If you’re to get the most from your cricket games and training, it’s important that you’re fit enough. Being out of breath at the stumps or when you’re bowling or fielding isn’t much fun and it can affect your concentration and technique.
So, before you pick up your cricket equipment, it might be worth getting stuck into some fitness boosting exercises.
There are certainly plenty of tips available over the web to help you ensure you’re in tiptop shape. For example, writing on Livestrong.com, journalist and sportsman Peter Mitchell offered some advice.
Commenting on the importance of fitness, he remarked: “Though cricket appears to include long spells of rest in the field, regular short bursts of activity and long periods of batting take their physical toll. The best cricketers have fitness on their side. For example, you’re unlikely to bowl at your best if you’re breathing heavily after just a few balls. And you’re more likely to make a basic batting error if you’re panting after a previous run.”
Regardless of whether you’re concentrating on batting, bowling or fielding, you’ll need good cardiovascular fitness, he suggested.
Mr Mitchell pointed out that running, cycling and swimming are useful aerobic exercises. He also recommended running with your cricket pads and other gear on. About this, he stated: “You may be able to run 100 feet wearing a T-shirt, but running in full pads is another matter.”
Hitting the gym
Heading to the gym can be a daunting experience. There are so many machines to choose from, and knowing where to start isn’t always easy. However, according to the writer, the rowing machine can be ideal. This helps you develop good overall upper body strength, which is important when you’re playing cricket.
The words ‘circuit training’ may strike fear into your heart, but it’s important to remember that you can tailor your routines to suit your aims and ability level. Mr Mitchell suggested that these exercises should focus on a “combination of explosive power and stamina”.
He also pointed out that in the DPH Sports Series book ‘Cricket’, Ashok Kumar recommends including pull-ups, burpees, back raises, push-ups, abdominal curls and sprint runs as part of an overall fitness programme.
Pilates and yoga
Pilates and yoga may not be the first things that spring to mind when you’re trying to boost your cricketing fitness, but the writer noted that flexibility can help fielders make “the most acrobatic of catches” and it can also enable batsmen to move their bodies into position quickly to play the best shots. It even prevents bowlers from picking up too many injuries, he added.
These days, there are lots of Pilates and yoga classes available, meaning you may well find ones that perfectly suit your needs. Of course, if you’d rather not attend group sessions, you can always pick up a DVD and go through the exercises at home.
By getting in shape before you slip into your cricket clothes, you can help ensure you benefit from maximum enjoyment and success on the pitch.