Fast bowling is complex. It’s impossible to break it down to one part; but a crucially important part for power - and therefore speed - is your hips.
Your hips are the powerhouse of the bowling action. You have leapt to the crease, landed with a braced front leg and there is a surge of energy heading up your body (like a pole vaulter’s pole sends them over the bar).
But wait. Before the energy can get into the ball to sear it down the other end it needs to get through your body.
This is where your hips snap through with perfect timing. Ian Pont calls it hip drive. Every single super-fast bowler has it because it works.
But if you can’t do it, how do you learn to drive your hips effectively?
It’s a complex movement that involves the thighs, glutes, core and lats. It takes coordination and power.
Ultimate exercise for fast bowlers
To me that sounds very much like an old Russian exercise recently popularised in the west; the kettlebell swing.
Using this unusually shaped weight you can perform a swing exercise that teaches you - guess what - a hip snap that looks remarkable like a fast bowler’s hip drive. It teaches you the coordination you need to use all that ground force energy to put into the ball.
It also improves your overall power in just two 12 minute sessions a week. And the conditioning effect is perfect for when you want to build your endurance for longer spells, or you want to come back for a second spell just as fast as the first.
What’s not to love about that?
Of course, it’s just one option for power, but for many young cricketers with no gym access and limited funds to buy kit, an investment in a kettlebell is the perfect answer.
by David Hinchclife, PitchVision Academy
© 2013 miSport Ltd