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LTPD Pathway
Functional Screening
Anatomical Adaptation
Game Demands
Conditioning for Rugby
Periodisation in Rugby

Benefits of the Anatomical Adaptation phase

It has been shown that when players add an individualised conditioning programme that takes account of the individual player’s physical needs in addition to their team skill and practice training that greater gains in terms of fitness occur (Andrzejewski et al, 2011, Rhea et al, 2009, Gilligan et al, 2005). As stated earlier, Anatomical Adaptation exercises and drills can be manipulated to suit the needs of the players.

The benefits of completing a varied, needs-related training programme such as an Anatomical Adaptation phase of training include:

  • A reduced risk of injury
  • Greater stability development
  • Improved range of motion or flexibility development
  • Better movement mechanics
  • Enhanced strength, power and speed
  • Better foundation for later strength training

(Andrzejewski et al, 2011, Rhea et al, 2009, Gilligan et al, 2005, Bompa, 2000)

The Anatomical Adaptation phase can be seen as the starting point for any player who has not completed regular supervised strength training. This training can also be completed in conjunction with other game-related training such as individual and unit skills as well as team practice. The duration of the phase will depend on the attainment of good functional competence in squat and lunge movement patterns, good lifting techniques, better general locomotion and general fitness. Also, the player should show greater competence in managing their own body weight during the various static and dynamic exercises and drills that make up the Anatomical Adaptation programme before moving to a more challenging Strength and Conditioning programme.