Kinetic Cricket’s Ben Scott – the former Surrey, Middlesex and Worcestershire wicketkeeper-batsman – gets you in shape for the new season.
Exercise No.1 – Deadlift grip
When it comes to the deadlift grip, it’s quite common to see people using either an overhand or combined grip with one hand under and one over the bar.
This exercise is mainly for people who already have a decent understanding of what it’s like to deadlift. But I want to go through some of the differences between the two grips, and how they can affect your body for cricket.
We’ve got this overhand, underhand grip and then we start to lift the bar. If we have this grip we may start to rotate around ever so slightly. Cricket is a unilateral sport, so we stand sideways when we bat, we bowl off one leg – by definition we’re already creating these discrepancies between both sides of our bodies.
Use both hands facing the same way so that we’re creating the same level of strength through our back and we’re getting that nice, strong grip in both hands.
Exercise No.2 – Knee valgus
We see this quite often in the cricket world where the knee collapses inwards, the foot follows, and then we see players ‘falling over’, losing that solid access to the ball.
While it’s a problem primarily for batsmen, it also arises when we’re bowling, where the knee collapses slightly in the delivery stride, and a lot of that is down to issues around strength, either through our glutes or ankles. In the fitness world we don’t just look at where the problem is, we look above and below.
The important thing to focus on is strengthening through the hips and then working on that stability in the ankle. Hopefully that will prevent the knee from internally rotating, enabling us to hold those positions better, in turn giving us greater access to the ball. The result? You’ll be holding your shape for longer and nailing your on-drive more regularly.