Want to bowl faster minimizing injuries? Ten principles that could help

Blog by: Kaushik Talukdar.

Edited by: Suryakant Tripathi.

  1. Work on relative strength, not absolute. Get strong to play, to perform the skill and sustain. Strength is means to an end not end in itself. You will not be judged on how much weight you lift.
  2. Do not stretch your lower segment of the spine at end range, trust me it is already doing a lot when you are bowling, work on providing stability there not range of motion. Lower back injuries are not always because of lack of range of motion, but something that moves relatively too much. (Theory of least resistance path applies here)
  3. A general pilates and yoga class can be as disastrous as a copy pasted power lifting work out for a bowler with lower back pain. Fit exercises based on your movement competencies and requirements. Yoga and Pilates will not fix your pain, finding the cause of the pain will.
  4. It does not matter if you can run a marathon; it matters that you can bowl the entire day (i.e. when playing the long format). Strength rule applies here, be fit to bowl not the other way around. Long distance runners have their share of over used injuries and fast bowlers have their own. Do not add more over used injuries, instead work on solving some.
  5. Build bowling work capacity, start with small numbers e.g. bowl 5 overs, pay attention to every detail- run up, release angle, landing and reactive ability during ball release, head position. You might get faster by just paying a little attention.
  6. If you are a side arm fast bowler, make sure your hip rotators and trunk stabilizers provide adequate mobility and stability respectively otherwise spine will move excessively into rotation.
  7. If you are a front on bowler, make sure your scapulae (shoulder blades) have adequate upward rotation when you flex your shoulders overhead.
  8. Use proximal muscle such as legs, upper back when throwing from the outfield.
  9. Build progressive multi-planar movement skills; do not live entirely in the sagittal plane (flexion extension based work) because you do not bowl in one. (Rotational and multidirectional skills are pre requisites to be bowling efficiently for long periods).
  10. Before you start using heavy cricket balls to add pace, make sure your basics with a standard cricket ball is right. Try to maximize with minimal resources first, otherwise advance techniques will not work in the future.

Kaushik Talukdar (Strength and Conditioning Manager)

Masters in Sport and Exercise Science.

Currently pursuing a PhD in Sport science and psychology)

Australian Strength and Conditioning Accreditation level -2

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