Cricket Batting Exercises
Like other batting sports, cricket requires exceptional hand-eye coordination and exceptional fitness, according to Andrew Gale, a professional cricketer playing for Yorkshire County Cricket Club. While professional cricketers are endowed with certain physical characteristics that help them excel, every batsman can maximize his innate ability. The specificity of your training is the key, says David Hinchcliffe on the website PitchVision.com.
Cricket is a power sport defined by short bursts of high energy and relatively long rest intervals. According to the website Fitness4Cricket.com, "It is the application of speed that translates strength into power." The writers of Fitness4Cricket.com recommend the following exercises to develop power: sprinting while wearing a weighted vest or while pulling a sled, ballistic exercises designed to produce fast, powerful movements and Olympic lifts, such as deadlifts, the clean and jerk and the snatch. Hincliffe suggests that for optimal training, perform cricket-based plyometric exercises, such as fielding drop in the off-season. To perform the fielding drop exercise, place a cricket ball about 60 to 80 feet away and stand on a chair. Have a partner waiting behind your chair. Drop from your chair and sprint toward the ball, throwing the ball to your partner as quickly as possible. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions of this drill, resting for three minutes between sets.
According to PitchVision.com, core stability is crucial for cricket batsmen because it improves your balance and coordination, allows you to hit the ball harder and decreases the likelihood of injury. The following exercises will improve your core stability: the front bridge, back bridge and torso rotations on a stability ball. To perform a front bridge, lie face down and support your body using your forearms and toes. Make sure your ankles, hips, and shoulders are in alignment, then contract your abdominal muscles. Hold your front bridge for 60 seconds and repeat three times. To perform the back bridge, lie face up with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Contract your gluteal muscles and lift your hips so they're aligned with your shoulders and knees. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions, resting 60 seconds between sets. To perform torso rotations, lie with your shoulders supported on a stability ball. Keep your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Elevate your hips so they're in line with your shoulders and your knees, then hold a medicine ball directly over your shoulders. While keeping your hips in position and your arms straight, rotate your torso and roll onto one of your shoulders, then repeat in the other direction. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions, resting 60 seconds between sets.
Speed and Agility
In cricket, it's not enough to be a quick runner. As a batter, your ability to accelerate, decelerate and perform rapid movements in all directions is crucial to your success, and your ability to move quickly must be coupled with your ability to move deftly. PitchVision.com suggests the following exercises for improving your speed and agility: the backward zigzag turn and run and forward hops. To perform the backward zigzag turn and run exercise, place three markers in a zigzag pattern, about 10 to 15 feet apart, and a fourth marker about 50 feet farther away. Shuffle backward through the zigzag pattern before you turn at the third marker and sprint, head on, toward the fourth marker. Repeat this drill five times, taking a 90 second break between repetitions. To perform the forward hops exercise, place a ladder on an even surface and hop forward on one leg, hopping only once between your ladder's rungs. Switch your legs every three hops and continue this sequence until you've run out of ladder rungs over which to jump. Repeat this drill five times, resting 60 seconds between repetitions.
Martin Hughes is a chiropractic physician, health writer and the co-owner of a website devoted to natural footgear. He writes about health, fitness, diet and lifestyle. Hughes earned his Bachelor of Science in kinesiology at the University of Waterloo and his doctoral degree from Western States Chiropractic College in Portland, Ore.