How to Warm Up for Cricket

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How to Warm Up for CricketBy now we know that cricket warm ups are a great way to prepare your body for play and reduce the chance of injury.

They can also be used to improve your cricket.

Mobility, posture and flexibility are key components in cricket fitness. Often they ignored by cricketers: They are not as useful as technique and not as hardcore as endurance or strength training.

The warm up bridges this gap between cricket performance and normal life. Think of your warm up as a ramp to the top of your game: Without it you will struggle to to get to the top.

Here is the complete cricket warm up to get you to there.

 

Cricket warm up basics

The idea is to activate all of your cricket playing muscles with slowly increasing intensity. This has the added secondary ability of getting you mentally ready too. Start slow and build up.

NOTE: Warming up is established before games. This is a great idea if you are an opening bowler or batsman, less so if you are in the field and useful only for injury prevention reasons if you bat down the order. Make sure you time your warm up with when you are performing for maximum effect.

For now, we will focus on the pre-match warm up as this is most used. You will need:

  • Space to move around: 20 yards square is big enough.
  • Time to get physically and mentally ready: 5 minutes is the bare minimum but when you include skill work this can jump up as high as 45 minutes.
  • Equipment: This can vary from a couple of cricket balls and a stump up to medicine balls, resistance bands and other expensive gear. Use what you can get.

You can mix and match any of the parts of the warm up depending on time.

1. Starting slow, building up

A lot of teams start with a jog round the outfield, or game of touch rugby or football to raise the pulse rate. This is fine, but can go wrong.

It's better to combine this general pulse raising time with movements that mobilise your cricket playing joints too.

  • Walk backwards and forwards, do movements like lunges, side lunges, and hurdle walks at a slow pace.
  • Use movements like squats and star jumps as your heart rate moves up.
  • Move onto core stability exercises next. Focus on technique rather than exhaustion.
  • Change from walking to jogging and perform runner-style movement drills like knee lifts, carioca and skips.
  • Finish this section with some simple power movements like standing long jumps, power push ups or med ball throws.

With all these exercises the variables will depend on the individual. Balance the feeling of being ready with doing too much. A very fit player might be happy to do 3 sets of 10 clap push ups where a young or unfit player can't even do a normal press up. Judge your level based on feeling.

You can customise this section to the injury-prevention needs of the team or yourself here. For example, if hamstring pulls are an issue, spend more time on hip mobility exercises. There are loads of movements you can find online.

Overall, you should be working up a sweat but not exhausting yourself.

2. Sprints to focus the mind

A few short sprints really wake you up mentally and physically for cricket. If you have time and the appropriate fitness level, finish with five sprints over 20 yards:

  • Sprint 1: Standing Start
  • Sprint 2: Sideways Start
  • Sprint 3: Backwards Start
  • Sprint 4: Lying Start
  • Sprint 5: Walking Start

jog back for recovery. You can involve a ball and jump straight to high intensity fielding drills instead.

3. Cricket skills in the warm up

By this point you should be warm enough to perform some cricket fielding, throwing and catching drills at a good intensity. This section is all about "blowing away the cobwebs". That means reminding yourself about skills and getting your eye in close to game time. It's not about technical changes or doing so much your tire yourself out. Find the balance.

Specialists can work on their own skills.

  • Batsmen can have a net or do batting drills.
  • Bowlers can mark out their run and try hitting a target without a batsman as a distraction.
  • Wicketkeepers can either work with the bowlers or find someone to throw them balls.

For more details on this section, have a look at this video we made on the structure of a warm up.

Customise to your cricket needs

The take away point here is that warm ups are simple but they have a lot of options. You need to customise.

There is no one right way to warm up for cricket because every team and player have different needs. That means all the above are general principles in which you can customise based on time, equipment, player needs, player age and skill level.

Perhaps you feel less of number one and more of number three is best for you. That's fine, as long as it gets you in the right frame of mind and prevents injury.

I encourage you to build your own template for a warm up, then spend time finding the mobility drills, skill drills and equipment to perfect your own warm up. It takes a little time, but it's a vital part of success for cricketers set on a long career.

If you are further interested in both warm up and fitness, buy Strength and Conditioning for Cricket here on PitchVision Academy.

If you liked this article you'll love Graham Gooch: Runmaker.The guide contains the secret coaching methods and drills of England's leading run-scorer and experienced batting coach.

Click Here for More About Runmaker from Graham Gooch

Comments

[...] key to both mobility and balance is to train them during a full warm up before you pick up a bat or ball in [...]

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[...] a quick single. To overcome this you need to reactivate your underused muscles as part of your warm up. Simple movement exercises for your ‘core’ shoulders, hips, hamstrings, bum, lower back [...]

[...] this very approach that stops teams warming up properly, practising regularly with intensity and getting the best out of each [...]

