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Croft embracing home fitness challenge

Croft embracing home fitness challenge

The Lancashire all-rounder has enjoyed the challenges of balancing home life with a young family around his daily workouts

Steven Croft has described the stay at home fitness work done by himself, his Lancashire team-mates and hundreds of other county cricketers as “a good challenge”.

Creativity is the key says the Red Rose all-rounder, who has been using wooden logs for deadlifting and help from his four-year-old daughter Ottilie for weighted press-ups.

Croft, 35, is also a certified personal trainer away from the game, so he knows exactly what it takes to stay in shape and be ready for if and when the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic eases enough to allow a return to on-field action later this summer.

The Lancashire squad have been working from home since mid-March, though they have not been furloughed, allowing them remote access to the club’s medical and strength and conditioning staff.

“We’ve got programmes from the fitness and medical staff,” explained Croft.

“Just before the lockdown started (March 23), the lads were provided with as much equipment as possible. But I already had a few bits and bobs at home anyway. We’re all keeping fit, sharing videos and challenges on WhatsApp and things like that.

“Alex Davies has also been keeping us entertained with his TikTok videos, although I reckon I’m a bit old for that!”

Given his PT qualification, Blackpool-born Croft enjoys maintaining his fitness.

“To be fair, most of the lads enjoy keeping fit, so it’s been quite good fun,” he continued. “I wouldn’t say there’s not much else to do because I’ve been kept busy with a couple of little ones at home, but there is plenty of time to stay fit. You can throw some time at it.

“I’ve been getting the kids involved as well. Ottilie is four and Aurelia is five months. As a family, we’ve also been doing the Joe Wicks’ workouts in the morning, and my eldest has been on her bike and getting me to chase after her.

“On top of that, I’ve been going on long walks or runs. And when the kids are in bed, I’ll get out into the garden for an hour.

“It’s a good challenge. It would obviously be nice to have a gym to go to, but there’s plenty of things you can be creative with.”

Aside from countless fitness videos and challenges posted by professional and recreational cricketers, there has also been plenty of skill-based content available for youngsters who are desperate to get a bat or ball in their hands in the back garden.

“I’ve not done a massive amount of skills stuff,” added Croft, who debuted for Lancashire against Oxford University at The Parks in 2005 and has since captained the county.

“All I’ve done is a bit of catching and throwing just mainly to keep the shoulder going. But whatever sort of work you are doing, whether it’s catching against a wall or receiving throw downs from mum and dad, it’s about giving it that time.

“That’s what makes the great fielders, for example. I’m sure someone like a Glenn Maxwell as a kid would have loved running around, diving and catching. There probably wasn’t too much structure to it for him, but it was a decent foundation and just a lot of fun.”

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