On the latest episode of the Wisden Cricket Weekly Podcast, former England Lions wicketkeeper Ben Scott, now of Kinetic Cricket, spoke to host Yas Rana about how club cricketers can boost their strength and keep fit while at home.
Yas Rana: At the moment it’s quite hard to stay in tip-top physical condition. Everyone’s allowed to go out of the house once a day for a bit of outdoor exercise, so I can get my run in each day. But If I’m trying to get stronger inside with very minimal equipment – I obviously can’t go the gym anymore. What advice would you give to club cricketers who can’t go to the gym?
Ben Scott: It is difficult. It does make it a bit harder if you can’t load up the muscles, if you can’t get enough weight to go through them. There are still ways to increase the resistance. It’s not just about adding lots and lots of weights. I try to encourage people to actually work on movement patterns properly, and there’s other ways of adding resistance without it actually having to be weight.
One of the things people can do is actually slow down the movements they’re making. So if you are squatting or even doing a bodyweight squat, you can increase the time under tension by slowing down the movement. Let’s say you’re doing a normal bodyweight squat – you sort of just drop down and come back up again nice and quickly – try taking three, five, even up to 10 seconds to actually go down. And then you can almost do the same thing on the way up. If you took five seconds on the way up, then you’d certainly see that after a couple of reps that is sufficiently adding enough resistance to increase the strength.
That’s one way and then there’s obviously messing around with your angles. So if you’re doing press-ups you can mess around with the angles to make things a bit harder as well. You can bring your feet off the ground, putting them on the sofa and your hands on the floor. You’re obviously increasing the weight there as well. There’s a handful of things people can do to increase their strength while they’re training at home.
YR: That’s really encouraging. I hadn’t realised that just by going down slower on the way up and down… would that work for a press-up as well?
BS: Absolutely. Any of the movements you make, if you slow them down it will be much harder to achieve. It gives you the opportunity to feel the movement a lot better, gives you the opportunity to think about the movement you’re making. That’s one of the problems people have and will certainly have at the moment in terms of training at home. It’s all very well going online and getting up a generic YouTube video or watching something on Instagram. But it’s actually about understanding how to make the movement properly. And if you slow it down then you do stand a better chance of understanding what your body is capable of.
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