Revealed: The dirty little secret that makes the best fast bowlers

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Worcestershire Royals v Northants Steelbacks T20 June 2010 045I hate to break it to you, but elite players are keeping secrets from you.

There is something the professional bowlers and coaches don’t tell you about being a stellar fast bowler.

Despite being in the public domain for all to see, it remains hidden from the minds of fast bowlers at club and school level.

It’s almost like this secret is so simple it can’t be true.

But it is.

And once you know it you are going to wonder why you believed anything else.

The back story

To understand this secret, let’s head to a typical gym.

You will see burly men lifting ridiculous weights (probably with bad technique). There are middle-aged women sitting on exercise bikes reading the latest glossy magazine. Perhaps you spot a stick-like teenage boy risking a few bicep curls and leg presses in the quest for a body beautiful.

There are no fast bowlers in there.

If you are lucky you may see one in the corner doing some press ups, sit ups and 20 minutes on the treadmill.

It seems a long way from taking 5 wickets in the grand final.

But hey, we are told fitness training is good for bowlers, so we go in there and slog it out. Hope springs eternal that we will get better.

We don’t know how or why, we rely on the ‘highly trained’ fitness instructors (read: guy with abs who did a weekend course 2 years ago and is working in the gym to pay for his designer shirts he wears to get the girls on a Saturday night).

Where are the professionals?

You won’t see a single professional cricketer doing those things in the gym.

Why?

Because the professionals have access to strength coaches and strength coaches are paid to get the best physical performance from their charges.

So they research and experiment. They have worked out what type of training gets the best results because their jobs rely on it.

They know what makes a bowler bowl faster. They know what stops a bowler getting injured.

The real secret

So what is the secret?

Well, bowling quickly is just a matter of physics. The more force you can generate the more you can put into the ball. That’s why there is a direct relationship between a bowler’s vertical jump and his or her bowling speed (the higher you can jump from a standing start the quicker you can bowl).

But force is not produced by going to the gym and doing 3 sets of 10 on every machine.

Force is produced by being strong.
 
And that’s the secret.

To be a fast bowler you need to be strong.

And to be strong you need to lift up heavy things regularly.

Come on, I knew that...

It’s strange but when I reveal that secret I’m often met by eye-rolling and people saying “well, I know that!”

Yet it’s the same guys who go back to the gym to do the same 3x10 routine with the same weights they have done for 2 years and are wondering why they are not bowling quicker.

If you are one of those guys, good luck to you. I can’t help you.

But if you are prepared to listen to me (and more importantly, the strength coaches who work with professional and Academy cricketers every day) then you will get better.

Strength is the foundation of everything.

You can’t get strength endurance without being strong first, you can’t be powerful without being strong. You can’t bowl quick, professional level quick, without being strong.

OK, I believe you, so what do I need to do?

Just lift up more heavy stuff.

Or to be more exact, you need to be challenging your body to get stronger by:

Forget all those silly myths about getting bulky.

The professionals follow a plan like this. The do it because it works. It makes you a faster, fitter, more injury resistant bowler.

And that’s not really dirty or a secret. It just seems that way because most people don’t believe it.

For a complete training programme for fast bowlers get Strength and Conditioning for Cricket at all Levels by Glamorgan CCC Strength Coach Rob Ahmun. 

image credit: PaulSh

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Comments

Tips for fast bowler:

There is nothing secret in cricket. To improve fastness for a bowler:
- Take a proper healthy diet. Eat more and work hard. Put up your weight and do more and more Dips(Increases your shoulder and chest and stamina).
- Don't try to increase your speed from 110kmph to 140kmph, that is not possible. You may have some severe damage to your body. So try to increase 5kmph to your regular speed and continue for a week or a month and then try to increase 5kmph more.
- First of all, you take a short run up and mark a length and try to improve your accuracy. When you are good enough, then try to go for pace. Afterall.. Accuracy is more important than pace.
- Dont go for long run ups seeing international players, go for 10 to 15 steps and start slowly and try to pickup your straights, that helps your rythm. After you bowl make the follow through half way the pitch. If you stop suddenly you cough muscle damages.
- Stay away from injuries, Take care. Fast bowling is not an easy task. Not Impossible though.

Hope this helps you.
Have a Great Time Eye-wink

Interesting advice, I like your point about a healthy diet and the advice to not get injured. Very important. However I disagree about dips. They are not bad, but there better things you can do. Like improve overall strength (as I mention in the article). I would also say that you should go for pace and accuracy at the same time. They are not exclusive skills. As Ian Pont always says, the mechanics of pace are also the mechanics of accuracy.

Great discussion points though, thanks for your comments.

Welcome David,
And i want to know is this(pitchvision) an Academy in UK!!
or Online source!!
I saw your picture in Panel. you look young. I thought you are wise old man Sticking out tongue.
I really appreciate your comments.

Thumbs Up.
Take care.. Buhbye..

David,

I dont agree with you about the relationship:

- higher the vertical jump leads to quicker bowling

Please site any real examples. On the contrary, the lower the jump while getting into bowling position, the quicker the bowl. Waqar, Thommo, lillee, holding

When you go higher you lose your forward acceleration and speed therefore losing bowling speed.

Please give your arguments

Thanks

Ah no I should have been clearer. I'm not talking about bowling technique here. You are right in that respect that bowlers should jump forwards, not upwards. This is technically the best way to bound to the crease.

You are 100% correct here. But that is not what I mean.

What I mean is that there is a direct relationship between the vertical jump test (the test that reveals how much force a bowler can produce from his legs)and bowling speed. The higher the score on a vertical jump test the quicker you can bowl. Or to put it another way, the more power you have in your legs and hips the quicker you can bowl. The original study is here

Thanks David. That is alot clear!

So basically if you go on the strength standards from stronglifts;

2x bodyweight deadlift
1.5x bodyweight squat
1x bodyweight bench
0.75x bodyweight overhead press

So if you can do that for say 3 sets of 5, along with a good action you should be bowling pretty dam fast if everything clicks together?

Yes and no. It's important to be strong of course, but I wouldn't get too hung up on the numbers. If these are a realistic goal for you then use them, but there is no magic to 2x BW for a deadlift or whatever. So broadly I agree.

Oh yeah, cheers mate, so basically, good strength, power and coordination will benefit most bowlers?

All bowlers, yes.

Invest in some nice heavy kettlebells - if used properly, they're great for those power building exercises which use multiple groups of muscles.

Squats, lunges, stand-ups included.

Kettlebells are good, I wouldn't ever say 'just' use them though. They are an excellent tool but you can't do everything with them.

Just a question David
Are heavy weights the only possible way to bowl faster, because put quite simply I can't afford a gym membership.
I have a 16 kg kettlebell, chin up bar, 5 kg medecine ball, 30 kg sandbag and one of those Tower 200 things. Is it possible to make the same or similar improvements with gear like that or is it hopeless.
Anyway, just be interested to hear your thoughts
Thanks

Fast bowling is a combination of a lot of factors. It's just that raw strength is a crucial factor. You can do a lot with what you have: mobility work, movement training and awareness, endurance development, power development, some strength work, core work. All this is good and will help. However, to be really quick you need to be really strong and raw strength can only be increased through heavy weight training.

Thanks for that David.
Just a couple more things, are the big strength exercises(bench,pull up, deadlift etc) the only worthwhile exercises, or are cleans, snatches etc going to work as well. And how would you incorporate plyometrics into a program
thanks again

Cleans and snatches are power exercises. They teach coordination and power transfer so are excellent. However, again, you need to go heavy eventually (after learning proper technique). So while, for example, a kettlebell snatch is a nice exercise for a lot of reasons, for developing fast bowling speed it's not so good.

Plyometics are a lot more complicated. They are good for developing power and reducing lower limb injury (when done right) again but remember power equals speed plus STRENGTH. You can learn plyos without strength training but you will hit a wall fairly quickly unless you are also improving your pure strength. Look here for more plyometrics for cricket.

So the short answer is this: You can do those things, but without a base of strength they simply are not going to be as effective. Everything comes from strength.

I'm a young fast bowler who needs to put on some weight. Will low reps with heavy weights be able to help me but on some weight as well as strength if i increase my calories. I have heard that higher reps is better for gaining weight, is that correct?

That is a very complex question. In general (very general, i.e so general to be almost useless as advice) low reps = strength and high reps = size. BUT it's more complex than that. If you decrease the training intensity (i.e. number of reps increases) and you increase the volume (i.e number of sets that stress a particular muscle) it will increase in size with less relative strength.

So for example if you did 15 total sets of 15-20 reps per set on your chest and tricep muscles you would get bigger. If you did 3-4 sets of 2-3 reps (heavier weight) you would get stronger. 5x5 is somewhere in the middle. I'm assuming you are an adult by the way.

I would question the idea of "needing to put on weight" though. Why do you need to put on weight for cricket?

Unless you are unhealthy there is no cricketing reason to add muscle just for the sake of extra weight. Wouldn't extra STRENGTH be much more useful? If you get stronger you will get bigger muscles anyway but they will be functional: you can use them to bowl faster and have more stamina. Bloated bodybuilder muscles don't give you that.

I'm trying to gain some lean muscle and increase my strength.I am pretty light so i need to gain some weight as well as strength. Look at Brett Lee he gained 10kg of lean muscle and increased his pace http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/story/395041.html, and Mohammed Aamer has also been increasing his weight http://www.espncricinfo.com/ausvpak09/content/story/441657.html.
Would low reps with heavy weight help my increase my weight as well as my strength? I was thinking that 5x5 with compound exercises would be the best as i would increase my weight and strength.

You have to be very careful about what fast bowlers say in interview, and how interviewers interpret the answers. They tend to not understand the difference between strength and size or the relationship between the two. So just to be clear:

Being big does not make you strong. You don't have to be big to be strong. You don't need to gain lean muscle to get stronger. The two are related but they are different goals.

Brett Lee didn't increase pace because he got bigger he increased pace because he got stronger (and added lean muscle as a consequence). If pace was related to muscle size directly all fast bowlers would be huge.

I recommend you work on strength and forget about size. If you can deadlift 180kg you will be strong and will gain lean muscle anyway. As a cricketer it's in your best interest not to gain useless size and maximise strength and power. 5x5 is a solid programme, espcially for beginners.

Since I am 190cms tall and weight in the low 70kgs so i was thinking that i should increase both strength and weight though. If i focused on low reps eg 1-5 would i also be able to increase my weight? I totally agree that strength is more important that size and have no interest in doing bodybuilding to gain weight, but just wanted to know if low reps will also help me gain weight, since i am underweight.

Focus on the strength training and eating properly and the size will come with it.

Yes they will. AB is right. I never met a guy who could deadlift twice his bodyweight who was not packing some good muscle.

What about the reps for bodyweight exercises like pull ups and push ups. Should i just go to failure ?

That depends on your overall plan. Are you following a specific programme?

Overall plan is to increase strength and gain some weight (lean muscle)

I mean the specific programme. Are you following one you bought or downloaded or copied or have you just made one up?

For what it's worth Daniel I'm 190cms tall and was in the "[very] low 70kgs" in late August 2010. Hit 77kg the other day from doing probably what you'd call a 'light' version of the page on this site called 'circuit training for fast bowlers' (I've had a niggling and very annoying shoulder condition which has stopped me from doing a few things...so the weight will come whether you want it to or not I think! Stronger too of course. Did change my diet a wee bit too.

http://www.pitchvision.com/beginner-winter-weight-training-for-cricket
Thats the program i am doing, the only thing i did was add push ups to workout B.
I want to do what Brett Lee did and gain some weight and increase my strength.
With bodyweight exercises (push ups,pull ups) if you go to failure wouldn't that be increasing your size, not your strength? Wouldn't that be bad?

Daniel, that is a good plan, although I would like to know what you have taken out to add in push ups. You can't add something without taking something away (fatigue masks fitness).

As to your question. It depends. If you can do 5 sets of 10 reps on the chin up it's not a great exercise for strength any more. But if you can only manage 3 sets of 4 reps it's perfect for strength. Same for any bodyweight exercise: Once you can do more than 6 reps easily it's time to find ways to add resistance (example: weighted chin ups).

I haven't taken anything out, i just added push ups to workout b.
Yeah i am gonna do weighted chins when normal chin ups become easy.
What about when i can do more push ups, what should i replace them with?

You are potentially upsetting the plan if you just add stuff. Adding exercises increases fatigue. Fatigue prevents you from improving. The plan you have chosen is proven to work as it is, so I would be extremely careful of just chucking stuff in unless you know the consequences.

You said to do strength training 3 times per week, that would be during the off season and early pre season wouldn't it? It would be hard to do that during late pre season/ and in season due to amount of cricket being played.

Good question Matt, it does depend on how much you play/train and your goals.

