31.08.2020 » How to recover from a football injury the Ronaldo way
Whatever your level or position, if you play football with any sort of regularity, you are certain to get injured from time to time. The game is particularly harsh on the knees and ankles, and even those of us who just play for fun are likely to carry chronic conditions into old age with us if we turn out every weekend for year after year. When it comes to the professionals, it's no exaggeration to say that some, like Darren Anderton and Ledley King, seem to spend more time on the bench recovering from yet another cruciate ligament injury than they do out in the middle. Yet, that is not something anyone can say about Cristiano Ronaldo. For sure, he's had plenty of injuries during the course of his career, but few have kept him sidelined for long. So how does he do it?
How professional footballers recover from injuries:
Recovery starts at the final whistle
Prevention is better than cure when it comes to injuries. Ronaldo's fitness regime is the stuff of legends, and we have talked elsewhere about his dedication to working out at the gym, training on the field and even fitting small work outs into his daily routine, regardless of what he is doing. But even that only tells part of the story.
We all know the importance of warming up before a game, but Ronaldo's post-match warm down routine is just as exacting. He told Spanish newspaper AS that hitting the bars and clubs to celebrate or commiserate after the game is something he generally avoids. He said: "Winding down and resting is a key part of my day-to-day routine and enables me to perform to the highest level in my profession and prolong my career."
His routine includes refueling with high-carb snacks, then returning home for some contrast bath therapy. This involves alternating between hot and cold baths, with five minutes in each, for 30 minutes. It stimulates blood flow and also serves to reduce inflammation on any bruises. Some footballers add CBD oil to the bath water to boost the body's natural endocannabinoid system. This further helps fight inflammation, as well as providing a feeling of relaxation and wellbeing.
When he does have an injury, Ronaldo spares no effort in getting the best advice for his specific circumstances. While other players will accept that a particular condition "needs two weeks to heal," Ronaldo searches for the way to reduce that to eight or 10 days.
For example, when he was initially diagnosed with tendinosis in 2014, he put in an extra six hours every day with his physio manipulating just that knee. This was on top of regular training. Three years later, he had a thigh injury and set about a grueling routine of swimming with weights attached to his ankles in order to fast-track the recovery.
Next time you suffer a sore ankle or knee out on the pitch, try taking the Ronaldo approach to recovery. All you need is determination and the right advice. Oh, and ideally, a house with two baths side by side!
Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Portugal in the UEFA Nations League is on September 5, against Croatia. You can watch Portugal vs Croatia, Denmark vs Belgium, Germany vs Spain, Iceland vs England, Italy vs Bosnia, and Netherlands vs Poland, all matches provided from our soccer live game pages.
Portugal next game:
Portugal vs Croatia kick-off time (05-09-2020):
Beijing (China) | UTC/GMT+8: 02:45
Jakarta (Indonesia) | UTC/GMT+7: 01:45
India (New Delhi) | UTC/GMT+5.30: 00:15
Italy (Turin) | UTC/GMT+2: 20:45
Spain (Madrid) | UTC/GMT+2: 20:45
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | UTC/GMT+1: 19:45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | UTC/GMT-3: 15:45
New York (United States) | UTC/GMT-4: 14:45
Los Angeles (United States) | UTC/GMT-7: 11:45