Movement Over Muscles: 10 Essential Exercise Categories for Cricketers
The journey of a cricketer to physical excellence transcends mere muscle growth. It's more about the mechanics, the movement, and the holistic approach to body fitness. Here are 10 essential exercise categories that every cricketer should master.
The Cake Analogy
Think of exercise selection like baking a cake. Regardless of the flavour, there are core ingredients - eggs, milk, flour and so on. These 10 exercise categories are akin to these essential ingredients. While every athlete should be adept at them, it's the unique additions (chocolate, lemon, jam) that make each cake special. Similarly, specific exercises can be tailored based on a player’s unique role - a fast bowler might focus more on hamstring work, while a batter emphasises forearm strength.
A hinge movement, like the single leg RDL, predominantly targets hamstrings and glutes. It necessitates your whole body to engage. Imagine a brace around your knees and a button on the wall behind, which you aim to push with your backside.
Focusing mainly on quads and glutes, the squat is a versatile compound movement. For bilateral squats, think of breaking a rubber band around your knees. The single-leg squat is a favourite, bringing in a stability element.
Another lower body exercise, lunges target the quads and glutes. The reverse lunge is one of our staples.
Push exercises, like the landmine press, emphasise the anterior chain. Core engagement is crucial, ensuring the body isn't leaning backward.
Pulling exercises target the posterior chain, vital for the upper body's "breaking" mechanism. TRX rows are recommended for engaging core and glutes while working the many muscles of the posterior chain.
Anti-rotation exercises focus on the core. The Palof press is ideal, as it emphasises keeping the hips and shoulders square, resisting side motion.
This category is centered on the lumbar spine. The dead bug exercise is favored here, emphasising keeping the core engaged.
8. Anti lateral flexion
Aimed at reducing lateral flexion, exercises in this category help in avoiding fast bowling injuries like side strains. The single-arm farmer carry is an excellent choice.
Sprinting is incredibly valuable, boosting run-up speed and improving on-field agility. Wall drive variations are suggested to enhance the sprinting form.
Jumping and landing are paramount. Snapdowns with a jump are recommended to hone both jumping and landing skills, preparing the body for varied game situations.
Strength & conditioning can be likened to adding advanced tools to a cricketer's toolbox. However, possessing these tools isn't enough. Mastery in using them, combined with technique, is what makes a world-class cricketer. It's about the harmonious integration of power, technique, and skill, all working in tandem on the cricket field.