If you play a lot and just want to maintain fitness levels through the season then you can get away with less sessions. Professional county players sometimes go more than a week without hitting the weights because they play so much. If you are in that situation you have to get really clever and here are a few tricks:

* Make sure you do mobility work and foam rolling before every game and practice
* Do light plyometrics/med ball training as part of your pre-game warm up
* Go to the gym if your game or practice session is rained off/finishes early or you have an air game (golden duck, didn't bowl)
* Do conditioning work/bodyweight training straight after a game if you had a low activity game (example you are a batsman and you didn't get a bat, or got out early).
* Train harder before less important games (friendlies, etc.) where it doesn't matter if you are off your game.

There are other things too, just make sure you are getting enough rest so you are recovered for big games and do what you can. You can usually get quite a lot in if you are clever.

If you wish to improve strength/power during the season you will still need to get your 3-4 sessions a week in somehow. Improving conditioning requires 2-3 sessions per week. Flexibility and mobility can be done anytime as fatigue is not a factor.

That help?

David,

would you say that it is easrier to get 5 to 10 miles per hour out of someone who isn't a regular trainer, or someone who is used to a reasonable amount of training?

wat would be in ur opinion the five best ways to move up from 72-75 mph to 80-85 mph. my acadamey coach told me that 80 mph would be the min for any top line quicky and at 5 11 i need all the pace i can get. cheers

Ryan - depends on the training. Speed is a complex area. Why do you ask?

Sully, you need our guide to bowling faster. You can find it here: How to Bowl Fast

Well, the thing is that ive just had to take a season off due to work, but I had a bowl the other day and after no training or gym work, bowled as sharp as I had last season I played, when I wad clocked at 73 mph. So I wondered if itd be possible to get up round 80 with no bade fitness, and what kind of things I should be doing to get there? Gym, ian pont video analysis?

Improving your power helps of course, as does getting more coordinated and getting a more efficient action. So, a combination of everything you mentioned. Have a read of the link I posted above for more information.

Just as a bit of a side question, whats the most you've
ever seen or been told of someone,improving pace wise, even if its a bit of an estimate? 10,15 miles?

Probably the biggest success story I have heard of is Essex all-rounder Graham Napier who went from the low 80's to touching 90mph. So maybe 10mph for an adult if you are lucky. Younger players might have more as they grow and get stronger.

Article from the Australian's team Strength and Conditioning coach about fast bowling, I posted it on the forum. Good read.

http://www.pitchvision.com/node/5684

It's nice when someone clever comes to the same conclusions you have been coming to since 2007 (and even then my ideas were nothing new)!

Well in that article, he talks about doing away with the slow, heavy resistance training, which would imply doing away with the heavy bench press, deadlifts, etc. That's certaintly a new take on things.

I'm not reading it that way, I'm reading it that he is saying do MORE high load because that gives you the highest neural development. High load is not slow, it just looks slow but it's recruiting all your fast twitch fibres.

What he deters against is "high volume of repetitions at moderate intensity" i.e. 3 or more sets of 10 reps with a bodypart split.

Although looking at it again he does also mention "slow, heavy resistance training" which doesn't technically exist. Plus I'm unsure about what "High load speed strength" is. Again, you can't have a high low and speed-strength, one counters the other. So, I'm not sure I'm clear on his terms.

I'm sure he is much brighter than me, so it's probably my misunderstanding.

The part about the slow heavy resistance training got me as well. I think he is having a dig at the benech, squat deadlift and instead trying to replace these with olympic lifts, which have a greater power output than the above (so I've read). I found the below interesting:

http://www.fittech.com.au/downloads/bmsdocs/HoriNewtonStone.pdf

We may have to chase up the particular refference he refers to in the study.

By the way, this comes from the "Conference of Science, Medicine & Coaching in Cricket 2010".

http://cricket.com.au/pv_obj_cache/pv_obj_id_4FE05069DE3AF3ECF328E0A444E5311E81A63700/filename/00001094-source.pdf

sorry, off topic but - hey Aleksandar - were you at that conference?

Perhaps, but that would be silly. Olympic lifts have plus points, as does squatting and deadlifting. There is room for everything with a good plan.

Hey Arun, no I wasn't mate, I stumbled upon that document on the net.

The refference comes from p 115-116 from this book

I managed to get a place at it - and there was about 60 papers presented at it.. if you can get your hands on the official book its a very interesting read...

Yeah, I imagine it would have been a good conference. The stuff I've read in the documents seem quite interesting.

David, I posted a while back and just wanted to let you know that after trading in for a cheaper car, Ive signed up at my local gym. Despite the depression of trading
in my much loved subaru for a ford laser, im excited about attempting to get quick enough for at least first grade cricket. I was wondering if you could help me set up at least a framework for a program that would go through till July, which is the start of the Aussie pre season.
Stats are 180 cm, 94 kg, bleep test of 8, bench of
90,deadlift of 100, 6 full rep chin ups and a rough bowling pace of 115, 117 km. I cant squat, doctors orders.
If this is too much, I understand. Thanks a lot.
Alex

i was wondering you now heavy weight training like on the shoulder press and that should you put heavy weights on that and do low reps and what will that build lean muscle. Im 17 can i do heavy weight training . im playing county level and bowling at around 70mph-75 mph on good days when im in rhytham. How do increase my speed to 80mph-85 mph

Alex, I can help, email me. Dave, I don't understand the question. try looking at this article on How to Bowl Faster.

David, I know this is going to sound stupid, but what can I email you on. Sorry mate, cheers
Alex

two questions david

How would you go about trasnferring pure strength to power? Would you work in monthly blocks ie one month strength, one month plyometrics and so on?

And also, you say you need to be super strong to be quick, why is it that dale steyn is a twig but bowls 150+ but andre nel is built like a bull and bowls 135?

Strength and power are not different things. Power is strength plus speed so by default the stronger you are the more powerful you are.

However, I guess your question is more "how do develop power that can be used for throwing, hitting, running and bowling?"

That is a complex question, and although any strength training will help not all will do so equally. It is the art of the good strength coach/trainer to program and periodise based on the specific needs of the individual. There are just too many variables to give a stock answer. click here to see a spreadsheet that tries to periodise a plan for club players, but it's not perfect because you can't put everything into one spreadsheet.

As to your other question, you are making the classic mistake of confusing power with size. There is a link but it is not set in stone. You can be very small and powerful, you can be very big and relatively weak. Plus, quality of action makes a difference.

hi david, i need your help, whenever i speak to any pros , they tell me do light weights and high reps upper body and heavy weights low reps lower body, would this be true or can i go heavy upper body to create more strength and explosiveness, i am lean and want to bowl faster, so what would be your recomendations and on which upper body should i do low reps or high reps (e.g. bench press) Thanks

Danny, that's not an easy question to answer as there are a number of variables. The general principle is this:

Strength is good, develop strength, power and speed with lower reps and higher weight.

