Following on from last week as the Rugby World Cup continues over in France. Lets look at Eccentric Training and how it’s important for rugby players.

Eccentric training, which involves lengthening a muscle while it is under tension, can be highly beneficial for rugby players. Rugby demands explosive strength, power, speed, and the ability to produce force in various positions. Eccentric training can enhance these capacities by strengthening tendons, increasing muscle size, and improving neuromuscular control.

The Balkan, is a perfect way for rugby players (and everyone of all fitness levels and experience), to eccentric train, safely, and efficiently.

We can generally only lift 50%-60% of our maximal eccentric movement. Therefore in any movement (unless tailored) we will always struggle to lift to our capacity. Eccentric training has been seen as one of the most efficient ways to build maximal strength. The Balkan allows you to maximise both eccentric, concentric, and isometric holds to your maximal capacity as you are pushing against a machine/computer that will match your exact force. This not only is done in a much safer way, but essentially optimises the weight you are resisting at all times, something that is extremely hard to do in a gym as lifting that heavy has high chances of injuries, and will usually need a spotter. It can also take a lot of time to put weights on/off etc.

Incorporating these exercises can offer several benefits, such as:

Injury Prevention: Eccentric training strengthens tendons and can reduce the risk of strains and tears, particularly in muscles that are often injured in rugby, like the hamstrings.

Improved Strength and Power: The muscle's ability to absorb force is critical in rugby, whether in a tackle situation or during abrupt direction changes.

Better Muscle Control: Improved neuromuscular control can aid in more efficient movement on the field and better agility.

When incorporating eccentric training, it’s crucial to ensure proper form, sufficient rest between sets, and monitoring for signs of overtraining. As with all training modalities, progression should be gradual to prevent injury. Consulting with a sports performance coach or physiotherapist who understands the demands of rugby can provide individualised.

If you’re a rugby player or team, and want to check out The Balkan for yourself, drop us an email for more details or find out how you can get The Balkan for your team/club/facility here.

Check out the video below of Former England Rugby Player George Kruis on his first session on The Balkan earlier this year.