You could be a better cricketer in your next game if you gave more warm up time to the control system of your body: The central nervous system (CNS).
We all spend a lot of time abusing the CNS. Lucky for us this abuse can be corrected by a few simple movements, causing your muscles to fire more quickly and giving you the edge on the pitch whether it's batting bowling of fielding.
It's not uncommon these days to spend a lot of time sitting down.
- Watching TV
- Using a PC or console
- Long, drawn out meetings
Sitting is about as far from playing cricket as you can get. Your hip flexor muscles are tight, it's easy to hunch your shoulders forward and your hamstrings are relaxed.
Your muscles become slower and less responsive.
On the pitch you need to be upright, mobile and ready for fast movements, especially running, but all the time you have spent sitting has taught your CNS you relax the very muscles you most need.
This means you need remind them to â€˜fire'
How to activate your muscles for cricket
The key to reactivating your CNS is through your warm up. It's here that you can counterbalance all the damage that life has done and prepare your system to play cricket.
Research has shown that a targeted warm up like this can make significant improvements in sprint speed and hitting power.
In fact, this activation should be the primary focus of your warm up. If anything we should replace the phrase â€˜warm up' with â€˜CNS up'. Only nobody would know what we were talking about.
A good warm up will always include activation movements for your underused shoulders, hips, glute, hamstring and core muscles:
It's also important to finish the warm up with a few full speed sprints (like you would for a quick single or chasing to the boundary). This will make sure your CNS is not surprised if you have to do either of those things after the first ball.
That's also why it's a good idea to run to your position between overs, just to keep yourself ticking over.
Yes, you might look a little bit odd doing these things, but I would rather be ready to play and be accused of trying too hard than get run out or miss a catch.© Copyright miSport Holdings Ltd 2008