Strength Training for Cricket

Frequently Asked Questions

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Injury prevention is discussed and outlined in detail as well as a key focus of the periodised programs included. Having said that, regarding existing injuries, every injury, every individual and every case is different, so this is far to broad a question to provide an answer to without knowing the individual. Any injury or history of injury requires you to work with a physio or specialist to discuss in detail where your body is currently at, and what you can and can’t do (and the reassess this periodically.)

Just as above, every individual is different and every medical issue is different, and will express itself differently in different individuals. I am not a doctor, and therefore I am in no position to give medical advice, especially on a broad scale to people without knowing them. However the advice that I will give, and indeed mention very early in the book, is that before undertaking any strength training program or exercise program of any sort, you should first obtain a doctors clearance, even if you are free of any ‘condition’ or complications as far as you know.

There is no required ability, and the program and exercises cater to every ability level. It is just a matter of scaling things appropriately depending on how experienced you are – you will be clear on how to do this once reading the book, as the program is laid out in a gradual, progressive and easy to understand format.

Furthermore, it is important to understand that this isn’t just a periodised program outline with descriptions of each exercise, but also an in depth detailed discussion and outline of what exactly functional is in terms of cricket, and what this means with your exercise choices. The information and concepts that are covered applies to anyone, regardless of whether you are a 15 year old beginner, a 25 year old beginner, or a highly experienced strength trainer and cricket player of any age.

Training for Cricket

(We have limited these to a select few – as most questions are covered in the articles section.)

The best exercises for throwing or bowling aren’t just necessarily ‘arms’ exercises, but rather full body exercises that involve some contribution of the arms, but also a great amount of contribution from the hips and torso. Throwing is a full body movement with a large contribution from the legs core and torso, and a large amount of rotation. In Strength & Power Training for Cricket we break the shooting/throwing down into the various elements and movements to train, but also cover various elements in the articles section.

Performing effective exercises with a high level of carryover to performing these tasks in a game of cricket, and having them included in a periodised program specific for a cricket season will most certainly improve this ability. But performing a bodybuilding style program – with useless leg exercises like machine leg extensions, and machine hamstring curls and leg presses will most certainly be of no benefit at best, and at worst slow you down as well as cause you injury on match day.

This is a very broad question and hard to give a short and simple answer too. But in general, yes plyometrics are good for developing power output, specific to cricket, provided that:

1) They are selectively picked with a targeted end goal in mind. In other words, they aren’t just plyometric exercises that other guys/girls you know do, but rather are picked with specific carryover to a particular task in cricket or physical quality in mind (say changing directions quickly.)

and

2) They are periodised correctly with the rest of the program – and included after the appropriate preparatory work has been done.

Without these 2 important ingredients, plyometrics all of a sudden aren’t so useful, and are also far more likely to lead to injury.

During the season, ideally you would still perform 2 strength sessions a week. 1 is still better than nothing, but 2 is ideal to maintain strength and performance gains made in the pre-season, because make no mistake, if you stop strength training during the season, any gains in performance you made during the off season, will be completely evaporated very early on. However it is important to layout your strength training program correctly through the season, using effective exercises and programming of them, in order to maintain gains, as well as reduce burnout. Most guys fall down with this last point.

This is obviously individual dependent, however 3 days a week during the off-season and pre season is ideal (but certainly no more), but 2 days a week if programmed correctly is also ok. During the season, 2 days a week is ideal, but 1 session per week is also acceptable if programmed with effective exercises targeting specific goals.

Yes absolutely. Doing the same exercises and in the same sets and reps all year-round is a recipe for not only no improvement, but also going more and more backwards as the season goes on. Effective periodisation is the key missing ingredient where many players training for cricket (or just performance in sports in general) fall down, even when they are performing good exercises.

I am not surprised to hear this. Your experience sounds very common for guys who have been performing bodybuilding style routines, in the hope that it will transfer over to the cricket field. This is a classic example that breaking the body down into parts and performing useless isolation exercises, and pin-loaded machine exercises, will not contribute to improved performance at all, and in many cases will actually make you a slower, weaker and more ineffective player. A cut-and-paste program from a magazine or website which has been re-packaged as a ‘cricket program’ is always garbage. Please don’t fall into the trap of thinking that all strength-training programs are basically the same.

By following a periodised program that is actually designed to improve physical abilities required in cricket, your performance will improve. You certainly will not feel slower or more tired. Your previous experiences highlight much of what I am highlighting here. The guys at the highest level certainly aren’t getting bigger and slower, and that is because the high performance staff around them learnt long ago that this outdated approach wasn’t doing anything for their cricket ability.