Why is fitness important for cricket?

You may think that cricket involves long periods of sitting in the pavilion or standing in the field, so there’s no need to train for the few periods of physical exertion you’ll be called upon to do – but if you think that, you’ve got a shock coming! Those explosive bursts when you’re chasing a boundary or running between the wickets can cause all sorts of injuries if you’re not fully fit. The muscles, ligaments and tendons that support your joints need to be at peak strength to stand it. What’s more, the right training can improve batting power, bowling speed, reaction times and acceleration.

Of course, your coach will have specific exercises depending on your personal goals and whether you’re a batsman, bowler or keeping wicket. But it’s the duty of every player to look after his or her basic fitness, so we suggest you follow the exercises below which are ideal preparation for cricket for beginners.

EXERCISES

Press-ups, sit-ups, squats, steps and lunges form the basis of all movements a cricket will perform in the field. They’re the bedrock of all your fitness work for the game, so make them part of your overall routine. In addition, you can introduce some of the following exercises. 

BODY WEIGHT SQUATS

Sets – 3

Reps - 12

  • Start with your feet shoulder width apart and hands on your head.
  • Squat slowly as if sitting on a chair, keeping your back straight.
  • Raise yourself to the start and repeat.

BENCH CRUNCHES

Sets – 3

Reps - 20

  • Lie on a flat bench with your hips on the edge at the very end and your hands behind your head.
  • Keep your knees and feet together with a slight bend in your knees.
  • Keep your shoulders on the bench and lower your legs, then slowly raise them, bending your knees and crunch your chest to your knees.

BILATERAL HIP RAISE

Sets – 3

Reps - 12

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent.
  • Raise your hips till your thighs and torso form a straight line.
  • Slowly lower your bum to the floor and repeat.

PLANK

Sets – 3-5

Reps – to fatigue

  • Lie on your front and push up till your arms, back and legs are straight.
  • Squeeze your ab and bum muscles.
  • Hold till you can’t hold any longer. Repeat 3-5 times.

ROTATOR STRETCHES 

For both these exercises, place a knotted length of resistance band in a door at elbow height and close the door.

INTERNAL ROTATOR

Sets – 3-5

Reps – 10

  • With the door on your right, lock your right elbow at 90 degrees with your forearm parallel to the floor and the door.
  • Place a pillow between your right elbow and body, and holding the band in your right hand, pull it towards your left hip.
  • Slowly return to the starting position, repeat. Follow the same procedure with your other arm.

EXTERNAL ROTATOR

Sets – 3-5

Reps – 10

  • With the door on your left, lock your right elbow at 90 degrees with your forearm parallel to the floor, but across your body.
  • Place a pillow between your right elbow and body, and holding the band in your right hand, pull it outwards away from the door.
  • Slowly return to the starting position, repeat. Follow the same procedure with your other arm.

SWISS BALL CRUNCHES

Sets – 3-5

Reps – 20

  • Sit on a Swiss ball, then slide forward till the ball is supporting your hips and lower back.
  • With your arms behind your head, squeeze your abs and lift your chest off the ball.
  • Slowly come back to the starting position and repeat.

HORIZONTAL PULL-UPS

Sets – 3-5

Reps – 4

  • Lie on your back under a weightlifting (Smith) rack, ensuring your chest is level with the bar.
  • Grip the bar overhand with your hands shoulder width apart.
  • Keeping your legs and torso straight, pull yourself up till your chest touches the bar. Lower yourself back to the start and repeat.