How To Jump Higher For Rugby? – The Best Exercises To Increase Vertical Jumping Ability

If you want to dominate at lineout time or be unbeatable in the air under the high ball then you need to have a great vertical jump. Exercises that build jumping ability are often neglected by rugby players who often opt for strength building exercises over power focuses movements. In this article we will give you the best exercises that will have you leaping over your opposition on the rugby field.

How to jump higher for rugby?

To jump higher in rugby you need to perform strength exercises that will improve your explosive leg power. The best exercises are power clean, box squat barbell jumps and vertical jumps. If you perform these exercises 2 to 3 times a week your vertical jump will skyrocket.

The Best Exercises For Rugby Athletes To Increase Their Vertical Jump:

Vertical jump ability is closely related to your explosive power and speed. To increase your vertical jump you need to train exercises which develop your explosiveness. Here are the best exercises rugby players need to perform if they want to become more dynamic and jump higher.

Box Squat

The box squat is great for increasing your power output because as you touch the box you are forced to stop and explosively change directions to complete the squat. The box squat is great for developing your glutes and hamstrings, much more than a traditional squat. The stronger your glutes and hamstrings are the higher you will jump.

The goal for rugby players is to be able to box squat 2x bodyweight. Once you hit this standard you should see obvious improvement in your vertical jump numbers.

Power Clean

Olympic weightlifting is all about speed and explosiveness. There is a reason Olympic weightlifters have some of the highest vertical jump numbers of any athletes. The clean mimics a jump as the athlete starts crouched down with their legs loaded before standing upright and exploding upwards using the quads, hips and arms to propel the bar upwards.  If you want to be able to soar through the air you need to be hang cleaning. 

Barbell Jumps

Barbell jumps are one of the most effective exercises to increase jumping height and speed. Track and field athletes have been using this exercise for years to bolster their jumping ability. Coaches discovered that barbell jumps have the most carryover to vertical jump performance than any other exercise.

You do not need to use high amounts of weight for barbell jumps. You should start off with just a 20kg Olympic bar and then slowly add weight. Even an advanced athlete would typically not use more than 60kg to 70kg for this exercise. You can perform barbell jumps once or twice a week for 6 sets of 4 reps.

Vertical Jump

Specificity is the name of the game. If you want to get better at a particular skill then you need to practice it. By performing vertical jumps you will teach your body how to use all that power you have developed by doing the aforementioned exercises.

Jumping ability isn’t only about power levels, by practicing vertical jumps you will also improve your technique which will have your jumping numbers skyrocketing.

Vertical Jump For Rugby Players Training Routine:

Day 1: Monday/Tuesday

A) Box Squat 3 Sets x 3 Reps Progressive 90% 1RM

(3min Rest Between Sets)

B1) Barbell Jumps 6 Sets x 4 Reps Progressive 20 to 30%  Squat 1RM

(2min Rest)

B2) Vertical Jump 6 Sets x 4 Reps

(2min Rest Between Sets)

C) Posterior Chain Exercises of Choice 3 Sets x 6 Reps

Day 2: Thursday

A) Hang Clean 6 Sets x 3 Reps @ 80% 1RM

(2min Rest Between Sets)

B1) Barbell Jumps 6 Sets x 4 Reps Progressive 20 to 30%  Squat 1RM

(2min Rest)

B2) Tuck Jump 6 Sets x 4 Reps

(2min Rest Between Sets)

C) Bounding Broad Jump 6 Sets x 4 Reps


If you are a rugby player who wants to improve their jumping ability you need to increase your ability to generate explosive power through performing the aforementioned exercises and improve your jumping technique by practicing different jumps such as tuck jumps, broad jumps and finally the vertical jump.

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