Rick asks what power work should a second row be performing?
I’m assuming you are talking about an adult player with a high training age here. If not, you will still probably be able to increase power output via more general training means like bodyweight drills, barbell and dumbbells and running mechanics and sprints that should feature in some form throughout the athlete’s training career. If however you your progress in power tests has started to slow or you are dealing with a more mature player, you may need to modify the training to make it more intense and specific in nature.
The first port of call would be to implement some still general, but more intense training means into your programme, namely jumps, medicine ball throws and plyometrics. Refer back to this Rugby Strength Coach post on power training for the basics:
The drills you use will depend on what equipment you have access to, which physical abilities and movement patterns you are trying to address and also the intensity you need to elicit further adaptation (this will increase as the athlete progresses, but your goal is always to use the minimum intensity possible to get the job done).
Once these general drills start to lose their potency- and unfortunately they will, it’s just a fact of training- you have to resort to even more specific drills. This is where exercise selection gets complicated because you have to select exercises which have a high degree of specificity but still allow for a high degree of overload. The best resource you can consult on this subject is Special Strength Training Manual for Coaches by Yuri and Natalia Verkhoshansky. However here are some general guidelines for you:
- Second rows need to jump in the lineout more than any other skill so focus on that
- Vertical force production is the name of the game here
- Both the upper and lower body must contribute to force production
- Lineout jumping often happens on the move, so there is a degree of muscular stretch involved and you must be able to turn horizontal force into vertical