Meet a su­per-fit shot-stop­per

Pre­ston cus­to­dian Chris Max­well re­veals how cal­is­then­ics train­ing is help­ing him to keep clean sheets

FourFourTwo - - CONTENTS -

Goal­keep­ers aren’t ex­actly known for their mus­cle-bound physiques, but FFT may have found foot­ball’s fittest shot-stop­per.

Pre­ston North End’s No.1 Chris Max­well has turned him­self into a lean, mean goal-sav­ing ma­chine af­ter adding cal­is­then­ics train­ing to his off-pitch pro­gramme.

The dis­ci­pline is de­signed to build strength through the mas­tery of var­i­ous body­weight ex­er­cises, such as hand­stands, pull-ups and even hang­ing from walls.

“I wanted to try dif­fer­ent strength train­ing and came across The School of Cal­is­then­ics on In­sta­gram,” says Max­well.

“Ex­er­cises like hand­stands help to build up your shoul­der stability. When you dive at full length and save with one arm fully ex­tended, you need to be strong in that area.”

Max­well is so pow­er­ful he can now per­form an ex­er­cise known as a flag, an elite move in which the body is held stat­i­cally by the arms on a pole or wall.

The 27-year-old’s gym skills are pay­ing off on the pitch, with the Deep­dale side push­ing for a Cham­pi­onship play-off place in 2017-18. And Max­well, who won pro­mo­tion to League One with Fleet­wood Town in 2014, be­lieves it has given him an edge.

“We talk a lot about mar­ginal gains in sport and goal­keep­ing’s all about mar­ginal gains,” he says. “One save can make the dif­fer­ence be­tween win­ning and los­ing so it’s im­por­tant I do what I can to make a dif­fer­ence.”

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