Strength Training for Cricket

Throwing and Cricket – Part 2

Throwing is more than just the shoulder and arm

Of course there is more to the throwing action than just the shoulder and arm (which we looked at in part 1). There are certainly various forms of throwing, and as a result the degree to which various parts of the body are involved differs. However it goes without saying that every variation will involve that powerful shoulder rotation. The other 2 components that are visible to varying degrees depending on the type of throw, are a step and drive, and a torso rotation. So the 3 basic movements when broken down to their simplest forms are;


  1. Single leg step/drive
  2. Torso rotation
  3. Shoulder rotation


Single leg Step/drive

The single leg step and drive is a powerful/explosive push off of 1 leg, which initiates the power that will travel up the torso and arm and be released out through the hand and propel the ball. So this is also important in adding more potential power to a throw, as this is where the power is initiated. For this reason, in Strength and Power Training for Cricket we place a huge emphasis not only on single leg strength, but also single leg power.


In our programming for cricket, there certainly is strong emphasis placed on single leg training, not only for the high level of carryover, but also for the other goals that it targets – including hip stability and its contribution to knee injury reduction – but also because it allows for a greater portion of a muscle to be recruited. With more muscle fibers being activated during a single-leg movement than double-leg movement and therefore a higher force being able to be generated, as well as the fact that cricket is a sport played predominantly off 1 leg at a time, it would make sense to train with this single-leg approach. There certainly is still value in double-leg training in terms of laying foundations, however single-leg training will provide for a greater level of carryover and is far more prevalent the more specific a program gets, and certainly is our choice if training time is limited.

Torso Rotation

This phase of the throw links the 2 sections together that we have discussed so far – the shoulder rotation and the powerful step. The torso (which includes all the core musculature) provides the link between the lower extremities (the legs) and the upper extremities (the arms), and any lack of ability to correctly or effectively connect this link will result in wasted energy/power and therefore a less powerful throw.


The muscles of the torso primarily involved in the throwing motion are the obliques – both the internal and external obliques, which work together to provide this rotation. So when rotating or needing rotation power generated in one direction, the obliques on both sides still contribute.

Called the obliques because of the direction their fibers travel (obliquely) you can see that the internal obliques are actually a layer below the external obliques. Additionally, and it is hard to pick up on in the picture, but the internal obliques on the right hand side there obliquely face up, whereas the external obliques face down. This is because the internal obliques on the right hand side (of the body in the picture on the previous page that is) work together with the external obliques on the left to provide for rotation. And as you can see, the external obliques on the left hand side travel up that same direction as the internal obliques on the right.


It goes without saying that rotation – particularly torso rotation – is vital in the sport of cricket – whether you are batting, bowling or fielding. In fact it really is remarkable just how much rotation occurs. As a result, this rotation ability is another priority on our list, and as a result features prominently.



Cricket Athlete