Gym Exercises for Cricketers

Cricket is often criticised for being a slow sport, especially in the case of five-day test matches, but do not underestimate the mental and physical endurance required to play the game at the highest level. Cricketers must be able to bolt into action from a standing start, and this is true whether they are batting, bowling, or fielding.

While many players specialise in one of those positions, it isn’t uncommon for cricketers to consider themselves as all-rounders, whereby they will play in each position. Mostly, however, cricketers will focus either on batting or bowling (with all players fielding when their side is not batting), and regimes centred around the position will make up the core exercises for cricketers.

For this, we will split this post into three sections, detailing the best exercises for batsmen, bowlers, and fielders.

Exercises for Batsmen

We will first focus on batsmen, so below we will look at the type of exercises that the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and Joe Root will have incorporated into their weekly gym schedule. The top batsmen all display enormous upper-body and core strength which provides them with the power they need to smash the ball out for six, which is so often the difference between victory and defeat.

Cable Core Rotation

The cable core rotation is a great exercise for any batsman looking to work their core. Begin by holding the cable with both hands on one side (startwith the same side you would hold the bat) with the opposite arm stretched across your body. While moving your arms only, extend out your arms and pull the cable until your arm is straight and, slowly, move back to the starting position. Perform this exercise on both sides. 

The tension afforded by the cable will help to develop strength in your core which bowlers will be wary of, knowing full well that you are more than capable of punishing a poor delivery.

Shoulder Press

The shoulder press is one of the simpler exercises in a cricketer’s arsenal, but it is no less effective. A batsman requires great upper-body strength and a perfectly executed shoulder press will go a long way to achieving this. There are a few pieces of gym equipment that can be utilised to perform this exercise, such as a shoulder press machine, while the video above demonstrates the exercise performed with dumbbells.

The technique is important to benefit from this exercise, so make sure that the weights are held in line with your collar bone, shoulder-width apart, and you are holding the weight (dumbbell, barbell etc…) so that the palms of your hands are facing directly in front of you. Drive the weight up by extending your arms straight and slowly back down, feeling the tension in your shoulders as you return to the starting position.

Medicine Ball Side Throw

Power and strength is the name of the game and one of the better exercises that batsmen swear by is the medicine ball side throw. To perform this exercise, adopt a starting position perpendicular to a wall that you can throw a medicine ball towards with your feet shoulder-width apart and the ball held by both hands in front of you. Much of the power of this exercise will come from your back leg as you rotate your body, pulling the ball back into your hip before turning out and throwing the ball into the wall as demonstrated above. Perform this exercise on both sides, training both sides equally.

Performing this exercise will provide batsmen with an advantage when the need for strength, balance and rotational power is required for any type of sweep and pull shots, where the batsman adopts a lunge stance.

Exercises for Bowlers

Bowlers require a good amount of upper-body strength – especially in the shoulders – where much of their power emanates from (especially in the case of fast-bowlers). However, good core and powerful legs also help the bowler to perfect their delivery, allowing them to generate speed and power during their run-up prior to bowling the ball.

Barbell Squat

The barbell squat is the perfect exercise for training your core section as well as your glutes which will help any bowler to generate all the power they need. This exercise is a simple one but should not be rushed to truly reap the benefits of it. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with the barbell resting across your upper-back. Engage your core and slowly bend your legs into a squatting position (you will feel this in the back of your legs). Hold the position for a second or two before driving back up from your heels, returning to your starting position.

It may be tempting to fill your barbell with as much weight as possible, but the technique is the most important aspect of this exercise. Light weight and perfect form will always be more beneficial than heavy weight and poor form which is how injuries happen.

Lateral Raise

The lateral raise will develop strength in the shoulders, making for an easy to perform exercise that can be adapted if preferred. Using a resistance band, stand straight, your feet shoulder-width apart with one foot standing on one end of the band and the other end in your hand, with your arm down straight by your side. To begin, slowly raise your arm out to the side, keeping it straight, until your arm is parallel to the floor and hold the position for a second or two before lowering your arm back down.

To increase the intensity of this exercise, incorporate a dumbbell in with this exercise or an additional resistance band.

Chin-Up

The chin-up is a fantastic exercise that works the majority of the muscles in the upper-body, back and core, helping bowlers to hit peak performance in those decisive overs. To perform this exercise, place your hands on a bar (above head height) with your palms facing towards you and pull yourself up, raising your chin above the bar and back down again. Perform as many reps as you can which, if you have never performed a chin-up before, likely won’t be many.

As well as developing strength in core areas, the chin-up also helps to build fantastic grip strength in your fingers and hands, something which should make this exercise an essential gym exercise for cricket bowlers.

Exercises for Fielders

When in the field, cricketers must be ready to make a crucial catch, even after standing around for a couple of hours not playing as much of an active role in the match. As well as pivotal catches, fielders must possess speed in the field to chase down the ball, stopping it from going over the boundary, as well as making for an opportunity for the bowling team to run out the batsman.

Box Jump

Fielders will have only a split-second to react after the batsman strikes the ball, so the ability to explode into action is required. The box jump is the ideal exercise for fielders, training their body to jolt into action from a standing start.

The box jump is performed by standing a comfortable distance away from the box, dropping into a squat and jumping, swinging your arms out, in the direction of the box to land on top of it. This exercise also helps to develop balance.

Sprints

Fielding can demand a lot of sprinting (as too can batting in order to rack up those runs). In many ways, a fielder can find themselves taking part in a day-long HIIT session where they are constantly stopping and starting, going from one extreme to the other. 

There are many ways in which cricketers can work on their sprinting technique. One way we recommend is to devise a HIIT session where participants jog/run at a steady speed before bursting into a short sprint, returning to an easy jog and repeating.

Gym Equipment from UK Gym Equipment

Any of the equipment available from UK Gym Equipment will benefit your tailored cricket gym exercises, helping you and/or your team to push themselves to the next level. For more information on the range of equipment available, please get in touch with a member of our team today.

Comments are closed here.