Fitness and Performance
Cricket Batsmen: The 5 best exercises for injury prevention
The focus of this blog is on the all-important cricket batsmen… we’ve pulled together the top 5 exercises to help you stay injury-free…
Many studies have proved that batsmen are prone to injuries, just like any other cricketers. Their role in the game is to display power, strength, and to clear the ground with ease, meaning strength and conditioning training is really important.
Batsmen: The injuries
Injuries which happen to the batsmen may be contact or non-contact. Non-impact injuries present mostly in the lower limbs, and often occur when running between the wickets. The ability to hit the ball and accelerate-decelerate quickly is a skill most batsmen must nail.
The most common injuries for batsmen are:
- Hamstring strain
- Quadricep strain
- Elbow strain
- Calf strain
In this blog, we are going to focus more on strengthening and its principles. Below are our 5 favourite gym-based exercises for batsmen:
Batsmen need both high-intensity accelerations and decelerations repeatedly. This makes them liable to both quadriceps and hamstring strains. Therefore, it’s important to eccentrically load to reduce the risk of injury. There’s no better exercise that does this than the Nordic hamstring exercise.
Other useful variation for this exercise is the Romanian dead lift for eccentric hamstring activation.
Considering the amount of lower limb injuries in batsmen, another good lower limb strengthening exercise is weighted squats. You can perform these with either a barbell or a dumbbell.
Weighted squats help to strengthen those muscles more in the lower limbs. They have elements of both concentric and eccentric lower limb activation and helps to strengthen your glutes and improve core activation. Finally, it promotes better control and helps batsmen to improve their swing for power hitting.
Batsmen can also vary their workout by incorporating the deadlifts in their routine similar to fast bowlers.
With the arrival of the T20 (a short format version of the full game), it’s even more important for batsmen to have both a strong upper body and core strength. By having such, their power is enhanced, helping them to clear any boundaries in the game. Activities such as CrossFit and Olympic lifts have been a popular training method for cricket batsmen. The best exercise to work on both is the full snatch.
There are many advantages of the full snatch, including:
- Improves core activation
- Increases lower limb and upper body strength
- Enhances your proprioception
- Improves explosive power and reflexes
In addition, it also helps to improve your sprint speed, throwing, jumping and running. It’s a no brainer.
Other variation of lifts which may benefit a cricket batsmen include:
- Power clean
- Clean and jerk
Remember to train these initially without weights to work on your control and coordination. We recommend adding weights at a later stage under the guidance of a physiotherapist to avoid injury.
Cable wood chop
A pull shot is one of cricket’s most glorious moves to witness. To do so, batsmen must twist with a swing and it’s performed regularly in the game. It’s vital to strengthen the muscles that assist this movement to be able to pull it off without injuring yourself.
The cable wood chop is an ideal exercise, as it helps to replicate the pull shot. It helps with both core and oblique muscle activation. In addition to this, it also strengthens the shoulder and pectoral girdle muscles along with your glutes.
This exercise may be performed on a multigym machine. Alternatively, dumbbells may be used to perform this exercise. Other variation to this exercise is the Russian twist.
Strengthening your upper limbs (mainly your arms and forearms) assists batsmen with power hitting. Equally so, the risk of injury in the elbows and wrists is lessened.
Triceps pull downs help to isolate and strengthen the triceps muscles. They improve muscle activation, which play an important role in both power-hitting and pull shot. This exercise may be performed with multigym machine or dumbbells. Other variations for upper limb strengthening include wrist curls, bicep curls and press-ups.
Are you a budding cricketer suffering from frequent injuries? Do you feel you have certain issues of your training which need addressing? We may be able to assess and evaluate your biomechanics, prescribe you an exercise programme to prolong your cricket career.