The lateral lunge works similar muscle groups as the anterior lunge in last weeks’ article.
The exercise targets the gluteus maximus, hamstring muscles and quadriceps. However - crucially for cricket - the lateral lunge works your inner-thigh muscles (adductors), which contract to pull your legs together when they're spread apart.
Think of a world-class fielder who gets into their ready position (where the feet are spread apart), the ball is struck and they are off, hunting it down to execute a run-out or save vital runs. It is the adductors that work for the fielder to shift direction in a split second and inject speed into the fielding movement.
Keepers are reliant on powerful adductors to move quickly to collect wider balls when standing up and back from the stumps and adductors also work overtime when turning quickly whilst running between the wickets.
That match-winning stolen 2nd run starts with the adductors.
- Step to the right with your right foot, keeping your toes forward and your feet flat.
- Squat through your right hip while keeping your left leg straight
- Squat as low as possible, holding this position for 2 seconds
- Push back to the starting position and repeat to the opposite side
- Keep your opposite leg straight, your back flat, and your chest up
Try 3 sets of 12 each side with 2-3 mins recovery between sets as a starting point.
Lateral Lunge with medicine ball: Increase resistance with a weight to work legs and core harder Lateral lunge with side raise (using medi-band): This movement replicates the rotation of bowling, throwing and horizontal bat shots.
- Catching: Feed a ball into the outside lunging foot to simulate a low-slip catch. Vary the height of the feed into the lunge so that each player gets 3 low, 3 waistand 3 chest-height catches on each side.
- Ground Fielding: With a stationary ball, the player laterally Lunges to collect the ball and throws from that low position back to a partner or at a set of stumps about 5m away.
On Non-throwing side, the player can practice a reverse flicking motion to get the ball at the stumps of to a partner (Remember AB de Villiers run-out?)
I bet you didn’t know how much fun you could have with a lateral lunge!