However, the exact answer depends upon factors like: training age, biological age, weightlifting technique, access to weights/weight coaching, current strength levels, time of year, training goal and amount of time per week to train. So you need to individualise.

Plus you have to remember the importance of mobility as part of the plan and that requires zero weight!

ok thanks, mobility is streching and bodyweight exercises right, and is doing heavy weights on bench press good for fast bowlers? I think it is strength training that is most important to me at the moment as i want to get faster . Thanks for all your advice , your work is much appriciated.

The bench press is quite complicated and again it depends on a lot of variables. Yes you should be doing some kind of upper body pushing but whether that is barbell bench, dumbbell bench or push up variations is a matter of individual needs.

When in doubt remember

FIRST: do no harm (i.e. if it hurts don't do it and balance pushing with pulling at least equally if not more pulling than pushing).

SECOND, strength is best. Look to get strong before any other component of fitness.

I would upper body pushing (horizontal and vertical) as the least important area to develop strength. It's still important but I would rather see someone who can perform a clean, squat, deadlift, row, core stability/anti-rotation and weighted pull up with good form and decent weight than a hero on the bench who can't do 5 chin ups or 10 press ups.

how would you go about intergrating plyos into heavy weight training. Also, is bench pressing essential to bowling fast?

Starting plyometric work is the cause of a lot of mistakes in cricketers. Many think that doing plyos means leaping over hurdles 50 times from day one. That's too advanced and not suitable for everyone.

First you need to learn how to jump and land and that means low volume, low impact work. Start with simple jumps - 2 and 1 leg, forwards and sideways. No more than 6 reps per leg (so 3 reps for double leg jumps) and focus on jumping high and landing softly. You can do them after your warm up before you start lifting.

From there you can build up the volume and intensity in a number of ways, but get the technique down first.

So does this mean that if you improved your vertical leap soley, you would bowl faster... ie if you improved your vertical leap from 45 cm to 55 cm your bowling pace would improve accordingly?

In short yes, but you must be careful not to train for a specific test. There is a direct relationship between vertical jump height and bowling speed but speed is made up of a number of inter-related factors (including technique).

Focus on one test may mean you forget about the other factors. You can have a huge vertical jump test but have a shocking bowling action. So use the test as an indicator and not the goal of your training.

Hey dave i got a few questions if its aright.

1 - Is this type of strength training still as effective whilst trying to lose weight and being on a calorie deficit. Will i still be able to get strength gains?

2 - How often should i practice bowling during the offseason and when i do practice how many deliveries should i bowl and is there such thing as bowling to much?

cheers.

Good question Carl, to answer it I need to know how old you are.

19

First, for fat loss, resistance training is probably the best type of training you can do. Diet is far more important than exercises, but strength training will at the least, maintain your muscle mass, which keeps your metabolic rate higher, which allows you to lose weight faster.

You may be able to gain strength with in a deficit but it depends on factors like your training age, how close you are to your genetic potential, what type of strength training you do, your fat levels, your final goals and how aggressive your diet is.

An experienced weightlifter weighing 120kg will have a very different weight loss workout from a 120kg gym newbie who has done no exercise for years.

However, any gains are a bonus. You can't ride two horses at once. If your aim is to lose weight then focus on doing that while minimising loss of muscle mass (via resistance training). Then focus on gaining strength.

If you want to go really hard on the fat loss you may also wish to add in high-intensity interval training and low intensity, long duration calorie burning activity (such as walking). Bear in mind these are supplementary to resistance training and not a replacement, so if you are pushed for time do strength training first.

And of course I don't have to tell you that fat loss is really all about diet.

As for bowling, again it depends.

I'm assuming you are a seamer?

Most bowlers benefit from taking a break from bowling for a few weeks just to recover from the wear and tear of a season. If you have bowled a lot take a good hard look at how you feel and decide how much of a break you need to recover your back/shoulder/hips/knees/whatever. Look into corrective exercise if you have any niggles.

The next thing to consider is the surface you will be bowling on when you do return to bowling. If you are bowling on a hard indoor surface you need to take longer off. If you have access to outdoor surfaces in the off season (unlikely for English bowlers but possible in other parts of the world) then you can return sooner.

Generally, 4 months off from bowling is the most you want to miss. Use this time to get generally stronger and more athletic. You want to return to bowling 3-4 months before the start of the season.

The ECB have studied workload in seam bowler and have decided that 7 overs, 3 times a week (21 overs total) is the absolute maximum for someone your age. Build up to this gradually so you are only doing your maximum volume of overs when you get outside in the pre-season on more forgiving surfaces than indoors.

Realistically, most club bowlers are not going to get anywhere near that volume in the pre-season (the average club bowler gets about 7-10 overs of total volume a week, even if they never miss a training session).

So it's up to you to work out what your maximum volume is going to be and build up over the preseason.

So, for example you might do something like this:

Month 1 - indoors, 1xpw, total overs: 5
Month 2 - indoors, 1xpw, total overs 7
Month 3 - indoors, 2xpw, 5 overs per session total overs: 10
Month 4 2 weeks - outdoors, 2xpw, 7 overs per session, total overs 14
Month 4 2 weeks - outdoors, 3xpw, 7 overs per session, total overs 21

You may want to play with the numbers depending on your situation, but the key point is to build up volume over time rather than do nothing then steam in and get an injury.

Thanks heaps for the advice.
I just got two more questions.

I only started playing cricket 8 months ago and all ive done is a net session every week. Does this mean i should bowl less during a week than an experienced cricketer as my body isnt used to it? I used to do heaps of javelin so i think my body is used to this kind of stress.

Also,I am 19 as i said before and am 198cm tall and weigh 115 kg's. I measured my body fat and it was 15%. A lot of people are telling me that even if i get down to 10% i will still weigh to heavy and am too bulky for a fast bowler and are telling me to slim down further even though it means losing muscle mass. What are your thoughts on this?

Also if possible can you please explain more about genetic potential as it is the first time ive heard that term or even a just website explaining more about it.

Cheers heaps

Hey David,

I'm a 16 year old fast bowler who's been clocked at 70mph recently. I am on the skinny side and was wondering what i could do to increase my pace. I have been warned about bulking up, and am unsure about doing weight training as i have heard it's bad for a growing body. Please could you provide me with some advice, my idol is Imran Khan the ex-pakistani cricketer... I have heard that he was adamant on jogging as the best exercise for fast bowling as it increases stamina.. and then sprinting as well..