[...] Sprint. Sprint training both in and out of pads is essential for all players. If you do it in the middle you need to do it in training. Make sure your training sessions include some sprint work as part of fielding and batting drills. Include some specific straight speed and agility work at the end of your warm up. [...]

[...] They need activation. Most people spend a lot of their life sitting down. Sitting teaches your hamstrings to relax and the front of your legs (hip flexors) to stay active. As you can imagine, this makes life very difficult for your body to adapt back to using your hamstrings properly while playing cricket. To balance things back out on the pitch you need to remind your central nervous system to use your hamstrings too. Luckily this is as simple as a good warm up with lunges, hip lifts and core work. [...]

[...] less you will get injured. Before play, training and any workouts make sure you complete a thorough 15-20 minute warm up that includes mobility exercises for your hips, ankles and shoulders. A resistance band is handy to have around to provide light [...]

[...] key to reactivating your CNS is through your warm up. It’s here that you can counterbalance all the damage that life has done and prepare your system [...]

[...] up to me. I ran back and forth from one crease to the other to get the juices flowing and get my body warmed up. When the other team came out onto the field I was so focused that I couldn’t even hear anything. [...]

[...] remember to set aside enough time for a complete warm up prior to any exercise; dynamic stretching and core exercises for balance and proper biomechanics, then move on to free weight resistance training of the upper (and lower) body. Remember also to [...]

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thanks dear b/c now i can improve my fitness level

Well a warm up by itself wont get you fit, but it's a great start.

[...] exception to this rule is warming up. It’s been proven in many studies that a proper warm up prepares you better physically for sport pe...: Warmed up players can run faster, throw harder, are less likely to be injured and more mentally [...]

[...] I do them whenever I feel like through my running. I stop, do a stretch and continue running. I do general dynamic stretches for 10 minutes at the [...]

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i love cricket and agree with everything everyone has said on this page. i love cricket and my wife bella and our child. we hope she becomes a famous cricket star. (extra famous ecause she is a vampire/humanoid./)

omg are you really edward cullen??!!>?? i knew you were real! i just knew! i thought you played baseball though. my friend and i nancy D. learnt to play baseball like champions and now your sport is cricket ?? wtf? peace

David,

Are there any specific warm ups that you can do with regards bowling as I've recently suffered a mild case of Medial Epicondylitis and I want to avoid it in the future?

Dave

I'm not a PT but I would suggest there is not much you can do in the warm up to prevent overuse type injuries. You could use a tennis ball on your wrist flexors and extensors to give them a bit of relief but rest is the best way to overcome this type of injury.

u teach me for cricket warm ups

pls anyone can tell that can i do fitness training eg interval running,dumbbells swiss ball , planks and all that immediately after warming up before other sessions or it would be better to focus on my fitness after completing the skill session and the static stretching routine ?

It sort of depends on a lot of factors: Your aims, the time you have available, what else you are doing and other things. Generally it's not ideal but it's very specific, I can think of a lot of exceptions. What are your circumstances?

In my experience, fitness training (if you do it correctly) will make you more physically tired than you would ever be during a cricket game. Attempting to do skill drills when people are too tired to maintain the correct technique is a waste of time, and can actually lead to injury and the development of lazy habits.

Hence I would recommend saving the majority of your fitness training until after the skill section.

This is an important safety point so well said AB. There are exceptions as it's a big question, but as most people seem to assume "fitness" means "running around until you are gassed" it's best to err on the side of safety.

thanks for your advice i would like to tell that i am in 10 standard in india so our school timings are such that i can give time to my game from 5 to 7 in the morning and 3 to 8 in the evening .What i did was that i went for the morning nets till 7 and then went to school and then again training in the academy from around 3:30 to 6 in the evening i would also like to add that i used to go for interval training on holidays and usually i used to run in yhe academy with my pads on so my half of the running time was saved. and then i used to spare half an hour for all the fitness exercises and i did them regularly(doing something everyday )for example 15 pushups and staying in the plank position for 1 minute means like this and then again went down and practiced improving my certain shots by throwing the ball on the wall and hitting it . and after comnpleting my regular tasks i went for sleep at 11 at night and then again woke up at 4 next morning . This was my routine but now i have found a YOGA expert near my house whom I told that my back pains a lot and he has told me to leave the game for 1-2 months coz there is a problem in my lower back.When i was going through my schedule i knew that i had pains but i never expected to be a serious injury. So based on my routine i wanted to have some advice on how to come back strongly and how to work on my fitness more efficiently.

wuold like to add that i have a swiss ball a resistance band and 4kg dumbbells as well so any help with them Also i am 15 years old so any limitations for me on using weights

oh its a fantastic effort really.sound information thanx

I'm curious to find out what blog platform you are utilizing? I'm experiencing some small security problems with
my latest blog and I'd like to find something more secure. Do you have any suggestions?

Please , Shortly briefed the part 3,Mobility and flexibility exercises for warm up.Thanx

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