Building an Unbeatable and Powerful Sidestep


Pretty much all of the best rugby players in the world have an awesome sidestep

Sidestepping helps you fly past opponents with ease and is an important tool in creating and finishing breaks. In the gym your focus should be on developing strength in the squat, deadlift and bench press. But once you’ve reached a good level of strength you need to focus on more specific qualities, like building an awesome sidestep!

I’m not talking about the actual technique and practice of the movement, as that should happen in training nights with your team, I’m talking about developing some specific sidestep power!

You should be squatting and sled dragging a lot anyway, if you haven’t been doing so YOU must go through at least a 6 week phase focussing on lots of heavy squats and sled drags. Once you’ve done so, enter the arena……



You need to attach a belt to your sled for this drill, put the belt round your waist and standing side on to the sled, start walking sideways with BIG steps and strong arm movements. This is a slow, strength based exercise so don’t go skipping off down the street! Take your time and push sideways through the floor. Sets of 20-30m work well.



Once you are familiar with the normal kettlebell swing, we can add in some lateral movement for a really specific training drill. Try 3-6 reps per arm.



Attach a band to a rack and put it around your waist, now stand side on to the band and jump sideways from the leg closest to the rack to the leg furthest away, see the below pic for details. Work sets of 4-6 reps on this one.



Make the transition from your normal program into a sidestep power program as simple as possible. DO NOT think that doing 10 lateral power exercises per workout will make you stronger and faster. If you aren’t strength training you’re getting weaker!

ALWAYS squat, bench, deadlift and do pull-ups, always stick to the basics but add in these specific movements around them.

Train one or two of these movements in your normal sessions for 4-6 weeks and practice hard on the pitch and your sidestep power will go through the roof.

I’ll answer any questions you may have about this, just drop them below!


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