Every youtube video I ever see of someone lifting is guaranteed one thing.


Keyboard warriors

Incorrect form

These guys get rid of their personal self-doubts by criticising others in one of two ways:


  1. Saying their “form” is bad
  2. Saying they’re on steroids

(Sidenote: notice the different use for the words their and they’re?!… ok… remember it)


We’ll talk about the 2nd point some other time, because today we’re going to discuss form.


Form is what an exercise should look like…

If the exercise is in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding, there will be demonstration pictures of the “perfect form”.

If it’s something in a programme we’ve written in the Rugby Muscle Academy, we’ll have a video of it in our Exercise Video Database and say that is “what the exercise should look like”.


But I’ve talked about how everything in rugby is individual:

  • Diet
  • Programmes
  • Gameday

And the truth is, the same should be said about exercise form.


Yes, there are ways to do exercises to get the most out of them.

There are also certainly ways that you need to do exercises to avoid injury.

(There is also ways to do it which is asking for injury. So if you want to see a guy almost shit his spine out there is a link at the bottom of the page)


But there are a few key factors that will greatly change what the best “form” for an exercise actually is.


Body Type

Unfortunately we don’t all have the exact same dimensions like this:


There are people who have extremely long limbs and some people that have short T-Rex-like arms (me), and there are people in between.

This means that the very way we move will be different.

Couple this with the fact that we will all have different levels of mobility and flexibility, and we’ll have a bunch of different looking movements that will all be labelled as the same.


Lets use front squats and an example:

sherri-front-squat Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 07.36.12

4 different bodies, 4 very different ways of doing front squats.

To perform a front squat like the guy with red plates you need:

– Good wrist mobility (not like the other guy)

– Good hip mobility (not like the hot chick… don’t ask me which one that is…)

– Good ankle mobility (not like the first woman)


Goal Of Exercise


For rugby players, lifting is a means to an end, not an end itself.

Put another way, the main reason that you lift weights is because to get stronger for rugby, NOT because you want to lift more and more weights!

You’re a rugby player, not a powerlifter, crossfitter or bodybuilder.

power-lifter cross-fit-3ilya-upright

The way you’ll perform a bench press may be different from a powerlifter or a bodybuilder.


The way you’ll do pull-ups SHOULD be different from the way a crossfitter.


"Yeah please put all that movement through me"  -said No lower back ever
“Yeah please put all that movement through me” -said No lower back ever


Everybody is a special little snowflake when it comes to specifics. The basics hold true that we all need to have our food in line, we all need to lift weights and we all need to work on our rugby skills sets. But the way you go about them should be whatever works best for you and gets you to where you need to be.

This might mean the if you’re a bit beat up then you might have to take out bench pressing and do something else (I’m sure there is some sort of counselling you can get for the bro!).

Don’t feel that there is an absolute way that to do any movement. As long as you’re safe you do what gets the best results for you and forget what that 60 kilo personal trainer at the gym tells you about the dangers of squatting.

(PS – here’s the link for the skinny guy almost shitting his spine out deadlifting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpdhBROLcBU)