We asked Canberra Raider’s NRL Strength Coach, Leigh Woodbridge for his top exercises and tips to build strong and powerful legs like an NRL player.

Leigh says, “Greater leg strength means that players are more able to transfer force into the ground which results in the ability to run faster, jump higher and transfer more power into the opposition during collisions on attack or defence.”

For that reason the key aim of this program is to build a combination of power, strength and size. The frequency of training legs will be dependent on what other training you are doing but generally 2-3 times per week is adequate. Leigh says that in the pre-season many players will complete 3 leg sessions but if they are doing a lot of running for the week it may only be 2. In season when the players have to recover from a game they may only be able to complete 1 legs session a week and the intensity will be a lot lower.

NRL Leg Workout key points from Leigh:

  1. Complete a thorough warm up with dynamic movement patterns and mobility drills.
  2. Focus on technique and range of motion first before the total weight lifted. Keep progressions slow. Have adequate rest between sets so that they are completely recovered before the next set so that the lift quality is good.
  3. Complete exercise’s in order 1-6.




1) Front Squats 5 5
2) Deadlifts 4 6
3) Box Jumps 1 12
4) Bulgarian Squats 3 8
5) Single Leg Squats 3 8
6) Single Leg Romanian Deadlift 3 8


Front Squats

Start with a barbell rested across your upper front shoulder, inhale and keep abs tight, chest up and elbows high. Push your hips backwards and drop down into a full squat keeping your heels on the ground, drive through your hips and quads to return to the start position.

Barbell Deadlift

Start with the bar on the floor, hips low and chest up, shoulder back, drive up through the legs and hips to a standing position; return the bar to the floor to the start position.

Box Jumps

Perform a ¼ to ½ squat movement and then explosively jump up onto a box landing softly – great for power development

Bulgarian Squat

Place the barbell on your shoulder and back foot on a bench, keeping chest up and back strong drop down until your back knee touches the group, keep you front knee over your foot don’t allow it to travel forward. Drive through your hips and quad to the start position.

Single leg box squats

Start by standing up on a box, perform a single leg squat down as low as possible, keep your heel on the box, push your hips out the back and chest up as much as possible, return to the start position.

Single Leg Romanian Deadlift

Start by balancing on one leg, hinge forward at the hips, keeping a small bend in the front leg, push the opposite leg away, use your gluts and hamstrings to return back to the start position.

*These training programs have been designed as a guide only, Vitalstrength recommends you check with a healthcare or fitness professional before commencing any new training activities.