Cricket is rapidly becoming more popular in Canada. However, even for indoor games, the cold climate here makes it even more important to warm up properly before a game. Cold muscles and tendons are more susceptible to injury as a result of a sudden burst of activity like a sharp sprint to the boundary, and other injuries are described here. To help avoid injury, a good warm up will help to elongate your muscles and raise their temperature to make them more supple and increasing your range of motion. It will also increase the supply of blood and oxygen to your muscles. In this post, we present suggested exercises that should form part of an effective cricket warm-up.
These exercises are particularly important for fast bowlers. To perform, rotate your arms in both directions and at gradually increasing speed. Try to perform at least 15-20 reps or more, until you can feel the blood rushing to the end of your arms.
Hug yourself as tightly as you can. Then try to clap your hands behind your back and hug yourself again. This exercise will help to warm and lengthen your back muscles. With each clap, try to raise your hands higher up your back. In addition, as you hug yourself, try to flare the muscles of your back and shrug your shoulders. You should perform 15 reps of this exercise.
This cricket warm-up exercise will warm and lengthen your hamstring muscles. Stretch a hand out in front of you. Use it as a target and attempt to kick it with the leg on the same side. For this routine, perform 10 reps with each leg and repeat 2-3 times.
This cricket warm-up exercise is similar to the front kick described above, but is performed with the hand held out to the side. As with the front kick, perform 10 reps with each leg and repeat 2-3 times.
This is a great all round lower body exercise. Keeping your knees in line with your feet, go down on until your behind is about level with your ankle. 10-15 reps should be enough.
Seated Torso Twists
Sit on the floor keeping your legs out in front of you and wider apart than your shoulders. Raise your hands to your armpits and twist at the waist, keeping your behind on the ground. Perform 10 reps twisting to each side, and repeat 3-4 times.
Seated Side Bends
This cricket warm-up is similar to the seated torso twist, but with bending to the side instead of twisting. Again repeat 10 times on each side and complete 3-4 sets.
Seated Forward Bends
Still seated on the floor, bring your feet together. Bend forward until your back is curved. This will help to stretch and warm your back muscles. For this exercise, perform 10 reps and repeat 3-4 times.
Lie face down on the floor with your palms on the floor under your shoulders. Push your torso up until your arms are locked out. Keep your hips on the ground and raise your torso only. 10 Reps.
Finish your warm-up by completing 2 or 3 slow jogs around the stadium. This will be a great way to ensure that your entire body is warmed-up and ready for action
The 10 cricket warm-up exercises described above will help you to start the game with your key muscle groups warm and supple and better able to withstand a sudden twist or extension. If you can invest 30 minutes or so doing them before each game, you will find it a worthwhile investment compared to spending weeks out of the game with a sprained ankle or hurt back.
In addition to warming up before the game, don’t forget to perform the correct cool down exercises afterwards. We will cover the reasons for these, and suggest some exercises, in a future post.