Carl, "Less" is a relative term. How much can you bowl in a given week?

As for your weight, that is hard to say without seeing you. It's very difficult to be too bulky to bowl fast. People who use words like 'bulky' tend to be less informed anyway as 'bulky' is not a useful description.

I would rather know about someone's athletic ability. If you are coordinated, fast and strong with good basic mobility and stability then you have the building blocks of being a good bowler.

Body fat is important because too much will slow you down, but you shouldn't obsess about it, it's one measure that is only indirectly related to bowling performance. Muscle mass is similar. In most cases it is largely irrelevant. It's not how BIG the muscle is, it's how strong and fast it is (they are related but not the same).

As for genetic potential, it's just shorthand for saying not everyone is capable of being a 90mph bowler.

We all have an upper limit of pace. We can get closer to that limit with a good action and athletic body but the limit will vary between bowlers.

Tej, you have been fed a load of myths.

Bulking up - MYTH
Weights bad for growing body - MYTH
Jogging good for bowlers - MYTH

Hit the gym.

David,

Can you tell me your views on HIT training and its links with the paleo diet.

references.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PdJFbjWHEU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rNm4kSl3Og&feature=relmfu

Depends how you define HIT, but like most methodologies it has a place without being the magic bullet of fitness.

Re. The genetic pontential stuff, i know not everyone is a 90mph bowler, but if a guy's bowling around 70-75mph with barely any fitness/conditioning training and no special technique training, would you say that they'd be able to get quite easily to 80-83mph with good strength/power training and using ponts fast bowling tips (ie working on chest drive, hip drive, shoulder rotation and possibly if i can get it right the dropstep ff block)?

is low 80's from 70-75 easy, possible or very hard.... also, im 511 and 19 yrs

There are no hard and fast rules. You may have a halfway decent action already or you may have a shocker. If it's the latter you will gain more pace. Your body might be designed to bowl fast with a lot of fast twitch fibres.

One thing is for sure - improved action and improved strength will lead to improved speed. As to what that number may be... well thats more difficult.

Well in regards to the gym side of things, how hard would it be to put on 5 mph for a guy who doesn't train much

Also, what is the minimum a first class quickie would bowl at pace wise? 80? 85?

You can't put it in terms that simple there are too many variables. 5mph is quite possible given the right environment.

My max deadlift is 600# @ 220# bodyweight and I don't consider myself to be packing a lot of muscle

Good point HS. I have also seen professional cricketers who look very lean and athletic who can also lift serious weight in the gym. Strength does not equal size.

David

how much can their seriously lift?

how many times do they train during the winter and summer season?

most of the counties and internationals cricketers i see don't even look physically build. they just look so pedestrian like.

i look at the modern day powerhouse athletes who are trying to break records and their look in fantastic shape by lifting more.

if they are seriously lifting heavy, why haven't fast bowlers increase their speeds?
england and most other counties have strength and conditioning coaches, however no sign of increase speed and no sign of physical build. we play too much cricket meaning no time to excerise compared to modern day athletes.
we are probably doing some silly conditioning work and endurance excerise to keep themselves on the park

it is seems what we are doing doesn't work.

I take your points, and while this is not a website that is specifically about county/international cricket it's worth discussing with regards to following the example of the professional players.

First, strength does not equal size. You can be strong without "looking built". However, there are plenty of players who do look athletic (because the are). Can you say Jimmy Anderson is not athletic?

Second, how do you know fast bowlers are not increasing speed? The gun is relatively new and not hugely reliable but even if you trust it there are plenty of 90mph bowlers around these days at the highest level. We discuss that point here

Third, I'm not an expert but everyone does seem to agree that there is too much cricket at the highest level.

I'm not that sure what your point is though because you say strength training doesn't work then imply we need more time to do strength training. Can you elaborate?

im 17 years old fastbowler i want to increase my bowling speed im 6ft 2 inches tall can squat 130 kg bench 80 kg please give me a complete training program for me to increase my speed please iam very hungry for pace thankyou waiting for your reply

hi
i am 17 years old fast bowler and wanted to ask you guys how much do the international or county players really train

During pre-season, Brett Lee trained 5 days per week. They are professional athletes, they train the house down, 5-6 days per week is not out of the question, especially the international players.

is that training like that they go in the nets and bowl 5 days a week or is it gym training ??

is that training like that they go in the nets and bowl 5 days a week or is it gym training ??

Well when Binger was talking about this he was in per-season, that was 5 days gym/fitness type training. But during season they would train the same amount of days, this time it would be more skill work in the nets, depending on when the match is etc.

thanks

do fast bowlers need to work on lats? body part

No, they need to work on horizontal and vertical pulling movements. Not muscles.Chin Ups, Rows and their variations will do the job.

@ david. hinchliffei am 17years of age from uk as you know the cricket season is over and just wanted to ask you if what i am doing at gym is right. my schedule is monday work on biceps tuesday triceps wednesday legs thursday off friday shoulders and saturday lats and sunday core. i try to use low weights for my upper body and heacy weights for lower body. can u please tell me if what i am doing is right
thanks

David, how fast can someone get simply from s&c. I was speaking to Jock Campbell and he said that most guys can put 10 to 15 kilometres on from s&c.
Also, technically, what are the top 5 best drills to increase bowling pace.
Thanks
Jason

Jase, what is S&C?

Strength and conditioning

ishwar, you are using a traditional bodybuilding routine which is not great for cricket. Read this article to get a better idea of meeting your requirements.

hi david
im a 17 year old fast bowler and i was just wondering as a youngster what would be the best fitness because i reckon im abit too young to be pickin up weights.
it would be a pleasure if u can get back to me.

thankyou
taseen

hi david
thanks for the info
im a fast bowler with a quite heavy body with strong shoulder which is were i generate my pace from (shoulders), but i want to be more light and flexible as i sometimes feel heavy as i run in.
ive been clocked at 73 mph in november but have been told that i can increase that by quite a lot if i improve on my run up and fitness
thanks
taseen

hi david
thanks for the info
im a fast bowler with a quite heavy body with strong shoulder which is were i generate my pace from (shoulders), but i want to be more light and flexible as i sometimes feel heavy as i run in.
ive been clocked at 73 mph in november but have been told that i can increase that by quite a lot if i improve on my run up and fitness
thanks
taseen

In my batting stab em ,my head is in between my legs rather then over the front leg .is that ok should I move it forward and will I need to rotate my body slightly to aceive that ?

