Having good leg muscles and a strong core will improve your rucks, scrums, and tackles.
I’m not sure if other teams use this term exactly, but one of the exercises my team does to strengthen the core is the constipated puppy.
It is a good way to practice getting low for tackles and avoiding being too high, which can lead to a penalty. It also reinforces strong body positions in rucks and scrums, thereby making them safer and less likely to collapse or bridge.
A constipated puppy, as shown doing by the woman in the photo above, is where your legs and knees are at 90 degree angles, your hands are about shoulder width apart, and your back is flat. If another person were to go up and shove you and you have a strong body position, you will not move. Imagine that you are sucking your belly button into your back and puff your chest out to help remember to keep your head up.
Doing a plank (propped up on elbows, forearms and toes with a flat back and straight legs) or a superman (balancing on your stomach with arms and legs extended in front and behind you) can also help improve core strength.
Doing these during commercials while watching TV is a great way to exercise without altering your schedule.
At the beginning of the game, there is a coin toss between the two teams’ captains. The winner of the coin toss decides if her team will start the game kicking (on defense) or receiving (on offense).
During the kick off, the team that is kicking stays in a straight line behind the kicker’s last foot. As soon as the ball leaves her foot, the team runs up and attempts to tackle whoever caught the ball.
The team that is receiving the ball is in a formation called the exploded scrum. This formation ensures that the receiving team is spread out enough to catch the ball wherever it goes and close enough that when someone gets tackled, she has teammates nearby to ruck.
When a player is tackled, a ruck is formed. The one tackled only has a few seconds to place the ball towards her team before she has to release it. She then wants to roll or crawl away from it as soon as possible to avoid getting stepped on by either team. The players in the ruck try to keep possession of the ball by having it stay between her feet until the scrum half is able to pick it up and pass it to her team. The other team tries to do the same. When rucking against someone, one wants to get lower than the player she is rucking against with knees slightly bent and a straight back, one foot in front of the other. Other players from her team then support her by placing her shoulder on the first rucker’s behind and pushing until the ball on the ground is between her feet.
The ruck is over when the ball is out. A good way to tell is that if a hypothetical bird can poop on the ball because it is not being contained by a player, then the ball is out.