If you have ever seen TV coverage of top class cricket you know how good the super slow motion cameras are for seeing the grace and power of a great shot.
You can also see how the power of your shot doesn't start with the upper body. It begins on the ground with your feet providing a stable position and is generated from your hips, through your trunk, arms, hands and finally the bat in a chain reaction. Sports science calls this the kinetic chain, and it's the secret to hitting the ball with better timing and power. This means your legs, hips and trunk are three of the most vital tools you have in scoring runs.
How to use your hips to generate more power
- Strength train your legs. The stronger your legs, the more force you can apply to the ground. The more you apply force, the more it can come back through your body. If you want to get technical that's Newton's Third Law in action.
- Work on your mobility. The wider the range of motion your hips can move through, the more force you can generate. Modern living (sitting at a PC, watching TV) tends to reduce this mobility. To compensate you can include a range of dynamic stretches into your cricket warm up.
- Coordinate yourself. Batting drills allow your body to learn the timing of moving your muscles in the correct sequence for each shot. It's not something you can do easily during a normal net, so make some time to drill a few shots until you get the feel for it.
- Get to the core. Medicine balls and weighted cricket bats are good to get your core muscles working to transfer the power from your legs and hips to your arms and bat. In order to be as specific as possible, focus on power both power and stability. You can find some ideas here, or get in touch with me for more information.
With mobile, strong and well balanced hips you will find you are timing the ball better and getting injured less.
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.
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