Tug of War

Tug of war is a sport which puts two teams against each other, pulling on opposite ends of a rope, with the goal being to bring the rope a certain distance onto their side. It can be played indoors or outdoors, but both have a very different technique.

Why is it good for me?

Tug of War is a great all round team sport which combines both cardio and strength training. You might think that you just turn up and pull a rope but there is a specific technique required, and the benefits are huge.

  • It gives you a great sense of achievement as you challenge yourself to learn a new skill.
  • You’ll learn new breathing techniques, which has helped some women improved their asthma and reduced their need for inhalers.
  • If you are in a team that is just on the line you need to learn to keep calm and remain focussed on what you have to do to maintain form and stay in the pull. This can be a great skill to develop to help deal with everyday pressures in your life.
  • The sport relies heavily on teamwork and as a result you make brilliant friendships. It has a fantastic social side to the sports as team outings to the cinema and bowling alley are just as important as training nights on the rope.
  • You’ll interact with a diverse range of people, since everyone on the rope needs to be in time with each other.
  • You’ll learn a lot about your body and how everything is connected. You’ll use many muscles you may not normally use and learn new stretching techniques to remain supple and avoid risk of injury. This also benefits everyday life as knowing how to stretch can reduce stiffness and improve your overall wellbeing.
  • It’s a great stress release after a hectic day, it allows you to focus all of your energy for a few hours and forget about other commitments or stresses.
  • Finally, it will bring out the competitive side to you that you might not even know you had!

How much does it cost?

Once you get your boots there is very little to no cost to take part in tug of war as many clubs don’t charge subscription fees.

Once you have found your nearest club via the association website they would be able to confirm any fees associated with the club.

What equipment do I need?

The main equipment needed for tug of war is a rope (provided by the club), ‘tacky’ for your hands (provided by the club) and boots (clubs often can be provided to allow you to get a feel for the sport).

If you’re playing indoor you’ll need flat, smooth soled trainers – usually specially made for tug of war. For outdoor, you’ll need flat soled boots. As you progress, you may want to invest in your own boots which are normally priced around £75-£85 but your club will be able to advise you on this.

Like most sports, you’ll want a good sport bra. As the rope will be at your side it’s good to layer up to have a bit of protection, a rugby top works really well and is important to provide extra grip on the rope. Leggings, joggers or shorts all are fine so just whatever you feel comfy in, although rugby shorts also provide the best extra grip and football socks make the boots more comfortable.