Former Delhi goalkeeper, Pronoy Roy, dives sideways on the hard mud to catch the football, landing on the ground with a thud, ball in hand. And he does this over and over again, almost 20 times, stretching fully as if he’s diving into a swimming pool. The only difference is that he lands on rough sand each time. After a few minutes of this practice session, he moves to another set of goalkeeping exercises. And to get the body going for such a drill, he’s already had an hour-long warm-up session before."My basic workout includes circuit training for 45 minutes. There are long and short runs, jumps, drills with cones and hurdles and sand training. Only once my muscles are warm enough with these exercises, do I start the training for my goalkeeping," says the footballer who represented Delhi from 2008 to 2010 in the country’s national championship, the Santosh Trophy.
A footballer’s game can well be judged by leg strength and endurance. Roy’s zig-zag running through cones may look simple. But this drill involves quick movement of the feet and lightning twists of the mid-section. Maybe that’s what keeps his waistline so tidy! Roy’s high knee jumps and side hops add the finishing touches to his routine. Most of these drills are aimed at building agile legs, but along the way, they can give you chiselled abs too. “Doing crunches and leg raises build a strong abdomen, both lower and upper. But basic twisting as an exercise gives you a strong spine,” explains Roy.
However, in a professional match, Roy requires even more strength and endurance. That’s why he goes to the gym as well. “For more power, I focus on individual muscle groups separately,” says the player who first signed up with Kolkata’s Mohammedan Sporting Club in 2007, before moving on to Goa’s Salgaocar FC for the next three years. “I do specific exercises for the quadriceps, hamstrings, calf muscles, inner groin, shoulders, back and the lats. But I can’t do any of these unless I build my basic endurance through outdoor freehand drills. These are the foundations. In a gym you can only build on them.”For Roy, football runs in the family. Zinedine Zidane and Oliver Kahn might be his favourite players, but his childhood inspiration was his own father, who represented India from ’82-’86.
How Pronoy Roy exercises every muscle and body part
Hurdles run: For strong legs, improved core and abdominal strength
1) Run by raising your knee as high as possible, but take small steps.
2) Jump over each hurdle quickly.
3) Don’t take long jumps to skip hurdles.
Repetitions: Do 10 or more. Then rest and get back for another 10 rounds.
Zig-Zag runs: For fast and agile legs, and waist strengthening
1) Arrange 5 or 6 hurdles/cones in a straight line, with a gap of two feet between each. And then another line parallel to it.
2) Run through the space between hurdles in a zig-zag manner, changing direction quickly after every hurdle.
3) Make sure your runs are as quick as possible, and the direction change is swift. This is where the waist is being exercised.
4) Do the drill from the start to the end, and then slowly jog back from the side to the first hurdle.
Repetitions: Do 10 continuous rounds, and give yourself a good rest. Then get back for 10 more.
1) With the same arrangement of hurdles or cones, hop over them one after the other.
2) As you jump, bring your knees near your chest. And that’s only half the tough part.
3) As your feet reach the ground, jump again quickly, in a spring-up
action. Your aim is to touch the ground as little as possible.
Repetitions: 10 rounds are enough to tire most people. Bet you can’t go for another 10.
From HT Brunch, May 19
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