With the T20 Blasts in full swing, cricket fans across the UK are currently having a field day. Some avid batters and bowlers may even be getting out onto the pitch to test their own skills, even if the hot weather has now subsided.
Loughborough Lightning will be playing in the KSL Final at Hove on Monday 27th August, so we’ve partnered with the Loughborough University’s Sports Development Centre to bring you some exercises designed to help you take your cricket game to the next level using elite strength conditioning techniques.
What is strength and conditioning?
Strength and conditioning refers to exercises designed to work on the same muscle groups that players use during matches.
The right conditioning helps increase your tolerance to the physical demands of the sport so you can increase your power while reducing your risk of injury.
With the following exercises, you can increase your strength and speed so that you perform better than ever come match day.
Medicine ball slams
Medicine ball slams are so useful for bowlers that they’ve become a staple part of elite team training programmes. For bowling, you need a strong core to ensure control, power and accuracy.
Choose a medicine ball that you’re comfortable with carrying in one hand but that will give you a bit of a challenge. 2-3 kg is a good place to start — you can increase the weight as you get stronger.
How to do a medicine ball slam
- Holding the medicine ball up to your chest, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your knees bent slightly.
- Lift the medicine ball over your head.
- Keeping your arms straight, throw the medicine ball onto the ground. Use your torso and core to generate the power, not just your arms.
- Catch the ball as it bounces and return to starting position, repeating for a total of 12 reps per set.
- For more advanced players, you can try doing the slam with just one arm.
Medicine ball hammer toss
This exercise is an ideal way of strengthening your core and helping you work on multi-directional movements. When batting, you’ll need to generate your power from the ground up, so you need to ensure your muscles are strong up to the hips.
Again, choose a medicine ball that’s right for you. The hammer toss is a rotational exercise, so going too heavy too soon could lead to injury if you’re not careful.
How to do a medicine ball hammer toss
- Start in a lunge position. You’ll need to be near a wall to ensure the ball can rebound — otherwise you’ll have to get up to fetch it after each rep.
- Holding the ball at arm’s length, quickly move the ball from your left hip with force, releasing the ball in line with your right hip.
- Catch the ball as it rebounds and return to the starting position.
- Repeat for a total of 10 reps per set. You’ll want to switch sides for your next set.
Medicine ball catch and slam
Catching a medicine ball is a great way to engage the muscles in your shoulders and back required to stop the ball. You’ll need a partner for this exercise who can throw you the ball, so choose a weight that you’re both comfortable with.
How to do a medicine ball catch and slam
- Stand facing your partner about a metre away. Your partner should be holding the medicine ball.
- Ensure your feet around shoulder-width apart and stretch your arms above your head.
- Have your partner throw the ball at your hands.
- Catch the ball above your head. You should feel muscles in your shoulders and upper back engaging to stop the force of the ball.
- Pause for a moment before throwing the medicine ball down in between yourself and your partner so that it bounces back over to them.
- Repeat for a total of 6 reps per set.
By incorporating these exercises into your warm-up routine, you’ll quickly see dramatic improvements in your performance during play.
Need a place where you can use strength and conditioning to improve your cricket game? Get a free 3-day pass to get started at your local Fitness First club today!
About Loughborough Lightning
Loughborough Lightning is the number 1 Kia Super League team in the East Midlands. It’s based at Loughborough University, home of the Loughborough Lightning cricket team.
Benefiting from some of the top coaches and facilities in the country, Lightning play in the top-tier of UK competition, with many of their athletes boasting numerous international caps.
Lightning have had a fantastic season this year and have topped the league table, earning themselves a place in the KSL final this bank holiday Monday. Make sure that you purchase your tickets to see Lightning strike at Hove in the final!