How to warm up for cricket

Filed in:

Warm ups are not only a great way to prepare your body for play and reduce the chance of injury. They can also be used to improve your game. Mobility, posture and flexibility are key components in cricket fitness. Often they ignored by cricketers, especially at club level. The warm up can bridge this gap.

I have talked about warming up before, but I want to extend that further, turning the warm up from a necessary evil (as some see it) to a vital element in moving your muscles and nervous system from normal life to peak cricket performance.

Think of your warm up as a ramp to the top of your game. Without it you are struggling to get to the top.

The Complete Cricket Warm Up


Before you begin make sure you have an area of around 22 yards or so to warm up in. Other kit that is useful if you can get it is a medicine ball, a cricket bat, a few of balls and a reaction ball. Make the warm up as long as possible that time allows. Ensure a 5 minute warm up at the very least. A 15 minute or longer warm up is much more beneficial. You can mix and match any of the parts of the warm up depending on time but remember the idea is to activate all of your cricket playing muscles with slowly increasing intensity. So always start slow and build up.

You can see most of the exercises below in this video on cricket warm ups.

Part 1. Gentle activity

Begin by walking up and down your marked area:

  • Walk forwards
  • Walk backwards
  • Walk sideways
  • Walking lunge
  • Hurdle walk
  • Russian walk
  • Tiptoe walk

Part 2. Core Stability and balance

Perform the following body weight movements:

  • Squat
  • Single Leg Squat
  • Side Lunge (with floor touch)
  • Back Lunge and twist
  • Star Jumps

Holding a medicine ball or cricket bat do the following:

  • Behind head twist
  • Woodchopper
  • Draw a figure of eight
  • Standing chest press
  • Twist pass or pull shot

Place a ball down and jog up to it, pick it up in the normal fielding technique then roll it to the other end in one smooth, balanced movement. Repeat with your other hand. The repeat by picking up the ball on the inside of your foot both left and right handed.

Part 3. Mobility and flexibility

Jogging up and down now, complete the following:

  • Arm Rolls
  • Hugs
  • Ankle flicks
  • Small skips
  • Inside thigh kicks
  • Knee lifts
  • Knee across
  • Lateral slides
  • Carioca
  • Bum kicks
  • Sideways heel flicks

Then find someone or something to lean on to complete these mobility exercises:

  • Leg out
  • Leg Forward
  • Knee across

Part 4. Sprints

When you are feeling warm complete 5 sprints over the 22 yard area, jog back for recovery:

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

You can involve a ball to make this a fielding drill with a pickup and return throw.

Part 5. Cricket Skills

By this point you should be warm enough to perform some cricket fielding, throwing and catching drills at a good intensity. Specialists can also work on their own skills.

Batsmen can have a net or do batting drills (although no drills on matchday). 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.

If you want a more comprehensive guide to reducing injury risk and increasing cricket specific fitness, check out county strength coach Rob Ahmun's guide on PitchVision Academy.



© Copyright miSport Holdings Ltd 2008


If you liked this article you'll love Mark Garaway's First Class Fielding.The guide contains the latest research into fielding, and how to successfully apply new throwing and catching methods to players from international to school levels.

Click Here for More About First Class Fielding


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

[...] Why get fit for cricket? How important is fitness & nutrition to club cricket? Principles of Cricket Fitness: Progressive Overload Principles of Cricket Fitness: Specificity Principles of Cricket Fitness: Reversibility Other Principles of Cricket Fitness First steps to cricket fitness *updated* Make fitness training fun 10 keys to fast fitness How to warm up part 1 How to warm up part 2 How to warm up part 3 [...]

[...] 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 [...]


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 [...]

[...] short, intense fielding drills as part of your pre-match warm up to hone your skills in the [...]

[...] things are changing. The most read article ever on this site is this one about warming up. All ECB coaches are taught how to warm players up before matches and training [...]

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


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?


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

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Insert Flickr images: [flickr-photo:id=230452326,size=s] or [flickr-photoset:id=72157594262419167,size=m].
  • Textual smileys will be replaced with graphical ones.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

© miSport Holdings Ltd 2009     Tel: +44 (0)203 239 7543