Sorry that should read stance

Hi David.Hinchliffe

Im 19 im about 67 kg and im not too tall either about 170cm
im a medium pacer, i bowl around 100-110.
im not sure what to do at the gym to get stronger so i can deliever at a greater pace than i am at the moment.
At this current time ive just been doing chest press, some core and shoulder work.
and ive just recovered from a partial shoulder reconstruction (bowling arm) about 6 months ago but the shoulder feels pretty good now and i have been bowling in the nets and training with my team.

See the bit in the article that says "OK, I believe you, so what do I need to do?"

Do that.

what sort of natural ability are you talking about when we say 90 mph bowlers. im a left arm quick bowler which action is suited for me side on or front. And natural ability what type of natural ability are you talking about to bowl 90mph and are fast bowlers made or born what do you think

Your action will depend on you - each way has its pros and cons. The key thing is to have an action which works with your body and is not putting any undue stress on it.

As for natural ability, well I think your using the wrong choice of word in ability. It is more like a predisposition for pace bowling. It means you have greater natural strength, greater fast twitch fibres, good natural flexibility and long(er) levers (arms etc).

However, even having all of those things will not necessarily mean you're going to bowl at 90mph plus. You still need to train correctly, ensure you have a good action and take care to work on improving what you have been naturally given. Therefore and to answer your question about whether fast bowlers are born or made, well, its a bit of both. Any player can train to increase their pace but without some natural 'ability' you're unlikely to be able to hit the highest speeds or for any great length of time.

I agree Greg, I talk about it a little more here: http://www.pitchvision.com/the-immutable-laws-of-fast-bowling-part-1/

Yes but clearly ian pont also states the fact that you can work hard to become a 90mph bowler through raining and strength. How ever doug bollinger clearly stated in an interview that he was not naturally gifted as a fast bowler but worked hard for his pace through heavy weight training when he was at the insitute of australian cricket. He also states that when he was young other people were quicker than him and he developed himself with a quick arm action and strength and also a quick run up so i don't agree that much you with the natural ability . God gives everyone ability its whether or not you use it to your full potential like for working hard for your strength like doug bollinger did.

David, what are thoughts on bowlers doing glute work along with the exercises in your routine? It is the largest muscle in our body, no?

check out binga's buns (nogay) these days...i'm sure that walnuts & macadamias tremble in his presence

what improvements, if any, do you think glute / posterior chain work would bring to a paceman?

can you reply to my comment about my reply about naturally ability

david can you reply please to my answer about naturall ability please

I didn't think it needed an answer, it was a good point, well made.

so you can bowl 80mph+ through heavy weight training and other fitness routines such as running work and sprinting .

If it was as simple as just building up muscles then why doesn't everyone bowl at 80mph plus?

Show me the quote from Ian Pont regarding training yourself up to 90mph. As for Bollinger, without seeing the interview it is hard to say. We don't know the context of what he considers quick and at what age. It could have been simply that he was a late developer or a lazy sod who only got serious about training later in his career.

However, you do agree me judging by your last line - every one has a certain amount of ability but how you utilise it is the key. However, not everyone is born the same and as such some people will bowl quick, others won't.

Strength and power is an important factor, but you also need good technique.

you can bowl 80mph through technique but if you are short a lot of power is needed through the upper body torso and lower body and taller ballers tend to have longer arms and generate a lot of power with lever and upper take a look at this bowler he is short and should have been one of the fastest bowler in the world viv Richards described hi deliveries as so quick that he lost it when he was watching it. watch this video please even Dave. a perfect action. apparently he was between 155-160kph short guy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoOsa_DPhK0&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Ryan,

Duncan Spencer is using the "Drop Step / Front Foot Block" technique perfectly.

But unfortunately, he broke his back several times.

When I brace my front leg it puts severe stress on my back. Maybe, because I am overweight and have had a history of back problems.

The solution might be to bend the front knee a little bit and strengthen the front leg so that it does not collapse.

Also, I am thinking of compensationg for bowling with a bent front knee by strengthening my rotator cuffs and lats by gym work, and also increase power by medicine ball throws.

Sonny

Good to see the med ball gospel growing, they are brilliant!

Hi David
I was wondering if you could help? I am trying to increase the speed of my bowling I see what you are saying about strength although I am already a keen gym goer and quite strong? Bench 150kg dead lift 180 squat 170 ect so what can I do now to become faster?

How fast do you bowl Lee? Also, how much do you weigh and how tall are you?

Im 5 ft 10 and weight about 85kg I'm not realy sure how quick exactly I bowl as I have never had it measured? I would say I'm quite fast although I feel I can get faster? Is there a quick way of roughly finding out the speed of which I bowl?

In the US, we have these small radar guns used to measure baseball speed. They seem quite accurate.

http://pocketradar.com/

Warning! Most club bowlers will be sorely disappointed to bowl against the speed gun:)

At your strength levels we would look next at mobility (especially around the tspine), elastic strength and of course actually technique. These are quite advanced so hard to go through in a comments section. I'll make a note for an article though, interesting area.

That would be great if you could? And much appreciated

It would be great to get a video of you bowling too, just to see if there are any technical pointers we can give.

what kind of diet should a fast bowler take to generate power or pace .?

fast bowlers ned b eating fast food 2 make dem fast

If only that were true. Funny though.

Reminds me of Javagal Srinath, lifelong vegetarian, forced himself to eat chicken in hopes of increasing his pace:)

I am 15 years old,weigh 50kg.I'm 1.2metres tall.I have been hitting the gym for the past 3 months.I have been working on almost all my muscles.I have been add weights as time went by.I do 5sets of 10 reps for each exercise.will that help me in crease my pace.

1.2 Meters in Height? I would focus on increasing my height if I were you by doing stretches.

What are you on about Sunil? Explain how anyone can increase their height by stretching? #muppet

Stretching does increase height in teenagers by decompressing the spine and making muscles more elastic. That's what I read.

you can increase height by stretching but why on earth as a 15 year old asian child (we asians generally are skinny as we grow up) would you hit the gym anyway? It's terrible for development causing havoc to all sorts of DEVELOPING ligaments etc. If you want to get better stop looking to strength, start improving the aspects of the game you can work on at a young age. When your young thats the age to pick up new shots, new skills, hone your hand eye and clean striking etc. Thats much harder to do when you get older and yet getting bigger and stronger is inevitable once you hit the twenties. So quit your gym, eat more food , play more cricket and develop what needs to be developed at 15.

What nonsense Alexis. Why can't you do both?

Strength is a crucial component in a cricketer's armoury. Plus the gym is not just about strength, it's also about stability, mobility, speed, agility, power, flexibility and mental strength.

