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Fitness | Diet

Tips on Fitness

5 reasons you need to be fit for cricket:

Performance: Fitness improves performance, bowling speed, muscular power (important for throwing, hitting and running), reduces reaction time and improves running speed.

Injury Prevention: A stronger body- stronger bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons reduce the risk of injury.

Teamwork: Since cricket is a team sport it is also important to build a sense of camaraderie especially through and during fitness training. Training in pairs or in a team is great for building camaraderie between teammates. Try and make the training competitive which also makes it energizing and a fun thing to do.

Variety: Be realistic while training. Playing cricket may be the best way to train for the game but getting another way of training can add variety and prevent boredom. This will keep the mind and body active.

Healthy Body: Working towards general fitness not only makes you perform well by keeping the muscles strong and the joints flexible, but it also improves the core strength, makes you look and feel good and finally helps in injury prevention.

Cricket Training Session

General Warm Up (10-20 min)
Spot jogging, knee ups. Brisk walk can all be treated as a warm up. The warm up is vital to reduce the risk of injury, so don't do what most club players do and skip straight to the skills session.

Cricket Specific Conditioning (15-30 min)
This section is designed to work on muscles used in cricket skills, general skills, fill in the gaps in cricket conditioning and maintain physical conditioning.

Start with a few minutes of core stability training to help reduce the risk of injury. Concentrate especially on exercises that work the legs, ankles and knees.

Core Strength Training

Once you have worked on your physical conditioning you can move to working on specific skill drills. The focus here is on skill improvement and maintenance so work on areas that you feel are weaker first. Ideally you will also have access to a coach who can give you pointers as you train, although if this is not possible then a willing training buddy will do.

Core Training

Abs

Back

Upper Body Chest

Shoulders

Arms - Triceps

Wrist

Legs, Calves & Ankles Build Strength and flexibility

Balance and Stability - Single leg squats and Plyometrics

Athletes from a wide range of sports use Plyometric training to help them reach peak physical condition. Plyometric training can be a highly effective form of power training, especially when combined with a suitable strength training program.

Step ups- Single leg training will give an edge

Sprints and strides to build running speed and quick turns to improve agility. Long runs once a week to build endurance.

General Cool Down (10-30 min)

It is essential for injury prevention and recovery that you take a few minutes to cool down.

Running Techniques

Cricket is a stop/start game that involves short bursts of fast running (chasing in the field, running between the wickets and a bowlers run up). So long running is unsuitable.

The answer to this problem is interval training.

Intervals involve many short bursts of work followed by rests to recover. You can do them indoors or outdoors as long as you have a space of a couple of hundred meters.

For example:
3 sets of 200m (followed by 3 minutes rest)
4 sets of 100m (followed by 3 minutes rest)
5 sets of 50m (followed by 3 minutes rest)
10 sets of 25m (followed by 3 minutes rest)
10 sets of 10m (followed by 3 minutes rest)

The great thing about intervals is that you can adjust the distance and rest as much as you like. Shorter distances with less rest trains your speed, longer distances and rest trains your endurance. Add quick turnarounds to improve agility.

Gymming & Cricket

1. Some things, like strength training, are best done in the gym. You can exercise in ways, with weights and with muscles you would have great trouble or expense replicating elsewhere.
2. Good gyms have good gym instructors who will quite happily reel off as much advice as you need.
3. Fitness training is good for your general health (the main reason why most people go to the gym anyway).

So every player should join a gym unless they have a very strong reason not to.
1. If your doctor has told you not to
2. If you don't have access to one
3. If you are under 18. You shouldn't be lifting heavy weights at a young age as it is detrimental to your physical development (although light or body weight exercise is fine).
4. If your gym training is detrimental to developing cricket specific speed, endurance, agility or skill. Ideally the gym will compliment these, but if it is better to stay away and just train cricket specifics than lose out because the gym is taking too much time.

As usual then, it is all about finding a balance to get the best results: more wickets, catches and runs. For the vast majority that balance involves the gym.