needs to be balanced. Meaning both the upper body and lower body must be at the same physical strength. You may know rugby players with big muscular thighs, a beer belly who lack upper body strength that can’t explode in a sprint down the field. Pull-ups are a great exercise for balancing upper body strength, especially the back, with lower body strength.

Pull-up in 4 steps:

1. Grab a bar with a grip slightly wider than shoulder width, with your hands facing away from you.
2. Hang all the way down. Bend your knees if you need to in order to be able to hang by your hands.
3. Pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar. After a slight pause, lower yourself back down keeping your knees bent.
4. Concentrate on isolating your back and biceps. Do not swing your legs or body.

I am often asked what the difference is between a Pull-up and a chin-up. A Pull-up means that your hands face away from you in your grip which is slightly wider than your shoulders to work your lats. Your goal is to get your head as far above the bar as you can. A Chin-up means that your hands face towards you in your grip that is no wider than shoulder-width and although the Chin-up also works your back, it emphasizes your biceps more.

As players get stronger at Pull-ups some like to grip a weight between their knees

Get to it NOW.

Coach Terry


REMEMBER: Before starting any new exercise routines please check with your medical provider and clear your new exercise plan with them before beginning. This is especially true if you haven’t been exercising for some time or are recovering from an injury. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on T.V.


Power Rugby weight bar divider


Click on this image to sign up and get your free PowerhouseRugby fitness guide and tracker

Need help getting started towards your power rugby fitness goals?

The Powerhouse Rugby weekly newsletter seeks to supply you with the top rugby fitness drills, nutritional suggestions, and advice from coaches and players to help make your rugby goals a reality.

When you sign up for the newsletter, we’ll send you our free training guide and workout tracker which includes this exercise drill and more.

Click on the image to the left to sign up today!