Thanks mainly to Shane Warne, strength and fitness is not the first this you associate with successful spin bowling.
It's reported that Warney's idea of a balanced diet is a cheeseburger in each hand. Sadly for you and almost every other spinner in the world, you are not as good as the great Aussie leggie. So you need to make the most of what you do have with a fitness plan that makes you better.
Being fit as a spinner has a number of proven benefits that can be gleaned from just 2-3 workouts a week:
- Fewer injuries as your muscles and ligaments are stronger
- Faster recovery from injury
- Longer spells as you tire less quickly
- More turn through stronger wrists and fingers
- More power and speed in throwing, running and hitting
- Less body fat and better body composition
- Better concentration
- Calmer under pressure
Playing and training, while a critical element, won't give you all these benefits. So in addition to your games make sure you are working out in some way.
What makes a good spinners workout?
Everyone has their own individual needs when it comes to planning their fitness training, but a good training plan for spin bowling should aim to include the following elements:
- General metabolic work (such as interval runs, swimming or circuit training)
- Shoulder strengthening and injury prevention
- Explosive power training (like plyometrics, medicine ball throws or olympic lifts)
- Mobility and flexibility work
Alternatives like traditional weight lifting with compound exercises or playing other sports will also help you be fitter and stronger. There is no need to do specific wrist or finger training, just bowl a lot and train a couple of times a week.
What would a typical session look like?
You would not go far wrong following the layout in the Turbulence Training free 4 week bodyweight training plan.
Whatever methods you choose to get yourself fitter, remember the basic principles of fitness training and stick at it.
While you may never take hundreds of Test wickets, you will do better in your own games.
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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