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Cricket Conditioning

The following is a cricket conditioning programme that applies equally to elite and club level cricket players. Cricket is an old sport with many traditions. Historically it is a sport that relies very little on external conditioning efforts or high levels of fitness. Take a look at Shane Warne, elite player but he was a chain smoker for much of his career.

The modern standard of sport requires elite physical skills and abilities. This programme aims to condition the all-rounder and focuses on all the skills required in the average game of cricket.

Cricket requires the following raw components of fitness.

Rotational core strength and power: This requires the conditioning of muscles in the midsection responsible for rapid rotation at the hips and spine, such as in the batting movement.


Sprinting speed and rapid acceleration: This is fairly simple. Speed is required for running rapidly between wickets and is also required while fielding in order to quickly reach a moving ball. For this reason, agility is also a requirement.

Upper body power: This is required for batting, bowling and throwing a ball a long distance.

These are the core skills required for an average game of cricket. The game goes for an extended period of time, but I would not consider endurance a requirement by any means.

So, what we have here is three major areas, that if conditioned will result in a greater performance, provided individual skill exists. What I will do is provide a cricket conditioning programme that spans a single cycle of training. You will notice that I include GPP training. This is often included in an athletic conditioning programme simply because it indirectly increases a person’s capacity to train for other tasks.

The Programme

The programme is broken down into a simple seven day cycle. That includes a rest day in the middle. I also recommend a rest day after the seven day cycle. So it will be three days on and one day off and continue like this.

DAY ONE: General Strength

Deadlifts for 12-8-5

Front squat for 12-8-5

Pull-ups for two sets of max reps

Bench press for 12-8-5 (superset the last set with a max set of push-ups)

Standing military press for 12-8-5

DAY TWO: General Speed and Power

10m sprints x 10

Travelling broad jumps for 5-5-5

20m sprints x 7

Hurdle tuck jumps for 5-5-5

10m up and back shuttle x four lengths per set for 5 sets

75cm depth jumps x 7

DAY THREE: General Physical Preparedness (GPP)

Five rounds for time of….

Power snatch x 7

Cleans x 7

Thrusters x 7

DAY FOUR: Rest Day

DAY FIVE: Specific Strength/Rotational Power

Secure a heavy elastic training band to something immoveable at around shoulder height. Stand in front of it gripping the elastic so that all the slack is taken up. Hold the band with your arm in a throwing position. Now pretend you have a ball that you are throwing as far as possible while holding the band. The band serves as the resistance for the motion. Do 3 x 5.

Heavy dumbbell/kettlebell snatch for 3-3-3 (each side)

Heavy dumbbell/kettlebell thrusters for 5-5-5 (each side)

Single leg split squats (weighted) for 5-3-1 (each leg)

Standing barbell Russian Twist for 10-10-10-10-10

DAY SIX: Specific Speed and Power

Illinois agility test x 8 (rest at least two minutes between each effort. If you don’t know what this is there are many examples on youtube or elsewhere on the internet)

Secure some weights to a bat to make the length of it weigh up to 10-12kg. Then do 25 swings, resting as necessary. Use your imagination for this and make your own training equipment.

Have a training partner hold onto five balls of any kind. Now stand on a field with the partner to the rear. Have him/her throw the balls one at a time as you go and retrieve them like a human game of fetch. After you have got all five rest two minutes and go again. Do this as fast as you can and do five sets of five.

Straight arm, single arm medicine ball throws. This is what it sounds like. Simply hold a small medicine ball (3kg) and swing your arm in a windmill fashion while launching it as far as possible. Do a total of 7 throws per arm.

DAY SEVEN: GPP

As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of…

Five pull-ups

Five burpees

After day seven it is time for another rest day before beginning the cycle again. Every four weeks you should have a longer rest or simply skip conditioning for an entire seven day cycle and just work on skills before returning to the training.

Now this is not the only way to train for cricket but it is certainly something that will make you an effective player if combined with the right skills training. Did you know that Usain Bolt used to play cricket? That’s where his speed was discovered. Now get to work and start being a real athlete.

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