Fitness and Performance
Cricket Batsmen: The 5 best exercises for injury prevention
In Omkar’s penultimate blog post in the series, the focus today is on the all-important cricket batsmen. Here’s his five best exercises and how you can stay injury-free…
As explained previously, many studies have proved that batsmen are also prone to injuries like any other cricketers. With the advent of the more lucrative and shorter formats of the game, batting has become more of a power and strength game. This requires the ability to clear the ground at ease, furthermore, making strength and conditioning more important than ever.
Batsmen: The injuries
Injuries which happen to the batsmen may be contact or non-contact. Non-impact injuries occur for batsmen who focus
Non-impact injuries happen for batsmen are mostly focused over lower limbs mainly while running between the wickets. The ability to hit the ball and acceleration-deceleration for running between the wickets is a skill most batsmen must perform. Off late the upper limb injuries are increasing due to advent of shorter formats and the longevity of batsmen in the game of cricket.
We will be discussing in detail about the non-impact injuries in batsmen in this article.
The most common injuries for batsmen are:
- Hamstring strain
- Quadricep strain
- Elbow strain
- Calf strain
In this article, we are going to focus more on strengthening and its principles. Below are my favourite five 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. 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. I recommend adding weights at a later stage under the guidance of a PT to avoid injury.
Cable wood chop
A pull shot is one of the cricket’s 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.
Coming soon, Strength and fitness workout programme for fielders…
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.