Before stepping out for a match, these warm-ups will help you loosen up on the field.
Cricket may seem like a sport that is not as physical, as say, football, rugby or various combat sports, but an entire day’s play in the sun, waiting for a catch and running behind the ball needs great stamina, concentration, and more importantly, a very fit body.
Before going out on the field to save boundaries and pocket catches, cricketers will have to warm-up to loosen their muscles and keep themselves in optimum condition to perform at their best on the field.
Here are the different types of warm-up for fielders in cricket:
Before going out on a jog or run to stretch your muscles, ensure that your muscles are ready to be put under the strain of running.
Do a few squats, lunges and side lunges, for 5-10 minutes.
You can then proceed to do knee lifts and jumps to make yourself loose. Squats will especially be helpful for those fielding in and around the bat (slip catchers, wicketkeepers, silly point)
Jogging and running
Before the advent of sports science, most professional cricketers did a few laps of the ground to loosen themselves up before they went out to bat or field.
This can still be followed now as it makes you physically strong. Gradually increase the pace of your jogging and do not go full tilt right from the start as you may pull a hamstring.
After the jog, do quick sprints between two points, 20-30 metres apart; you can do sets of 5 for 5 minutes.
It is important that all areas of your body are ready for an intense day’s play, hence stretching exercises are important. Place your leg on a chair, with knees bent and lean in and out to do a hamstring stretch.
Follow it up by stretching your shoulder and elbows by holding your other elbow and pulling it to the other side, gently. You could also use your team-mates or coach stretch key muscles like the shoulders or hamstring.
You should also exercise your back and lower back muscles by bending down and touching your feet, which can be done for 2-3 minutes.
Throwing warm up
This warm-up would require a partner. Stand across 20 metres apart and throw the ball to each other. Simple as that.
You can then proceed to throw the ball to a wicketkeeper from a distance. Use both underarm and overarm technique to land the ball in the wicketkeeper’s gloves.
Throwing from a distance
Fielding inside the ring requires precision and quickness, while fielding outside the ring, near the boundary, will require a lot of stamina as well as a strong throwing arm.
You can exercise your shoulder by throwing a few balls to the wicketkeeper from a distance. Ensure that you’ve warmed up adequately as you could injure yourself if you’re not adequately warmed-up while throwing from a distance.
Warm-ups are as much about mental fitness as they are about physical fitness. Have your coach or team-mate throw low balls for you to catch from a distance of 20 metres.
This will give you a feel of the ball in your hands as well as soften your hands for fielding later in the day. Follow it up with overhead catches that will require you to run and catch the ball.
Ensure that catching or throwing is done at a good pace and not as leisurely as replicating a real-life cricket situation can be an intense workout.
A warm-up is a way to tell your body to get ready for the workout that is going to happen on the field. Fielders will have to get their muscles, shoulders and back exercised and warmed-up before a game. Do not over exert yourself or treat the warm-up like a full-on session as you may injure yourself.
Here is a video to help you:
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