The importance of warming up and cooling down

The importance of warming up and cooling down

Warming up before exercise and cooling down afterwards are two of the most crucial elements of training and match days. If you want to get the best performance from your body and minimise the risk of injury, you must take these elements seriously. Here is an excellent warm up for your players, to get them ready for action:

The Triangle

This game is perfect for warming up before routine training or a match. Passing and catching skills are equally practised but it also warms up the brain too, focusing the players on effective awareness. As a player is preparing to run, they must know where they are heading, when they go, who to receive from and where they will pass to. For more Rugby Training drills, visit

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Equipment needed

12 or more players

3 cones

1 ball

Mark out a triangle with the 3 cones to set up the playing area. Each side should be approximately 12 metres apart. The rule is that the ball must be passed backwards for the whole game.

Split your group into 3 equal teams with each group lined up behind each of the 3 cones. It’s helpful to number the cones 1, 2 and 3.

The front player of cone 2 starts with the ball and on the whistle, runs forward, as does the front player of cone 1.

While they run, the player with the ball completes an onside pass back to the running player from cone 1. The cone 1 player must then pass back to the front player from cone 3, who will have delayed their run until they are the mid-point between cones. All running players rejoin the lines from the player they just passed to.

The pattern is repeated with the cone 3 player passing back to the next player in line from cone 1. The game continues in the same fashion, with the aim that the ball always stays roughly at the mid-point of the triangle.

The game can be adapted to make it more challenging by increasing the number of players involved. You can also make the triangle bigger which puts added pressure onto the players to make accurate and longer passes.

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After training or match day, a cool-down is just as important as the warm-up. It provides the body with a steady transition from rigorous exercise to a state of rest. It helps to reduce heart and breathing rates, gradually bringing body temperature down and returning muscles to their correct tension. It helps to stop blood pooling in the lower body which could result in dizzy feelings or fainting. Cooling down stretches are vital for returning your body’s systems to a steady baseline rate and can afford injury to muscles.



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