Cricket Fitness Level 1 Routine
The routines outlined below address several key conditioning components, namely mobility, core strength, general strength and work capacity.
Mobility and Core Strength
It is vital that a cricketer possesses good joint mobility and core strength, limitations here are likely to have a negative effect on cricket skills and ultimately performance.
The routines provided (CORE WARM-UP and Strength Routines) are designed in a manner that will address mobility and core strength.
Therefore following the routines provided will bring about improvements in these aspects of physical conditioning.
There are many methods of training to develop muscular strength. However, it is important that an athlete has the ability to perform fundamental movements before attempting complex exercises or training routines.
The fundamental movements that any cricketer should be able to perform are:
· The Squat
· The Step
· The Lunge
These movement patterns form the basis of any movement that a cricketer will perform on the field of play. These lower body movements are not the only ones that are important, but they do form the foundation of any movement that will be carried out.
In addition to these basic movement patterns the routine also emphasises certain assistance exercises and upper body movements that are functional in nature.
Two routines are provided – Level 1 and Level 2 Routines. Each routine builds onto the next.
When training cricketers, no matter what level, I will always assess their movement capabilities by starting with a basic routine, if competent I will continually advance their training by giving them more demanding exercises.
It is important that you are able to perform basic movements before trying to lift heavy loads. In this regard your initial focus should be on performing functional body resistance exercises (bodyweight exercises). Bodyweight exercises provide ample resistance and I believe it is best to master these before attempting weight training.
I would advise starting the strength training routines at least 2 months before the start of the season.
Level 1 Strength Routine
· Complete the core warm-up (1 set of each exercise) before starting the strength routine.
· Then perform 3 sets of the routine shown below. Perform the routine at least 3 times a week on alternated days (eg. Mon, Wed, Fri). As your technique and strength improve you should add more repetitions (2 repetitions per week).
· Once you are competent in performing these exercises (after 3-4 weeks) you should progress to the level 2 Routine.
Body Weight Squat
Start with the hands on the head or shoulders, the feet should be shoulder width apart and toes turned slightly out. Squat slowly as if sitting back onto a chair. Keep the back flat and arms above your head as you descend. Aim to get the hips lower than the knees Return to the start position and repeat.
Body Weight Split Squat
8 each side
Start with a split stance. Lower the hips straight to the floor. Return to the start position and repeat.
Bilateral Hip Raise
Start lying flat on the back with knees bent 90 degrees. Raise the hips until the thigh and torso are in alignment. Return to the start position and repeat
Start with the feet together, hands slightly wider than shoulder width and arms straight. Slowly descend so that the chest is about 5 cm from the floor. Return to the start position and repeat.
Start by positioning the body under a smith rack. The chest should be in level with the bar. Grip the bar with an overhand grip (palms down) about shoulder width apart. Keep the legs and torso straight. The body should not touch the floor. Pull the body toward the bar and aim to touch the chest to the bar. Lower to the start position and repeat.