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News > Sports > Zak Crawley (WH 11-16) on the benefits of working from home

Zak Crawley (WH 11-16) on the benefits of working from home

The Kent and England opening batsman explains how he is managing to work from home during the lockdown
26 Apr 2020
England opener Zac Crawley (WH11-16) explains the benefits of working from home
I am fortunate that I live on the Spitfire Ground in Canterbury, so my flatmate and Kent team-mate Grant Stewart and I have been able to borrow some of the equipment from the club gym, which has been closed, and put it in our garage. We’ve turned it into our own workout room.
We’ve got a hex bar for deadlifts, dumbbells for upper-body stuff, a Swiss ball, a medicine ball, a rower — we can pretty much do everything we would normally do. We’ve been doing skipping and have a couple of yoga mats. A few of us in the Kent squad have been doing online yoga sessions with an instructor. I don’t usually use a lot of what is in the gym but Grant is a very good gym-trainer so I follow him on that, while I’m probably better on the running, so I lead him there. It works out pretty well.
There are a couple of good simple exercises that many people could do with a resistance band, which you can buy online. I put it round my ankles, squat and then do a low sidestep. I do that back and forth until I can’t do any more. It’s good for upper thighs and glutes. For shoulder work, wrap it round a fixed object, something like a bannister or a door handle, and do some rotations. It’s good for your posture as well as shoulder strength.
Skipping is also good. I tend to intersperse it with some core stuff, so I might do two minutes of skipping, then ten or 15 push-ups or pull-ups, then another two minutes of skipping, and so on. You can start skipping on two feet and progress to one.
We are allowed to run round the edge of the outfield, but a great one for your legs is to find a hill to run up. We’ve got quite a long hill we can use, which is only a short drive from here. There are three runs we do, one of about 80 metres, another of 150m and the longest at 400 to 500m.

Yesterday we did three of the short one at a proper sprint, then two of the middle one as a brisk jog and then the long one, by which time you don’t have much left in the tank, so it’s just a jog all the way up.
The short run is the steepest — it starts out quite flat and then curves up — and by the time you’ve finished you shouldn’t be moving that fast. The end bit is where it hits you. You want a certain amount of steepness to get the legs working. As long as you do it properly, it doesn’t matter how many runs you do. Start out with one, do it as hard as you can, and go from there. If you train your body to run up a hill, it is a lot easier when you run on the flat.
I enjoy running. It clears the mind, especially after training, when you have things to reflect on. I rarely run for more than 15 minutes. The danger with longer runs is that you drop your pace, which doesn’t help in an explosive sport like cricket, where you stand around in the field and then have to sprint after the ball. Some days I might run for 30 seconds, break for 15 seconds, then run for another 30 seconds, and so on; or one-minute runs with 30 seconds off. I tend to make the break no more than half the length of the run.
On England’s tours to New Zealand and South Africa during the winter, I did laps of the outfield with Jos Buttler. It’s best to do it with someone who is keen because they’ll drag you along. You’ve got that competition too, and you push yourself harder than when you are on your own. We’re all human, we all want to win.
As for batting, all I’ve been doing is hitting a few underarm tennis balls — it’s not possible to have a net, so the important thing is to stay fit for when we can get back to full training.

Home Gym. Crawley lives on Kent’s Canterbury ground and has been granted special permission to use county equipment to turn his garage into a makeshit gym.

Article: Friday April 10 2020, 6.00pm, The Times Here

Zak Crawley and Ben Earl: The schoolmates who have risen to the top together. An interview with the two OTs in the Sunday Times. Read this article here.


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