Power in the Scrum

March 23, 2017

Crouch… Bind… Set!

You’re in the front row and need that little bit extra push to gain that ever vital possession at the scrum. What can we do as an individual and team of front rowers to gain that advantage? Keep in mind, many a game has been won or lost through a team’s ability to be successful, and at times devastating in the scrum.

Winning the scrum is a combination of speed, power, core strength and explosiveness, focusing mainly around the shoulders, neck, back, core and legs. And of course the accurately executing the vital techniques of the scrum.

It’s as much about what we put into our gym work as we do on the training field. Here’s a little insight into how we can gain that extra while in the weights room.

The push is all about upper body strength and power, meaning front row players spend time developing the muscles within the neck, shoulders, back and chest.

Core strength and stabilityis vital in preventing injuries and maintaining the square, stable position required to safely compete in the scrum. A player with a smaller frame may be able to compete and even gain an advantage over a much larger opponent by having a strong core.

Squatting; leg strength is required in order to maintain the stability and balance in a scrum keeping the legs in a bent position.

Hip hinge: to prevent injuries, achieving the correct posture and bending of the hips is vital in preventing collapsing the scrum and risking other player’s safety. A good strong hip hinge allows flexibility and strength reducing the risk of damaging the vertebrae. 

Grip strength on the bindstrong grip and holding is important in the scrum as it is the bind which holds it all together and in place.

On to the fun bit now.

I’m assuming as a non-professional player you’ll train with the club up to twice per week, maybe allowing for one gym session a week to provide adequate rest leading into a game at the weekend.

So in that one session we want to maximise results potential that will positively benefit your game day performance.


Muscle groups

Sets x reps*

Application to scrum

Barbell deadlifts

Core, back, shoulders, glutes whole legs, grip


Hip hinge, push and stabilisation/ core, Bind

Plyometric push ups

Pectorals, deltoids, core, biceps and triceps

3x max reps

Core strength and explosive push

Barbell squats

Core, hips, glutes, whole legs

3x12 (1 set narrow stance, mid stance and wide stance)

Squatting, core strength and hip hinge

Dumbbell standing overhead press (single arm)

Core, deltoids, explosive power through legs, grip


Pushing, bind

Kettlebell 2 hand swings (if no kettlebell available use single dumbbell)

Explosive strength through legs, hips and core, stamina

1 x 30

Stamina, explosive strength, core and grip

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