Why you need to stop doing sit ups | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Why you need to stop doing sit ups

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This is cricket fitness myth #2, to go back to the list of cricket fitness myths click here.

If you only know one thing about core or abdominal training make it this: Sit ups and crunches are one of the worst exercises you can do for them.

The crunch has a great reputation though. Thousands of sportsmen and women perform them regularly to give them selves the edge during the game and on the beach.

Why is a sit up and crunch so bad?

It's an irrelevant movement. Where on the cricket pitch or in life do you need to lift your upper body from the floor and back down again multiple times? Your abdominal muscles are there to stabilise you while you perform complex movements like bowling. Your training should reflect this.

Don't ignore the core

While some abdominal exercises are poor, it doesn't mean you should ignore the muscles of your core. After all, they are the powerhouse of sports performance.

This means you should choose exercises that reflect this. They fall into 4 categories:

  1. Stabilisation
  2. Bending and Extending
  3. Twisting
  4. Throwing and Catching

You can use medicine balls, resistance bands dumbbells or kettlebells to provide resistance from standing or moving positions.

Ensure every training session includes core work, but leave the sit ups and crunches behind and focus on training from positions that you can cross over onto the cricket pitch.

Training the whole trunk like this will enable you to hit the ball further, bowl faster and be a better player.

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[...] Are sit ups the best exercise for my abs? [...]


What do you think of the various hanging leg/knee raise movements? The Hanging Knees-to-Elbows and the straight versions seem appropriate.

Not bad actually. It's dependent on time of year for me, but as part of a toolbox of core exercises they are good for bending/extending in a sport specific way.

What other exercises are there for this?