Staying healthy during the season is one of the biggest challenges to fast bowlers at every level.
Bowling quick is tough on the body. The stress on muscles, joints and ligaments is huge and when you are playing regularly recovery times are never enough.
It’s a recipe for getting hurt: unless you know how to train to keep the injuries away.
The key is to be flexible, but not afraid of gym work. So to help you with that, here is a sample training week for a fast bowler playing club cricket.
The aim is to give you an idea of how much volume you can do in-season. It’s probably more than you think, because the gym work balances out what you do in games.
So, here is that typical week:
Plays a 50 over game: bowls 8-10 overs and bats down the order.
After the game he does some recovery work and static stretching in areas that are sore and tight.
Our bowler hits the gym for about 45 minutes.
He starts with foam rolling and mobility drills before moving on to strength work.
The training focus is on lower body with heavy weights in the 1-5 rep range. The bowler uses multi-joint exercises such as squats or deadlifts.
He also does some light upper body training focusing on rowing exercises and press ups. He finishes with some core training.
He avoids the treadmill and static bike.
Monday is a day off from heavy training but the bowler still gets in some very light mobility and activation work that can be done before or after work.
He also does some static stretching just before bed.
After work he pops into the gym for 45 minutes to do some upper body training. After foam rolling and mobility work, he does bench pressing, rows and some chin ups.
He finishes with a couple of sets of single leg exercises and some core training.
Wednesday is club training night so he participates in all the drills and bowls a few overs working on some technical stuff before finishing with practicing his yorkers.
He stretches out before bed again.
Again he finds 35 minutes to do a short full body training session in the gym. After his mobility drills he does press ups and rows for his upper body while focusing on single leg lower body work.
He finishes with some core training.
Friday is officially a day off but sometimes our bowler will go to the nets and get a few overs in if he feels he needs to get in rhythm.
Either way, he does some mobility work, foam rolling and stretching at home before making sure he gets a good night’s sleep.
Training this way helps our bowler stay strong and flexible so he doesn’t need to worry about pushing himself on a Saturday.
Of course, you may find your circumstances slightly different and will need to customise, but you can see with a bit of planning that even club bowlers can train hard in the gym to help keep injuries away and get more overs in the summer.
by David Hinchclife, PitchVision Academy
© 2012 miSport Ltd