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Fitness Requirements for Rugby - flanker

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Introduction

Fitness Requirements for Rugby - flanker Health Related Cardio-Respiratory Endurance --> Cardio-respiratory endurance is the heart's ability to deliver blood to working muscles and their ability to use it. It is related to the VO2 Max, this is the volume of oxygen you can consume while exercising at your maximum capacity, and the strength of your heart. It is very important for back-row players in rugby, because they and the scrum half probably work the hardest during the game. If their cardio-respiratory endurance were low, they would not be able to sustain a high enough level of work to be effective throughout the game. _________________________________________________________________ Muscular Endurance --> Muscular endurance is defined as the ability to exert a force many times over; it is strongly linked to cardio-respiratory endurance because even if the muscle is strong enough to continue, it cannot work if it hasn't enough oxygen or glucose. It is particularly important in rugby especially during long periods of play when there is no break between rucks and mauls. ...read more.

Middle

Therefore it is important for a flanker to have as low a body fat percentage as possible. Skill Related Agility Agility is the ability to change the direction of the body in an efficient and effective manner. This is especially important for backs in rugby whilst running with the ball, but is less important for my position. However it can be important when making tackles. If the opponent is trying to side step before I make a tackle, I will have to quickly move my body in order to tackle him as he changes direction. _________________________________________________________________ Balance --> Balance is the ability to maintain equilibrium when stationary of moving (i.e. not to fall over) through the co-ordinated actions of our sensory functions (eyes, ears and the proprioceptive organs in our joints). It is important for forwards to keep their balance in rucks or scrums, whilst putting all their strength into pushing. If they lose balance in one of these situations, they could give away a penalty. Also when being tackled it is important for all players to be able to keep their balance for as long as possible and to be able to fall to the ground safely and in strong positions so that the ball can be recycled. ...read more.

Conclusion

The ball can move halfway across the pitch in a split-second, so to act towards these changing situations efficiently I have to react to them instantly. It is particularly important to flankers, as most of their work is at the breakdown where the ball is most unpredictable. If the ball is lost and is rolling on the floor in one of these situations, it is the flanker's job to dive on the ball and protect it from the opposition. _________________________________________________________________ Speed --> Speed is the ability to move all or part of the body quickly. It can be over a very short distance: this is important for the wingers and other running backs when sprinting past or round defenders or running back to cover. This kind of speed is related to the ATP-PC system. Speed over a longer distance is more important for flankers and other back-row players, to follow the ball all over the pitch so they can be at every breakdown as quickly as possible. It works hand in hand with cardio-respiratory endurance. Speed is also be a combination of them both. Both of these parts are integral parts of fitness for any standard of rugby. Andrew MacKay - 10SM 1 ...read more.

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