When done right the risk of damage is as close to zero as makes no difference. In fact, research shows that better trained athletes are less likely to be injured because of STRONGER ligaments, muslces and bones.

Of course, the gym (and fitness work) can't replace skill work, but it will greatly enhance your ability to train harder, longer and with less injuries.

I read that doing weights isn't helpful in aiding growth but some amount of strength training will not harm your growth and will be beneficial to your cricket. If you want to continue going to the gym I would recommend doing fitness work rather than doing weights.

David, (huge fan btw. Love the site!)

That said, as much as I respect your knowledge for the game and understand what you are saying about strength, I do not believe that telling this young 15 year old boy that going to the gym and doing weights is okay is the correct thing to do. Strength is important no doubt and as 'anon' above writes, there are many other ways to increase strengths without going to the gym. He is at a critical stage in development. His growth spurt will occur about now. I understand you are most likely far more knowledgeable than me in cricket but i assure you, telling anyone under the age of around 18 to go to the gym will not aid them but hinder them for their entire life. And I am positive any person let alone cricketer will tell you that the best time for developing skills is when young. So instead of three hours strength training better to do 2 hours cricket and 45 minutes of pushups and running if necessary.

Thank you, it's an interesting discussion, and we are all about sensible, educated and articulate debate on this site. I welcome your comments.

Please reference the evidence that strength training is harmful in any way to under 18s. If you can prove your case I will bow to your knowledge.

For my evidence in opposition I can cite scientific studies, specialist strength coaches to young athletes and a current International cricket S&C coach who works with players from the age of 14 in a county academy setup. For me the evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of gym work.

Of course it has to be well designed, personalised and coached brilliantly - and I understand no all youngsters will have access to this level of coaching - but with that proviso I can see a huge number of benefits far outweighing the almost zero risk.

I do, however, agree that if you have 3 hours a week for total training time you are right to focus on deliberate cricket practice first and S&C 2nd. However the reality is that most serious players will find time for both. It's rare that you have to choose between cricket training and gym work in a head to head.

I also agree that there are other ways to train away from the gym. In a way we are agreeing that youngsters need to be fit. It's just the specifics of the methodology. It's certainly more complex than press ups and running, but it is also not just a matter of mindlessly going to the gym. We are looking for outcomes of increased performance and reduced injury, whatever proven method you use makes no difference as long as those goals are met.

i was a good rhytmic bowler... my run up was perfect jump was good and i had a reasonable pace and a good amount of swing.. 2 months earlier i stopped practicing due to my exams..
now as i bowl my pace is decreased no swing and run up is screwed... matches r starting in a week .. plz help me...

mavrics cricket website even graham napier was a 80mph bowler and worked hard with strength training to get to 90mph

doesnt it also take natural talent to bowl over 90 mph or is it possible by doing it by training

It's possible to improve by training alone. There is a limit to how fast anyone can bowl, this limit varies greatly. However, most bowlers are not bowling at their maximum, especially at grass-roots level.

I am 13 years old and I play cricket for my school..
I want to know which type of exercises should I do to strengthen myself?

See above.

im a fast bowler and i can bowl at 120kmph regularly....i am 5ft 5....but im not worried abt it .....the problem is some balls i am bowling at around 125-130 and i am not able to continue this....i think the problem is not getting my action repeatedly.....can u give me suggestion to bowl at my potential regularly

You have to groove your action until you have it locked into your muscle memory. I recommend the drills from Andy Caddick here: http://www.pitchvision.com/cricket-coaching/course/consistency-and-rhyth...

Thanks a lot I will definately try it out. Really keen to bowl accurate and fast!

125-130 KPH will land you in Ranji Trophy. How are you measuring your Pace?

Do you think it takes more than training to be as skilful as pakistans former teen paceman mohammad amir.

Kash - it sure does take more than training to be as skilful as 'teen' paceman Amir. I would suggest it also takes someone to knock 4/5 years of your age.

'Kash - it sure does take more than training to be as skilful as 'teen' paceman Amir. I would suggest it also takes someone to knock 4/5 years of your age.'

so does this suggest that some people are born with natural talent and dont have to practice much whereas some people can practice forever and never be as good.looking forward to your reply! thanks!

The evidence certainly does not back up your thesis. In almost every discipline that has been examined, there is a direct relationship between hard work and talent. I'm not saying there is no such thig as talent, it's just that we can't see what it is.

Hello my name is Khanyiso I'm 19 years old I weigh 73kgs n I'm 5' 7 in height . I'm a fast bowler I bowled 138-145 km. But I started gyming 6months ago. When I started gyning I bowled 145kms maximum. Speed . I bench pressed 70kgs shoulder press 30kgs and dead lift 80kgs but now I bench press 120kgs shoulder press 100 kgs and dead lift 160kgs . So I wanted to ask u how fast will I bowl now with this huge increase in strength.

I'm Khanyiso Makubalo I play Vasity cricket. I'm 19 years old. 5'7 in height 73kgs weight . I'm a fast bowler . Six months ago I bowled 143kmph maximum . I've been gyming for 6months now. When I start I could bench press 70kgs shoulder press 30kgs and dead lift 80kgs . But now after 6months of gym training I now bench press 120kgs shoulder press 100kgs. And dead lift 160kgs. So I wanted to ask how much speed would I gain from this Substantial increase in strength

Lol david I just think that fast bowling is all natural its al about that natural wright action

If that is true why are men faster bowlers than women? The answer = strength

Hi david I just wanted to. Know what you think about my first post of how much speed do you think I'd gain from that increase in strength

It's not a simple upward graph. Speed is the combination of several physical factors; strength, mobility, arm speed, technique, technique (so important it's in there twice), power output and coordination/timing.

It is true that the stronger you are, the faster you are when all other elements are equal - but you can't put a number on it easily. Surely you have noticed an uptick in pace?

yes I have notice an increase in pace . Although I've been doing been doing a lot of strength training I've been doing a lot of stretching and I have improved my flexibility . And I've been working on my action because I'm a right arm bowler and I never used to use my left arm I never lefted it up high. And I'd only generate my speed from my bowling arm.but now I've been studying brett lee's bowling action because has the best action. And I've been practicing it and its has improve my rhythm as well as other aspects of my action and its very comfortable

Great well that is the key thing, as long as you are improving there is no need to wonder too much about specific parts, just look at the whole and keep tweaking to get faster.

sir thanks for telling me such n important lesson about fast bowling. sir please can u make my fitness programe. plz this is y huble request.

Thanks a lot david sir..now i found my reason for not getting the pace for so long..i always used to think that jumping in a vertical position will increase the pace..also i have few questions......3 to be exact..

