Pitchvision Academy


This week's newsletter puts to focus on fitness. We discuss different exercises and areas to help prevent injury and boost functional performance.

Plus, Menno Gazendam talks spin and captaincy.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

The Single Best Exercise for Cricket

I was asked an interesting question the other day;

“What is the one best physical exercise for cricket?”

Now, fitness is more than one exercise.

A programme would incorporate numerous drills, exercises, aerobic training, anaerobic training, strength, power, core, weights and many other elements to boot.

But if I was to pick one, the exercise that I would choose is the lunge.

Why Lunge?

The lunge exercise is a compound exercise movement; It works numerous muscle groups that are essential to repeatable and high quality cricket movements.

You get a lot in oen exercise: greater muscle activation and functional conditioning. Lunges enhance your functional fitness because they correspond with natural body movements.

Power without Stability is Worthless

Lunges develop coordination and stability, which help improve your balance and strengthen your core muscles.

Power is developed and transferred up the body effectively if we are stable in our base (hitting/throwing/bowling) and a strong core is essential to all functional cricket movements, most notably in fast bowling.

Run Faster

Lunges strengthen your quadriceps. Your quads are responsible for extending your knees and flexing your hips, which play a significant role in sprinting and most movement patterns.

Lunges help improve cricket performance when chasing after balls in the field, running into bowl, running between the wickets and loading the lower body at the start of a striking motion when batting.

Good Glutes Equal Good Stamina

Lunges develop your Gluetus Maximus. The gluteus maximus are the largest and among the most powerful muscles in your body. They are responsible for extending your hips.

Strong glutes help maintain correct posture and reduce fatigue when repeating bowling actions, batting for long periods of time or being in high traffic fielding positions.

Glute strength also enhances your cricket performance by enabling you to run faster and jump higher. These are common attributes in all world-class fielders.

Relevance to cricket

The Lunge underpins virtually every movement that a cricketer will make during a game of cricket.

  • Batting: We lunge forward when playing a front foot drive, forward defence, sweep and switch hit.
  • Bowling: the delivery stride of a fast bowler incorporates a lunge technique.
  • Wicket Keeping: A wicket keeper lunges from their “Z” or power position to take balls when standing up to the stumps and moves in a lateral lunge fashion to move when standing back to quick bowlers.
  • Fielding: Fielding is a series of Lunges to get down to a ground ball or to initiate a dive by getting the head as close to the ball as possible.
  • Throwing: In throwing, we lunge forward to create a base from which to throw over a long distance or to complete a run out from the inner circle. A Boundary Fielder often completes a series of lunge movements within a single piece of fielding.

Cricket is a game of lunges and over the next few weeks I shall show you a series of lunge drills that will take your game to the next level.

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Fitness Toolkit: How to Stop Injuries Before They Happen

In the old days if you got an injury you just shrugged, put it down to bad luck and waited for it to heal up.

Some people still do that.

But the clever guys (that's you, because you are reading this) know some things can be headed off at the pass.

You can stop an injury before it happens.

We know this because researchers have looked into the influence of posture on rate of injury. They found that certain postural triggers - the way you hold yourself when moving and still - lead to more injuries.

If you can correct these flaws, injury rates go down. Your chances of staying on the park go up.

But you are not a physical therapist or strength coach. You don't have the eye or the testing procedures (or probably the time) to correct issues in yourself of the squad you coach once a week.

So you take a blanket approach.

It's not perfect, but by focusing on what you know to be common postural areas you can tick off your injury prevention role right in the warm up.

So a good warm up, done before training and matches, will cover the common bases off:


  • Hip Mobility
  • Thoracic Spine Mobility
  • Pec Minor Length
  • Latissimus Dorsi Length
  • Shoulder Internal/External Rotation
  • Ankle Mobility/Calf Length
  • Rotator Cuff Length

Core Strength

  • Glute Strength/Hip Stability
  • Lumbar Spine Stability
  • Serratus Anterior Strength
  • Lower Trapezius Strength
  • Poas Strength
  • Subscapularis Strength
  • Neck Flexor Strength

I know what you are thinking; "slow down brainac, what's with all the latin? I just want to coach cricket!"

If you are not an expert on anatomy, you may well be be scratching your head at some of these muscle names and terms.

I'm not listing these things to scare you off.

While I suggest all coaches should know the importance of these muscles in injury prevention, it's not something you need to know.

You just need to be aware that a good warm up covers these bases for you. This list tells you why that's important.

The warm up is now about far more than just a token jog round the field to get warm. As you have limited time. You don't have to be an expert, but if you know the possible proble areas you can cut them off.

You won't save every injury but you will reduce the risk.

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Cricket Show 173: The Problems of Harbhajan

On the table for discussion this week is the problems of spinners 'losing it', deciding what to do at the toss based on pitch conditions and what training to do during the rainy season.


Articles discussed were:

Are you sure skipper? Proof batting first isn't what it's cracked up to be

How to Send in Your Questions

If you want to win a cricket coaching prize, you need to send in your burning questions to the show. If your question is the best one we give you a free online cricket coaching course!

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Fitness Toolkit: How to Coach Strength into Cricketers

Good cricketers are strong.

They may not look like big chested hulks (although some like Kallis, Flintoff and Irfan Pathan come close) but to bowl quick, put revs on the ball or hit the ball hard you need to have strength.

The pros have strength coaches to plan their every gym visit. Grass-roots coaches and their players may not even have access to a gym.

But that doesn't mean you need to ignore the usefulness of strength training in your sessions.

Why Spin Bowlers Need Brave Captains

Menno Gazendam is author of the popular Spin Bowling Project online coaching course. This week he discusses how to captain spinners.

The best players have always been the brave players.

Just think of Marshall batting with a broken hand, Graeme Smith a broken finger, Murali with a problem hamstring bowling his heart out at the World Cup, Kumble with bandages around his head still fizzing down top spinners: all great players, all brave.

But, there is a different type of bravery in cricket, one that is often overlooked. One that you will rarely hear mentioned in any commentary.


About PitchVision Academy

Welcome to this week's guide to playing and coaching better cricket.

I'm David Hinchliffe and I'm Director of the PitchVision Academy team. With this newsletter you are benefitting directly from over 25 Academy coaches. Our skills include international runs and wickets, first-class coaching, cutting-edge research and real-life playing experience.

4 Angles


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Issue: 214
Date: 2012-08-03