How do you scrummage against a bigger, stronger, heavier pack?

Answer: you use an isometric hold.

Video clip of amateur team practicing an isometric hold on the Live Scrum by Silver Fern scrum machine. You can’t practice an isometric contraction on any other scrum machine as this is the only affordable one that pushes back at you. All other scrum machines just slide or roll along the ground and don’t push back.


An isometric hold is vitally important in modern scrummaging. You cannot ease off on pressure. You have to apply constant pressure.

An isometric muscle contraction happens in a scrum where you cannot move the opposition pack. This may be because they are a bigger and heavier pack than yours or they are physically stronger for example.

But a basic rule of rugby scrummaging is that you can hold more pressure than you can push. You can resist anywhere between 20 to 40 % more than you can exert. So even if the opposition pack are bigger and stronger than you, you can still compete and have a solid scrum.

So rather than trying to go toe to toe against a stronger pack my advice is to just “lock out” the scrum and hold the pressure. This is where the isometric hold and isometric muscle contraction comes in. Resist the pressure that the opposition will try and exert on you on your own ball and “look out” in an isometric hold if the opposition try to push you forward on their ball.

The only affordable tool on the market to help you practice this as a pack in training is the Live Scrum by Silver Fern scrum machine. See how the machine fights back against a pack just like a real life scrum. See how this pack of forwards are fighting to hold there form under pressure from the machine. You won’t get that on any other scrum machine!!

Check out the machine on the following website

Please contact me for any scrum advice you or your team need or to book a FREE demo of this scrum machine at your club

T: ++353 (0) 86 0566806


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