Top 10 Health Benefits of Rugby


Developed in England in the 1800s, rugby has become an international sport that has gained tremendous popularity in such countries as Australia, South Africa, Europe and America. The sport has many similarities to American football in that it is a contact team sport with the goal of getting the football over the opponent’s goal line. Whether it’s played recreationally or competitively, rugby is a great sport to stay healthy and fit. Here are the Top 10 from Health Fitness Revolution and author of the book ReSYNC Your Life Samir Becic:

  • Builds strength: Rugby is a great sport for boosting upper body strength, with strong arms needed for tackling and throwing, and muscular strength required for this contact sport. It develops the leg muscles because running and battling in scrums need powerful leg muscles.
  • Improves flexibility: Agility is key, with the feet and hands requiring sudden changes of direction and pace. The constant twisting and sudden dodging can also help with flexibility.
  • Cardio: Improves the body’s cardiovascular system by building a strong heart and lungs that are better able to deliver oxygen to muscles faster. The constant running and sprinting across the field can give you a really good cardio workout because of the increased heart rate and interval training.
  • Increased self-confidence: Rugby offers teenagers increased confidence and self-respect, as the ultimate character-building sport. It fosters courage, fitness, team effort and togetherness, bringing together boys and girls from all backgrounds.
  • Increases in bone density: Regularly playing rugby will increase your bone density because exercise imposes stress on the bones, thus stimulating the deposition of calcium along the line of stress. By improving the density of your bones, you are less likely to develop osteoporosis in later life.
  • Builds discipline: Rugby requires a high degree of preparation, and through participation in structured training and playing a regular game schedule, rugby can develop key mental skills of self control and discipline.
  • Stress reduction: The release of endorphins while playing the game is enough to lift your mood and help aid a better night’s sleep. Through triumphing over a challenging situation during the game, players build resilience to stress and are often able to better tackle problems off the field.
  • Helps build resilience: The resilience and ability to persevere through pain and adversity for the greater good is a key skill developed on the rugby field, and a characteristic that serves rugby players throughout the rest of their personal and professional lives.
  • Improves mental state: Rugby, like most team sports, is able to give participants a sense of purpose and a place within the team. In addition, the sense of camaraderie with teammates can be an important part of helping individuals move towards a more positive frame of mind. Physical activity can be a huge aid to any mental health treatment regimen.
  • Develops speed and endurance: Regularly playing and training for rugby will not only increase your speed in running but will also build your endurance.

To see more of our Top 10 lists, click here.


  1. […] Aerobic-type exercise is great for your cardiovascular system. There is plenty of this kind of activity in rugby, as players run, sprint, tackle and throw the ball. This helps to get the heart and lungs functioning better, providing long-term health benefits and making future exercise easier. Studies have shown that those who regularly play rugby have lower pulse rates. […]

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