The fact cricket has three different formats and we as cricketers could be playing or training with a different team (Club/State/Country) year round, means we don’t really have a normal training schedule. During the season or a tour, obviously our main focus is skills training around our games.
With the Australian team during a Test tour, three days out from a Test is an individual training session where we all get what we want done. Bowlers may have some overs we need to bowl and the batsmen more often than not will hit a fair amount of balls.
This day is also a chance for us to get a session done in the gym. Two days out from the Test is our team session where most of the work and preparation is done. Bowlers will bowl maybe 6-10 overs, the team will have a fielding session and batsmen will again hit plenty of balls. The day before a Test is an optional/top up day. Bowlers will normally stay at the hotel and spend some time in the pool and stretching, just doing a little extra recovery to make sure we are ready to go for the match. Batsmen always like to hit extra balls on this day and you’re sure to find Nathan Lyon bowling in the nets again. Then it’s time for five days of Test cricket.
Gym sessions are much more frequent during the off season. The fast bowlers try and get in the gym as often as we can to make sure our strength is maintained during a tour or season. My program at the moment looks like this:
1. Prep- Isometric Leg Press (3 sets 45s reps)
2. Prep- Isometric Leg Extension (3 sets 45s reps)
3. Barbell Clean (4 sets 3 reps)
4. Dead Ball Scoop (3 sets 5 reps)
5. Kettle Bell Hip Swing (5 sets 5 reps)
6. Trapbar Deadlift (4 sets 6 reps)
7. Half Kneeling Landmine Press (4 sets 8 reps)
8. Barbell Russian Dead Lift (4 sets 8 reps)
9. Kettle Bell Goblet Squat (4 sets 10 reps)
10. Blackburns (3 sets 12 reps)
Gym programs are quite individualised as cricketers based on how much each of us is playing, any injuries we may have or are carrying and what each of us need to strengthen. For me my program is this way to rebuild some strength that I’ve lost during a long five-month tour away and also to add extra strength to my lower limbs.
For fast bowlers, the most important area for us is our lower limbs and our backs. To be able to bowl long spells and a lot of overs at a good pace we need to have the strength in our legs to do this repeatedly. Whether you bat or bowl, yours legs are very important for cricket. For fast bowlers, a lot of force goes through your legs when you bowl. The force can be up to nine times your body weight going through your front leg every ball. For batsmen, footwork is essential and of course speed between the wickets. Then when you factor in the amount of fielding cricketers do, endurance in the legs is key. Cricketers’ backs are also important. With all the twisting through throwing and playing shots, the force through bowling and the time spent bending during batting, a lot of back issues can arise if there isn’t enough attention shown to keeping it mobile.
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