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Fitness Testing For Rugby Essay

2657 words - 11 pages

The purpose of this assignment is to provide an appropriate fitness assessment for a rugby union player. An effective fitness assessment should provide essential information regarding players’ match fitness and reveal what fitness programs need prescribing. In order for a test to be effective it must reflect the specific demands of the sport. Each test was chosen due to its specificity in relation to the demands of rugby union competition. An understanding of the client will be made clear through a PAR-Q which will provide the relative information for both personal and medical.

Rugby consists of two forty minute halves played with some injury time (Nicholas, 1997). The ball remains in plays for only 25 to 29 minutes, and physiological demands of rugby are of an intermittent nature, and vary depending on the position played (McLean, 1992).

Body size influences the speed, power and endurance of rugby players (Withers et al., 1987). Forwards also require greater body mass than backs; players involved in the scrum need to be strongly built and heavy to withstand and apply forces while scrummaging (Milburn, 1990). Body composition is measured due to the belief that excess body fat is associated with negative performance. This is based on Newton’s second law, which specifies, increases in fat mass without increase in muscle force will reduce acceleration. Furthermore, the displacement of fat mass requires extra energy, causing an increase in the cost of exercise (Duthie, 2006). Therefore, excessive body fat can negatively affect speed, acceleration and economy of movement. The Durnin and Womersley skinfold technique (1974) provides the most valid and reliable method of assessing an individual’s body fat compared to the gold standard method, hydrostatic weighing, with a standard error of 3 to 4% (ACSM, 2006). This method measures the thickness of subcutaneous fat at four sites; the biceps, triceps, supra-illiac, and subscapular (Durnin & Womersley, 1974). However, it is difficult to compare body fat percentages, due to the different measurement error associated with each method (Duthie et al., 2003). These limitations lead researchers and coaches to monitor athletes’ body mass and sum of skin folds rather than estimating percentage body fat (Gore, 2000).

Rugby players require leg power to, jump and lift in the lineout, during the initial push in the scrum, for tackling and for explosive acceleration (Duthie et al. 2006). The development of explosive leg power is vital for all participants of rugby. The forwards require power in the line outs and scrummage situations. Lineout’s, require taller forwards, they can achieve greater jumping height, resulting in competitive lineouts (Quarrie et al., 1996).The back line players need the ability to accelerate over short distances and to make and break tackles (Nicholas 1997). One test of explosive leg power is the vertical jump test (Carlson et al 1994, Nicholas 1997). As the backrow forwards are...

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