Best Ankle Tap Rugby Training: 6 Essential Exercises

Ankle Tap Rugby Training

Rugby players and fans have differing opinions about ankle tap rugby. An opponent who is moving quickly can be brought down with an ankle tap, frequently while they are outside the reach of a full ankle tap rugby. A lot of times, all that stands between a defending player and a try is an ankle tap.

However, if you are the victim of an ankle tap rugby, you will likely be angry that such a negligible impact knocked you off your quest for glory once you have come to a standstill.

Ankle taps are a part of rugby, love them or hate them, and the truth is that there probably isn’t much you can do to improve your chances of beating one. We can still try, though, doesn’t it?

Making sure you can outrun the player pursuing you is the finest ankle tap rugby beating approach. A timed hitch kick or sidestep will also be beneficial. But if you’re unfortunate enough to get caught, the following drills and exercises can be useful.

Some Exercises To Practice Ankle Tap Rugby


Even if this practice is fictitious, it will still assist you avoid a tap tackle. The concept is straightforward: shift from a stable to an unstable position, then restore control of your position and balance. That is very similar to what you should do after a tap tackle.

Squat Jump To Practice Ankle Tap Rugby

How to execute:

  1. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart as you stand. Squat down while pushing your hips back and swinging your arms behind you.
  2. Utilizing your arms as additional momentum, leap forward as far as you can.
  3. Do your absolute best to stick the landing as you come to a stop on one leg.
  4. Repeat while remaining on two feet, landing on the other leg.


You need both muscle and balance to successfully resist an ankle tap rugby, and this exercise will help you develop both. Increase the rugby-specificity of this exercise by loading both the eccentric and concentric phases quickly and explosively. After all, if you tap tackle slowly, you won’t be able to regain your balance.


How to execute:

  1. Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold a barbell or dumbbells in each hand. Put all of your weight on the single foot. Your supporting leg should be slightly bent.
  2. Hinge forward from your hips without arching your lower back, and lower the weight(s) as far as your flexibility will allow down the front of your leg. For balance, extend your other leg behind you.
  3. Then, repeat while standing up straight.
  4. Standing on a folded exercise mat, cushion, inflatable, or foam pad will make this workout more difficult.



Conditioning benefits from running on smooth sand. You lose energy each time the sand shifts beneath your feet. Sprinting on the sand will boost the intensity of your interval training. It is deadly.

However, running on soft sand can also help you develop the strength, balance, and joint stability you need to avoid an ankle tap. You’ll need to act quickly to retain your forward momentum as the sand shifts beneath you.

This exercise will be more challenging if the surface is deeper and softer than sand. Harder also refers to something that is more efficient in terms of conditioning and balance.


Slacklining Exercises To Practice Ankle Tap Rugby

One of the best ways to improve your balance may be slacklining. It’s plausible that slacklining won’t help because surviving an ankle tap rugby is partially a balancing issue.

A slacklining package, which includes the actual slackline, two ratchet straps to tighten it up, and some tree anchors, costs around $50. The slackline only has to be suspended between two suitable trees or poles at that point. Avoid turning this exercise into a life-threatening high-wire act by keeping your line close to the ground.

Now that your slackline is set up, you can begin standing and eventually walking on it. It is less challenging to balance on than a tightrope wire because of its slackness. It WILL swing beneath you, but you should be able to stop it by leaning the other direction.

Slacklining is beneficial for core strength, joint stability, and improved balance. It’s also enjoyable! To give your ankle tap rugby exercises a new dimension, suspend your slackline over a river or pool.



A tap tackle can be extremely damaging since it throws you off balance as you’re sprinting at full speed. You always slide a few yards on your belly first as a result, landing sprawled on the field. Therefore, improving your equilibrium can be the answer if losing it is the issue.

Physiotherapists and fitness instructors use wobble boards to help clients learn stability and balance. They come in all different sizes and forms, but the one with the hemisphere in the center of the base is undoubtedly the best. This structure enables 360-degree mobility.

The BOSU ball, which stands for Both Sides Up, is another useful tool for improving balance. BOSU balls look like a stability ball cut in half and attached to a hard plastic base. BOSU balls can be utilized with either the soft or hard base side up, as the name would imply.

While we don’t recommend using a balance board or a BOSU for your strength exercises because you’ll get ABSOLUTELY NOTHING out of your training, you can utilize these tools to increase your balance and agility.

So instead of doing BOSU biceps curls, concentrate on doing squats, lunges, and one-legged stands. This won’t harm, but we can’t promise that it will make you impervious to tap tackles.



Practice is perhaps the best defense against ankle taps that we have to offer. Get a teammate to tap tackle you by grabbing them. Try your hardest not to fall. Over a series of workouts, progressively increase your speed by beginning with jogging or even walking. To practice being hit from both sides, ask them to tap your left and right ankles. They can initially warn you so you can get ready for the tackle. However, as you improve, they need to surprise you so that the workout feels more authentic.

It goes without saying that this tactic could be physically taxing since you will unavoidably end up striking the deck. But as long as you’ve warmed up, everything should be fine. Considering that you will also be anticipating the tap, you ought to be able to roll with it as opposed to collapsing to the ground.

Make sure to get back up as quickly as you can if you fall, exactly like you would in a game.

The most targeted exercises are the ones that are most effective for rugby. What could possibly be more particular for avoiding tap tackles than actually experiencing one? You’ll at the very least become accustomed to ankle taps, and your partner will become more skilled at doing them. Win-win situation.


It’s really satisfying to successfully tap someone’s ankle. Being overpowered by one is far less likely if you practice enough, you might be the first player to successfully counter ankle tap rugby.

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