Fitting in fitness: How to shape up for rugby without a personal trainer

By Laura Brannon, Personal Trainer for O2 Biz Rugby

Each year, the crème de la crème of UK business executives go head to head in the hallowed Twickenham arena in an epic touch rugby battle. A sudden mass career change? Not so. It’s the annual O2 Biz Rugby 6-a-side tournament, and I’ll be there to offer my professional advice to all those competing on 12th May. But before then, here are my top tips for getting in shape without the help of a dedicated personal trainer.

Prepare yourself

Getting your body ready for four hours of touch rugby isn’t something that happens overnight. You wouldn’t walk into an important client meeting without doing your homework first, would you? Of course not. Nor would you feel confident marching out onto the pitch if you hadn’t done some considerable preparation. So start building up your endurance now with power walking, jogging, and light resistance training. No time for the gym? Get acquainted with the stairs at your office and do some gentle laps of the building while you’re on a conference call.

You’ll need to start your groundwork well in advance, and it’s particularly important for those who are participating for the first time. Being well-prepared will help prevent strains and pains on the day, improve your performance, and help you get into the right mindset for the challenge.

Flexibility is key

In touch rugby, just as in the workplace, the best performers are those who know how to be flexible. To avoid a defender or successfully dodge a tackle, it’s possible that your body will become twisted and contorted at unusual angles – meaning that you risk pulling muscles.

Stretching is one of the most under-utilised techniques for preventing sports injury, so it’s a great place to start your preparation. Here are three of the best stretches to prepare your body for rugby, and they’re quick and easy enough to fit around a busy working day. Make sure you repeat them regularly and on both sides to get the best results.

Shoulder Stretch: Place one hand over your shoulder behind your back, then reach up between your shoulder blades with your other hand so that your hands meet.

Kneeling Quad Stretch: Kneel down on one knee with your other foot flat on the floor. Hold on to something to keep your balance, then push your hips forward to raise your knee off the floor.

Adductor Stretch: Stand with your feet wide apart and slowly lean to one side to bend your knee, ensuring the opposite leg stays straight and both heels remain on the ground. Then lean slightly forward.

So there you have it – a few easy steps to make sure you’re at the top of your game on the pitch. Follow @O2BusinessUK on Twitter to keep up to date on all the #o2bizrugby action.