This is the 3rd in the "Principles of Cricket Fitness" series. To go to Part 1 click here.
It's been said before and will be said again: The best way to get fit for cricket is by playing cricket.
That, in a nutshell, is the principle of "specificity": Your body adapts to demand put on it in a highly specific way.
It's why runners can't run faster by training on a bike and why cricketers will not get any better at cricket by jogging for miles. It just doesn't happen on the pitch in the same way.
So when given the option, the best form of fitness will always be the closest you can get to actually playing cricket.
You see there is a notable exception to this rule that makes the basis of most strength, power and speed training for cricket.
According to training expert Mike Boyle, most power based team sports (cricket included) have certain actions that are almost identical: sprinting, jumping, changing direction quickly and striking are far more similar than different.
That means there are certain exercises that are not cricket-specific but still highly important for cricketers. After all, if you can run fast you can run fast playing cricket, hockey, football or chasing the bus.
This might seem contradictory: Sprint training, core stability, mobility work or lifting weights may not seem to have any use to cricket because the law of specificity. In fact, they are sport specific rather than cricket specific. For example, if you train to run fast, you will be able to steal more quick singles.
So while playing as much as possible is your number one priority. If you want to be the best you can be on the field, find time to improve your sport specificity too.
To go to part 4 of the "Principles of Cricket Fitness" series, click here© Copyright miSport Holdings Ltd 2008