"As a goalkeeper you need to be flexible and explosive," Howard says. "We're not running long distances. Every way you move—whether it's forward, to the side, diving, or jumping—is a short, sharp, explosive movement. It happens like that." [Snaps his fingers.]
Howard's workout prepares him to do exactly that—move forcefully and fast whenever he needs to. Jumping moves and explosive lifts like Snatches and Med Ball Throws help activate fast twitch muscle fibers, so Howard can react quickly when opponents come barreling toward the goal. And core strength allows him to contort his body, bend and twist to "make lots of 'comfortable' saves," as he calls them. "They may be difficult saves, but you try and make them look easy."
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart holding a heavy kettlebell in your right hand.
- Bend at the hips to lower into a half-squat and swing the kettlebell between your legs.
- Forcefully drive your hips forward to propel the kettlebell up, keeping it close to your body by bending your elbow.
- When the kettlebell reaches your shoulder, punch your hand toward the ceiling to flip it over your hand to your wrist.
- Hold this position, then lower the kettlebell and immediately repeat.
Sets/Reps: 3-4x5 each arm
Overhead Med Ball Throws
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart holding a med ball at chest height with your arms extended.
- Lower into a half-squat while bringing the med ball between your legs.
- Jump and throw the med ball high overhead.
- When the ball hits the ground, retrieve and repeat.
- Place a plyometric box in front of you (Howard uses a 30" box; find a height that works for you).
- Squat down, then explosively extend at the knees and hips to leap on top of the box.
- Land softly and quickly jump back to the start position.
Skater Pause Jumps
- Stand on your left leg with your knee and hip bent slightly.
- Push off your left foot and leap to your right leg, landing with your right knee and hip slightly bent.
- Pause for a second, then push off your right foot to jump back to the left.
Sets/Reps: 3x6 each side
Partner Tennis Ball Reaction Drill
- Stand in a "ready" position (feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, arms to your sides) with a partner standing 10 feet in front of you.
- Without warning, your partner tosses a tennis ball to your right or left. Catch the tennis ball before it bounces twice.
Sets/Duration: 3x20 seconds
- Lie on your back with your legs straight and arms overhead.
- Lift your right leg up and touch your foot with your left hand.
- Lower to the start position, then repeat with your opposite arm and leg.
- Continue alternating for the specified reps.
Sets/Reps: 3x10 each side
- Kneel on the ground, clasp your hands and place them on top of a physioball.
- Push your hands and forearms to roll the ball away, keeping your core tight and back flat.
- Roll as far as you can, then bring the ball back to the start position.
Med Ball Russian Twists
- Sit with your legs slightly bent in front of you and your heels six inches off the ground holding a med ball in front of your chest.
- Rotate your torso side to side, touching the med ball to the ground next to your hip on each side.
Sets/Reps: 3x10 each side
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