Not long ago I noticed pictures of the England side training in Australia just before the Ashes tour began. They were adopting some very odd and un-cricketlike poses in the gym: Core stability exercises.
England have access to some superb physiologists, so if they are doing it there must be a case for club cricketers to follow suit.
But you know me by now.
I never take anything at face value so I decided to look into core stability training and tell you if you need it.
What is core stability for cricket?
First of all, core training is not a new idea. It's an older one wrapped in a shiny new name. Science has long been aware of the need of strong stabilising muscles in your trunk.
What is new is that the core muscles are seen as important in dynamic sports movements too (like bowling, batting and fielding). Better core stability improves balance and power while reducing the chance of injury.
But only if it's done right and as part of an overall training plan.
Do I need to work on my core specifically?
During play you are using your core muscles to stabilise while you run, jump throw and hit.
This means that specific core work is not a great deal of use for cricket because core exercises traditionally focus on keeping still and holding positions (think more yoga than powerlifting).
Where you can get a benefit is building core exercises into your general strength/power training.
What core exercises work best for cricket?
Some exercises you can put your training programme that work the core during dynamic movements can include:
Many other exercises work the core hard too. The trick to remember is this: Full body or twisting exercise works the core truck muscles.
A related point is the shoulder girdle and ankle strengthening work is also important for injury prevention as they work in a similar stabilising way.
An important note is that form is vital on all these exercises. Otherwise other muscles take over.
So, while there is no need to obsesses about isolating your core for cricket, it is important to remember core stability and include exercises that work it at every training session.© Copyright miSport Holdings Ltd 2008