Pitch perfectWorld-class all-rounder Stuart Broad reveals the secret to surviving cricket’s roughest role
“I’ve picked the hardest job in cricket, being a fast bowler,” says 28-year-old England Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad, as England prepare to take on India in five Tests and six short-form games this summer. “We get 10 times our body weight going through our knees and ankles every time we bowl. I’m 85kg, so that can add up.
During a test match day we wear a GPS, and we travel 18km a match on average, between walking, running and sprinting, so the legs feel heavy towards the end of the day. The injury rate is high in bowlers. We get a lot of stress fractures, either of the feet or the back where the bones are under pressure all the time, so you have to make those areas of your body strong. But we’re playing up to 250 days a year, so you can’t do any training that makes you feel too stiff and sore: you need to be ready for your game.”
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“People assume bowling power comes from your shoulder, “ says Broad, “but it’s all from your legs, so I keep them strong. Lunges work the thighs, glutes and hamstrings, and keep your core fit, too.”