How Do You Warm Up For Rugby?

England backs take part in training. England Rugby training session on November 2, 2010 at Pennyhill Park Hotel in Bagshot, England. [Mandatory Credit: Patrick Khachfe/Onside Images]

A good warm up can be the difference between a great performance on the rugby pitch or smashing a personal record in the weight room. Every rugby player understands the importance of warming up before a match or training session but still so many players either skip it or do a half ass job.

In this article we will show you exactly how to warm up so every time you are training rugby you are fired up and you are to perform to your full potential.

How do you warm up for rugby?

The best way to warm up for a rugby match or training session is to use the RAMP (range of motion, activation, movement preparation, potentiation) system. Perform dynamic stretching (leg swings), then bodyweight exercises (sit ups), then specific exercises similar to those performed during training and some explosive movements (tuck jumps).

The RAMP Warm Up for Rugby

The RAMP warmup was designed to get rugby players ready to conquer any physical challenge placed in front of them. After you perform this routine you should experience a significant improvement in your range of motion, how responsive and explosive your body is on the rugby pitch.

The RAMP warmup consists of the following 4 parts:

R: Range Of Motion

A: Activation

M: Movement Preparation

P: Potentiation

It is time to dive into these 4 parts so any rugby player can fully understand why this warm up is so effective and how to utilise it.

Range of Motion

The first stage of the warm up is all about loosening up your body and moving your joints and muscle through full range of motion. To achieve this we use dynamic stretching. Studies have shown that dynamic stretching is not only effective at improving rugby players’ flexibility but also increases power output and neuromuscular activation.

You can perform a variety of dynamic stretches based on your own body needs and where you feel tight. When stretching for rugby special attention should be given to a player’s knees, back, shoulders, hips, hamstrings and ankles.


The next stage of the warm up is focused on getting your muscles firing optimally so they are capable of generating power and strength when you need it most on the rugby pitch. 

Rugby players should perform exercises that engage their abs, shoulders, back, quads and glutes. If you get these muscles firing correctly before your rugby training session you should see a big difference in the power output you are capable of.

The secret to this part of the warm up is to stress the muscle enough to wake it up but not enough to fatigue it. Body weight exercises or bands are usually your best bet. Sit ups, push ups, shoulder bridge, Judo push ups and superman back extension are all great for getting a rugby athlete’s muscles firing.

Movement Preparation

By now you should feel pretty good, your body is comfortable moving through a full range of motion and your muscles are ready to respond to the rigours of rugby. Now it is time to get specific. 

During this phase of the warm up you need to perform movements that closely mirror the movements you will be undertaking during your rugby training session. The purpose of this part of the warm up is to prepare your body for the specific stress you are going to put on it.

If you are about to be involved in a contact rugby training session then a great exercise to perform is pummelling. This will warm up your shoulders, arms and back and get you used to making contact with your teammates.


At the end of your warm up it is time to wake up your central nervous system and get those fast twitch muscle fibres involved. The best warm up exercises include tuck jumps, bounding broad jumps, bounding running and sprints.


To implement the Ramp system effectively pick 3 exercises from each section and follow the order layed out, starting with range of motion and finishing with potentiation.

The Ramp warm up system is highly effective for rugby players and will help ensure you feel great on the rugby field and your body is powerful, quick and highly responsive. Just make sure you don’t turn this warm up into a workout and fatigue yourself, keep it light and use it as preparation for rugby training.

Recent Posts