This power comes from his legs – the quads, glutes and hamstrings to be specific. All this energy passes through his knee, the largest joint in the body.
More after the break
When Richards leaps to compete for a header, his knee acts a stabiliser to channel the power and a shock absorber to cushion the landing.
It needs to be strong enough to soak up the strain, but it's not designed to work alone. The surrounding muscles need to be conditioned to help cope with these tasks.
To calibrate his body for these demands the Manchester City full back replicates the movements with carefully devised gym exercises, including the bungee step up.
This exercise challenges Richards to control his movement, powerfully drive up through the step, generating the right forces from his leg muscles.
As Sam Erith, City’s head of sports science explains, the bungee step up imitates a player’s take off as they leap to meet the ball in mid-air.
“When you’re jumping for a header you’ll take off with that one leg – powerfully driving upwards,” he told FFT.
“You have to make sure you’ve got control of that motion and you’re efficiently putting that power through your body.”
Ready to try it? Watch this video to make sure you're equipped to rise above your opponents.
Micah is an ambassador for If U Care Share, a charity that encourages young people to discuss their problems: www.ifucareshare.co.uk
Build explosive power
Boost your hamstring strength
Build bigger and stronger pins
Build knockout knee strength
Build a rock-solid core
Switch on your glutes for 90 minutes: Part one
Switch on your glutes for 90 minutes: Part two
Fire up your hips for action: Part one
Fire up your hips for action: Part two