Exercises for Cricket: A guide to the Lower Body
The lower body is the engine of the cricketer's body. This is where the majority of our strength and power comes from if trained correctly. If you want to increase your bowling speed and bat speed, this is a great place to start.
Lower body anatomy & function
The anterior chain on the lower body refers to the muscles located on the front side of the lower torso and legs. These muscles play a crucial role in lower body movements and stability. Here are some of the main muscles that make up the anterior chain on the lower body:
The quadriceps femoris, or simply quadriceps, is a group of four muscles located on the front of the thigh. These muscles include the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, and vastus intermedius. The quadriceps are responsible for extending the knee and flexing the hip.
The sartorius muscle is a long, strap-like muscle that runs diagonally across the front of the thigh. It is the longest muscle in the body and is responsible for flexing, abducting, and externally rotating the hip joint.
Tensor fasciae latae (TFL)
The TFL is a small muscle located on the outer side of the hip. It works in conjunction with the gluteus medius and is responsible for hip flexion, abduction, and internal rotation.
The psoas major is a deep muscle that originates from the lumbar vertebrae and runs through the pelvis to insert on the femur. It is primarily responsible for flexing the hip joint.
The hip flexors are a group of muscles including the iliacus, psoas major, and rectus femoris, which work together to flex the hip joint.
The posterior chain on the lower body refers to the muscles located on the back side of the lower torso and legs. These muscles are crucial for generating power, stability, and propulsion during various lower body movements. Here are some of the main muscles that make up the posterior chain on the lower body:
The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the body and forms the bulk of the buttocks. It is responsible for hip extension, which is crucial for activities such as walking, running, and climbing.
The hamstrings are a group of three muscles located on the back of the thigh. These muscles include the biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus. The hamstrings are responsible for knee flexion and hip extension.
The gastrocnemius is the large calf muscle located at the back of the lower leg. It is responsible for plantar flexion of the foot and plays a significant role in walking, running, and jumping.
The soleus is a deeper muscle located beneath the gastrocnemius. It also assists in plantar flexion of the foot and provides stability during standing and walking.
The posterior tibialis is a muscle located deep in the calf and plays a crucial role in maintaining arch support and controlling foot movements, such as inversion and plantar flexion.
Why is the lower body an important area for Cricket players to train?
The lower body is the powerhouse of the human body. Whatever your role, the lower body is a vital area to train. It’s where our largest muscle groups are located so it makes sense to get it nice and strong. Cricket is a heavily unilateral (one side at a time) sport so that is why many of these exercises below are working just one leg at a time. Make sure you strengthen your quads, hamstrings and glutes to build a well-rounded lower body. If your lower body is strong, then you have a really solid base from which to build an athletic, powerful cricket player.
4 lower body strength exercises for Cricketers
Below are 4 of our favourite lower body strength exercises with a short description. Watch the video below for a demonstration.
With the barbell resting across the front of your shoulders and feet shoulder width apart, sit your hips back and sink down into a squat position.
Single leg hip lift
With your shoulders resting on a box or bench, put your weight through one foot and have a bend in that knee. Let your hips drop to the floor and this drive vertically upwards, squeezing your glutes at the top.
Single leg squat
On a small box, put your weight through one leg. Push your hips back and sit into a squat position ensuring that your knee tracks over your fourth and fifth toe.
Split stance RDL
Feet shoulder width apart, drop one foot back and raise the heel. With a soft bend in your front knee, push your hips back, loading your hamstrings and letting the bar travel directly down.