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James Haskell // Monster workout

England's James Haskell is big. Like, really big. If you want to achieve his size and agility with one workout, then you're in luck. Here, you'll find a full-body workout using a range of dynamic movements that engage and build up your arms, shoulders, legs and foot speed.

Here, the England man gives you six exercises to help you smash your opponents on the rugby field. Start with one, or both, of the Olympic lift variations to work the upper body strength, then move onto the two supersets – one for strength and conditioning, and one for mobility and agility. Smash out one superset, rest for a minute, then go again until you’re done with the reps.

James Haskell workout 1 ()

 

Hang clean to jerk
Both of these work the shoulders and build explosive power in the upper body and from the hips, helping you to enter contact on the field with more aggression and more impact.

1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and lift the weight to the hang position. Keep focusing on your leg and foot positions.

2. Put your weight through your heel, and use a good hip drive to lift to your collarbone. Purists would have the elbows higher and the fingers back.

3. Bend knees, split feet – plant one forward with flat sole, and keep rear knee bent – then explosively drive the weight off the shoulder. This should all be one fast movement.

Hang pull
Here, it’s more important to nail the technique than to be beasting yourself as quick as possible. Again, your hips and shoulders are prepping for big impacts.

1. Again, get your feet shoulder-width apart and lift the weight to the hang position. Take the weight through your heels, and prepare for a drive because this is more explosive.

2. Come forward into position, and really drive the bar up so it’s on line with the top of your shoulders. If you struggle to get it that high in one fast movement, lower the weight.

3. Lower slowly to your start position. This is an explosive movement, so you should take maybe three seconds from start to finish. Steady yourself, breathe, and go again.

James Haskell workout 3 ()

 

Press-up power bag steals
It’s all about mobility. If you don’t have a powerbag, use a medicine ball or whatever you have around. 

1. Drop down into a normal press-up position on the powerbag. This is meant to replicate a tackle, so be sure to get low to the ground.

2. Rise out of the press-up position in one fluid movement. This isn’t a normal press-up, you’re imagining that you are pushing yourself up from a tackle, so be quick.

3. Now leap to your feet and throw your arms out – this is to indicate to the referee in a game that you have released the man, so it’s important to get used to doing this before…

4. …reaching down and grabbing the bag up in one fluid movement. You have to pick the ball up to win the battle on the floor, so grab the bag and rip it upwards. That’s one rep.

James Haskell workout 2 ()

 

Prowler push
These are useful for a rugby player to get body position and power aligned. Don’t use massive weights too early on – you want to be able to push at a decent pace. The aim is building an explosive leg drive, so make sure your strides aren’t too short.

Stand with a low body position, as if you’re driving into contact or in a scrum. Drive the prowler 10m, ensuring it is completed at a decent pace. You want big strides, but fairly fast ones.

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