Power on the Pitch: Barbell Training for Cricket

“Hitting a long ball on a regular basis is as technical as playing a cover drive. While the back-lift and downswing are important, the shape a batsman maintains during and after the shot is equally important. Uthappa is a good example: he keeps his head still and maintains a stable base and good shape.”

— The Science of the Big Hit by Aakash Chopra*


Effectively utilizing power batting or bowling in Cricket is a highly determinant on good technical preparation. This is true for all sports. To hit hard in Cricket you need good cricket technique, to hit hard in baseball you need good baseball technique, to punch hard in Boxing you need good boxing technique, and so on. Displaying Power in sport is very dependent on the movement and the athlete’s specific technical ability for that movement (or group of movements).

Displaying impressive power in sport is however based on the your raw physical power, and this is where lifting comes in. Maximum Strength (heavy weights, low reps on Deadlifts, Squats, and Presses) should be at least maintained at all points in the sporting calendar for Cricketers. In the early off-season maximum strength should be the main focus of training.

As the off-season progresses into the pre-season max strength should be maintained while Explosive Strength (moderate weights, low reps, max conscious speed, on Deadlifts, Presses and Squats, Power Clean, Jerks, and Snatches) should begin to be emphasized. At the end of the pre-season and into the season max strength should continue to be maintained while the explosive work becomes reactive, so that Starting Strength (light weight, low to moderate reps, max reflexive speed, on Presses, Squats, Jerks and Hang versions of Cleans and Snatches) is emphasized. Starting Strength is the form of power which is actually displayed in Cricket movements (and most other ball sports).

Using the above sequence in training will ensure that you bring maximum raw power onto the pitch. If your work with your skills coach has been on point, you’ll be blasting 4s and 6s like a cannon.

For quoted text, please visit: ESPN Cricinfo

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