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Activate is the RFU’s injury prevention exercise programme that can be integrated into training and pre-match sessions. Exercises are designed to improve functional and core strength, balance and agility, helping players with the game’s physical demands.

Regularly doing Activate exercise can:

  • Improve playing performance.
  • Prepare players for the physical demands of the game.
  • Reduce the risk of injury including concussion, as well as support rehabilitation post injury.​
  • Mean more players are available (due to less players being injured).

Through RugbySafe the RFU is working to improve player safety, with research providing evidence that players’ conditioning significantly contributes to reducing the risk of injury.


The Activate Kids resources provide coaches at the U7 – U12 age groups with a framework and ideas for integrating Activate into training and pre-match preparations. Coaches can add an extra 15 minutes to the regulated age grade training time limits to include Activate within the session. Activate Kids uses the principles of the main Activate programme and other recognised physical literacy components appropriate for younger children.



The Activate 8 body positions are key to producing good form for the Activate exercises. Good technique in the exercises is important to help you develop functional strength and movement control. Click here for the Activate 8 video playlist.


Activate exercises can be used to focus the development of functional strength and movement control in certain areas of the body. Helping to reduce the risk of injury, as well as support rehabilitation post injury.​

The Activate – Be Ready! videos highlight specific exercises for:

  • Ankle
  • Knee
  • Hips
  • Core & Back
  • Shoulder
  • Neck & Head

Click here for the Activate – Be Ready! videos.


Coaches and teachers can adapt the programme based on number of training sessions per week, ability of players etc. for example, integrating the exercises into a game-based warm up.

The quality of the exercise is most important; the exercises should be carried out in a controlled manner focusing on good form rather than speed or quantity.

Click here for the Activate Game-based Approach Playlist, which provides examples of different ways the Activate programme can be integrated into game-based session.


More detail on the studies and research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine:

Click here to watch a short video that explains the findings of the schoolboy study.

This page information is taken from the RFU ACTIVATE resource at Activate (

Updated 21/11/21