What is the physics involved for swinging the ball?
Can you tell some more useful tips for fast bowlers like jumping forwards ?
what are the region of the body that a fast bowler should not build up ..like i heard that if you build up a strong chest..it will hamper your fast bowling true.??

Dear David,
Thanks a Lot for you article.i would like to know that what all exercises are better for a person whose weight is 12 kg's more than the normal?...actually i am trying to loose weight and improve my bowling speed..?any tips for that also would be great?and also what all natural exercises can be done apart from going to gym?

Hey David, (hopefully this page is still active...)

-I'm 18 years old, weigh about 150lbs and stand at approx 5"10.
-I recently switched from bowling spin to pace and was recently clocked in the low 70s miles range.
(I'm told my pace comes from my arm speed)
-I'm practicing control and variations, though I'm looking to gain as much pace as possible by summer.
- training with the national u19 squad at the moment, though since its a relatively big group with few coaches, don't get much coaching in an individual perspective.
- Being a university student and working keeps me busy, practicing 2 days a week indoors right now.
-Looking to get a gym membership and improve my overall fitness.
- Realistically will be able to go 3-4 times a week to the gym, so im wondering what kind of fitness program i should do, also want to work on cardio for stamina.

Thanks ~ Derek

*note if it help* I Bowl side on, with a somewhat sling action, been told my pace is generated from my arm.

I Just wanted to know does ur action affect the amount of bounce you get and if not what does. Thanks1

Yes it does. It is mainly down to pace, but height is also a factor.

I have decent pace and am 5 ft 10 but cant seem to make the ball bounce at a good hieght constantly

I wanted to know David would you support the comeback of Pakistan's former fast bowler Mohammad Amir. What is your opinion he was incredibly talented and could have been maybe the best fast bowler in the world. Thanks looking forward to reply!

That is for the autorities to decide, the reason he is not playing is not a direct cricket issue!

Well I understand one more question do you think it takes more than just mere practice to be able to bowl as good as mohammad amir . Thanks!

So what you are saying is that we should be doing low rep high weight and not high rep low weight ?

Malcolm Marshall was 5' 10" and was a pretty mean bowler with no lack of pace. Probably one of the "nastiest" bowlers that I have ever seen. Very little jump in delivery stride.

i am a young fast bowler i can generate speed but my run up does not look attractive especially the shoulder thging can u help me

I believe a mixture of a years training of developing base strength and Olympic lifting which focuses on speed and weight to gain power will effectively assist your pace bowling, the vertical jump test is exactly that a test to see where you have got with power, not bowling technique the more power you have the more force and strength you will have to bowl faster. My thoughts are 4months strength heavy lifting and power followed by2 months agility to get the muscles fast twitch and speed do end result you gain strength power and speed

Hai david, thnx for infrmation so far.. Im a medium pacer nd a bowler mainly gets shoulder joint pain, low back pain nd elbow joint pain.. Is ther a specific exercises for thos complaints.. Can u suggest them, nd if pain is ther can we follow the game or warm ups or quit for couple of days nd start wit????

Hey
I'm 17 Years Old..m A Bowling Allrounder..i Do Strength Training..but At The Same Time,m Doing Abs..will It Be Harmful If I Go On To Make 6 Pack Abs?

Hey
I'm 17 Years Old..m A Bowling Allrounder..i Do Strength Training..but At The Same Time,m Doing Abs..will It Be Harmful If I Go On To Make 6 Pack Abs?

kushal, that is a good question. I would want to know more about what you mean, but the general principle with core training for cricket is that it's not JUST about six pack abk.

A 6 pack comes from low body fat rather than "doing abs" (i'm assuming a bit that you mean traditional crunch style training), and while low body fat is not a bad thing in general, it's very tough to maintain and also be athletic. In other words, having a 6 pack can become a distraction from actually being a good cricketer.

It's not an impossible task for everyone, but it is a distraction for some. So bear in mind that there is competition between these goals and you have to analyse for yourself weather you can do both at the same time. Most people can't.

The other thing to remember is that core training for cricket is about developing your ability to transfer power through the core efficiently and become more injury resistant.. That is different from stripping off fat and bloating your rectus abdominus to look good with your top off. They are related to each other but you must be mindful of the conflict.

Thanks a lot david sir..now i found my reason for not getting the pace for so long..i always used to think that jumping in a vertical position will increase the pace..also i have few questions......3 to be exact..

What is the physics involved for swinging the ball?
Can you tell some more useful tips for fast bowlers like jumping forwards ?
what are the region of the body that a fast bowler should not build up ..like i heard that if you build up a strong chest..it will hamper your fast bowling true.??

Hello .. can u tell me the exercises that a fast bowler should do in the gym and outside the gym ...i want to increasr my pace and it would be great if u can help me .. i jist want to know what a fast bowler can do outside the field which can increase his pace ...

Thanks a lot david sir..now i found my reason for not getting the pace for so long..i always used to think that jumping in a vertical position will increase the pace..also i have few questions......3 to be exact..

What is the physics involved for swinging the ball?
Can you tell some more useful tips for fast bowlers like jumping forwards ?
what are the region of the body that a fast bowler should not build up ..like i heard that if you build up a strong chest..it will hamper your fast bowling true.??

Hi David I am just enquiring about increasing the pace I am 19 yr old and 5ft 11 inch talk and I regularly bowls at 120-125 but some times reached 130 as well I just want to increase my pace there is some problem with my action I skip a lot in my run up and my arm does not go to fast and my non bowling arm is not in use properly and when I release the ball sometimes my back foot and front foot are very close sometimes back foot cross the front foot before releasing and my front foot always point to second slip. My head is always fallen while delivering.
Could u pls help me with this
Thanks
Dhruv

Hi David can you tell me how to make my bowling action as effecient as possible to make sure im bowling at the best of my ability-Thanks. Btw im 16 years old and 5 foot 10.

Hi David

My son is a young fast bowler, at 11 he occasionally swings (traditional with an un-scuffed ball) - although he does need to be sufficiently "irritated"... this was witnessed by myself and his coach. He normally bowls around 85 kph (calculated using distance and time on a video captured at 60 fps).
Understanding that strength is important, are there exercises that can be done safely given his age at home?
He currently does plyometric press-ups, free-standing squats leading into a jump at the end of each rep, pull-ups about twice a week..
Is there anything you can advise, or would change?
thanks
Jon

Can I just say that that is painfully fast for such a young bowler! I can't bowl that fast from a full run-up and I'm 14... (That's why I'm a spinner)

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