Get fit for cricket by playing cricket (almost) | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Get fit for cricket by playing cricket (almost)

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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

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[...] for free to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!To improve your cricket power you need to train in a highly specific way. That means doing exercises and routines that strengthen your whole body in ways that can be [...]

[...] do need to play cricket because fitness is highly specific. You can’t just do weight training. You need to be athletic, fast and mobile and that means [...]

[...] cricket? The fitness requirements of 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 [...]

At first, I thought cricket is an easy game and does not really help or boost our fitness. But after reading your article, it really open up my eyes. Especially when you mentioned crickets have a combination on sprinting, jumping, changing direction quickly and striking.

Izrul , I agree. Its important to build a base of fitness for any sport.

Hi David, I love to gather more information on health & fitness. I've read a lot of articles about it and if I found it good, I will inform my subscribers. Since I don't have a lot of cricket information related to fitness, I will certainly have to gather it now. I'm sure my subscribers will be as shock as me.

I hope I can be of assistance to your subscribers Izrul.

[...] is putting a real world view on the principle of SAID: Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand. In other words, you get better at cricket by training in cricket specific [...]

[...] is not specific there will be a certain amount that doesn’t cross over to the pitch. However, some things are universal to almost any sport: sprinting, jumping, changing direction quickly and striking are far more similar than different. [...]

[...] trick is to get your training to reflect cricket: short duration bursts of very intense activity with a long recovery [...]

Well I do agree that a good way to get fit for cricket is by playing cricket, but that's about it. Saying cricket is the best way to get fit and calling it a power sport is kind of silly. It is no more a power sport than golf, baseball, or curling. Power sports, by my definition, require near constant and intense physical activity. Some good examples are ice hockey, football, basketball, etc. Any of these will get you more fit than cricket.

Greg, some interesting points you make there. For me it depends how you define power. Power in cricket terms is speed plus strength in short bursts: sprinting, striking, throwing and bowling. Your definition of power would be closer to high intensity intervals. Something you see less of in cricket terms.

You say ice hockey and the like will get you more fit. It won't get you more fit for cricket though.

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