I accept cookies from this site

We use cookies to help make this website better. To find out more about the cookies we use, please read our Cookies Policy. If you continue without changing your cookie settings, you consent to this use, but if you want, you can find information in our Cookies Policy about how to remove cookies by changing your settings.

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


Individualise stretching

Please note that during the early Anatomical Adaptation phase we recommended that players complete static stretching exercises as part of their individual warm-up routine. Such practices are intended to be individual-based and focus on assisting the player to become a more mobile player. In addition, the use of self-myofascial release techniques may also be used as part of the early warm-up phase for Anatomical Adaptation training, general conditioning and practice sessions. The intention is to target sensitive ‘trigger points’ that may limit a player’s normal range of motion or flexibility (Page et al, 2007). When these self-myofascial release techniques are combined with both static and dynamic stretches, significant increases in range of motion can occur (Hou et al, 2002, Hanten et al, 2000).

Trigger points

These are sensitive, irritable and ‘sore’ spots in muscle. They are called ‘trigger’ points because pressure on them can ‘trigger’ a painful reaction.

Self-myofascial release

This is the use of pressure techniques administered by the player themselves and aiming to relieve local ‘trigger points’ and increase range of motion.

The player can gain benefits using any of the novel trigger point release items that are currently available such as a foam roller, ‘spikey’ ball, or stick roller.

Figure 15 below illustrates a player completing a foam roller self-myofascial release routine. Note it is important to instruct the player carefully on the correct positioning during such a routine. We also provide a video clip demonstrating a standard self-myofascial release routine using a foam roller.

Figure 15: A self-myofascial release routine for a) upper thigh; b) gluteal area; c) upper back area.
Video 21

Following the trigger point release routine, the player can complete a progressive programme of any combination of static and dynamic stretching exercises appropriate to their needs.