Get Fit Like Owen Farrell With His Rugby World Cup Workout

Owen Farrell is England Rugby’s captain and its playmaking Number 10/ Number 12. He’s always one of the most combative players on the field, combining blistering attacking speed with the strength to make some crunching tackles. This is one athlete who never skips legs day!

When the Rugby World Cup kicks off this autumn, Owen Farrell will be leading the charge. But what’s his go-to workout when off the field to build fitness, boost strength and shred those legs?

RSNG went to The Yard training space in The Third Space at London’s Canary Wharf to find out, and bring you the lowdown on how to do it too…

ABOUT THE WORKOUT

This 45-minute, full-body kettlebell workout has been co-created by England Rugby Captain Owen Farrell and Third Space master trainers Luke Barnsley and Kate Maxey. It’s based on functional movement to improve strength and cardiovascular fitness. ‘During the season we train a lot on the pitch so this is a good way to create that effect off the pitch,’ Owen Farrell tells RSNG.

‘I find the intensity fun – I like to work up a sweat!’

Having road tested this workout ourselves, RSNG knows exactly how taxing it can be. Rugby players work their bodies through all three planes of motion so this workout really ramps up the training effect, especially on your lower body, which gets your heart hammering and your legs muscles firing.

What else would you expect from England Rugby’s most committed player? ‘I find the intensity fun – I like to work up a sweat!’ he says.

WARM UP
Begin with a muscle-activating warm up to get your heart pumping. Do the following drills for 60 seconds each, taking a breather in between each to ensure good form:
1. Spider Man Stretch – get into a straight-arm plank position and then bring your left foot forward to the outside of your left hand. Continually swap sides rather than holding the stretch.

2. Forward Lunge Into Hip Flexor Stretch– step forwards into a lunge and feel the stretch in your hip flexors. Continually swap sides rather than holding the stretch.

3. High Knee to Cossack Squat – jog on the spot for ten seconds before dropping into a Cossack Squat (one leg extends out to the side.)

THE WORKOUT
All you need for this workout are some kettlebells, although these can be substituted for dumb-bells. Make sure you have a range of weights, with one heavier kettlebell for the single-weight moves.

You can do this workout twice a week or fit it into an existing plan. Just make sure you leave 48-72 hours between each session for your muscles to recover, because this one is as intense as Owen Farrell claims.

1. RUGBY WORLD CUP WORKOUT PART ONE
Do the following sequence of moves back to back, then rest for 40-60 seconds and repeat PART ONE for THREE ROUNDS in total.

(a) Goblet Squat, Reps: 10
Rack two kettlebells up by your chest.
Lower into a deep squat, making sure your feet are pointing out at around 45°.

(b) Russian Kettlebell Swing, Reps: 10
Hold the kettlebell in both hands and bend at the hips and knees.
Keep the kettlebell at or below shoulder height.

(c) Plank, Reps: 30 seconds
Hold the plank with forearms on the floor.
Keep your hips in line with the rest of your body.

2. RUGBY WORLD CUP WORKOUT PART TWO
Do the following sequence of moves back to back, then rest for 40-60 seconds and repeat PART TWO for THREE ROUNDS in total.

(a) Kettlebell Deadlift, Reps: 10
Hold a kettlebell in each hand and lower with a slight bend in the knee.
Run the weights down your shins.

(b) Jump Lunge, Reps: 40 seconds
Use a dynamic movement to jump between the lunges.
Land your feet slightly off the centre line of your body for added stability.

(c) Plank, Reps: 30 seconds
Hold the plank with forearms on the floor.
Keep your hips in line with the rest of your body.

3. RUGBY WORLD CUP WORKOUT PARK THREE
Do the following sequence of moves back to back, then rest for 40-60 seconds and repeat PART THREE for THREE ROUNDS in total.

(a) Reverse Kettlebell Lunge, Reps: 10
Hold the weight at your chest and step back into a lunge.
Keep your torso upright and activate your glutes to drive up.

(b) Lateral Squat, Reps: 10 (all same side)
Step one leg to the side as you squat down.
Keep stepping to the same side for the round and swap next round.

(b) Abs Hollow, Reps: 30 seconds
Lie on your back and raise straight legs and arms off the floor.

4. RUGBY WORLD CUP WORKOUT PART FOUR
Do the following sequence of moves back to back, then rest for 40-60 seconds and repeat PART FOUR for THREE ROUNDS in total.

(a) Single-leg Deadlift, Reps: 10
Hold a single kettlebell in one hand and lift the opposite foot off the floor.
Bend at the hips to lower the weight while lifting the back leg to parallel with your torso.

(b) Jump Squat, Reps: 30 seconds
Lower into a bodyweight squat and then explode upwards using your glutes.
Land and repeat using good form.

(c) Abs Hollow, Reps: 30 seconds
Hold the plank with forearms on the floor.
Keep your hips in line with the rest of your body.

‘Even if you’ve never played a game of rugby this workout will get you fit, fast – so get stuck in!’

5. OPTIONAL CONDITIONING PHASE
If your lower body isn’t completely torched by this stage then you can add on a conditioning phase to really boost your fitness. Owen Farrell is one of the backs in his team, who will all need good engines to run into position and carry the ball in this year’s Rugby World Cup.

Today, Farrell is going large with a back-to-back, assault bike and power sled combo, alternating between three sets of 15kcals on the bike and pushing 30kg on the sled for 20m.

We split into teams to make things interesting and by the end RSNG is completely gassed, but in a good way!

Even if you have never played a game of rugby this workout will get you fit, fast – so get stuck in!

WHAT NEXT? As Captain of England’s Rugby Sevens squad, Tom Mitchell knows a thing or two about intensity – read the exclusive RSNG interview with him here.

Find out more about The Third Space and their brand new functional training area, called The Yard, by visiting their website

Follow this article’s author on Instagram @The_Adventure_Fella

Comments are for information only and should not replace medical care or recommendations. Please check with your Doctor before embarking on exercise or nutrition regimes for the first time.