When I play rugby, my main skill is running. I’m a small girl (5′ and 110 lbs) so tackling can be somewhat challenging for me. And I tend to play to my strengths. As a wing, I stay on the outside and often end up taking down people who break away from behind.
Focusing on running does not, however, mean that I don’t need to be strong. I still tackle and I still take hits. It’s especially important to focus on the area of my body that is most helpful in preventing injury: my core.
One of my favorite ways of training my core is through planks. It’s a simple exercise that allows you to really settle and center while still putting in a lot of effort. When I first started, however, I thought planks were miserable and could only hold one for about 20 seconds. Over time I managed to build up strength, and got to the point that I could plank for 1:30 without crying.