Getting Fit For Cricket - A Simple Guide.

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After the past few Cricket seasons, i have always had something to occupy my spare time. Whether it was Rugby coaching, Playing Hockey or working out on the Rowing Machine. I was always conscious, if i did nothing during the Winter, getting back into the cricket season would always be a lot more difficult. So what is the best way to maintain your fitness for the new Cricket Season.

It does depend somewhat on your current fitness levels, how active you normally are, health and age. Getting fit during the season is easy to work on, as time can be devoted to working on, speed, agility and stretches at the beginning of each session. During the cold, dark Winter months though, it is not as easy. What should you be doing during the off season then.

Running.

How much running you do, is a personal thing. During the Cricket season, how much running do you do during a match? It would be wise to maintain a similar level to maintain your running capabilities. I tend to go on a 2 mile run twice a week, this then keeps my lung capacity higher, making the return to Cricket Nets, bearable. Obviously if you are a lot more active during the Summer months you will need to make more of an effort during Winter.

Core stability.

Core stability is often, a neglected area of physical fitness. Why is it important, i hear you ask? The core is the muscle base, surrounding the spinal area. If this area has a strong muscle core, all of the other layers of muscle can be stronger. If the core is weak, injury is much more likely and common. Working on the core doesn't mean hours of sit ups and press ups.

A 10 minute plan can work wonders and is guaranteed to lengthen your sporting life. Ideal exercises are versions of The plank, The Bridge The Superman. More dynamic exercises can use a Gym ball and Medicine Ball. Alternatively, join a Pilates class, as they focus on the core and breathing. My wife uses a small Trampoline to get fit and that is also a simple way of strengthening your core, whilst watching TV.

Weights.

You could get some hand weights or a small multi-gym and work on strengthening your upper body and your leg muscles. Do not attempt to lift heavy weights though, a small amount of weight used often will be more useful than bulking up. Remember, you will still need to be agile when you return to playing Cricket.  

Swimming.

Another great way to keep fit. Swimming is cheap and is a way of getting fit even if you are carrying a slight injury. You do not need to swim fast, just aim to complete a decent amount of lengths to get your heartbeat rising. As with the weights, it is quantity that equals quality.

You could join a gym and use the benefits of various machines and also have the instructor on hand to push you in the right direction. They will also prepare a training plan for you on request.

I have recently purchased a rebounding catching net and we have had session in the garage that have lasted up to an hour. We throw a Cricket Ball into the net and catch the return, ensuring we are in a strong balanced catching position.

This will improve our core and also retain the ability to catch. My son and I also do a drill, where we have a ball each and simultaneously throw the ball to each other. Two Cricket Balls to focus on, one that you have just thrown and one you are about to catch. Do this for 15 minutes and you would be surprised at how much of a workout you get.

Remember, if you do nothing during the Winter you will take longer to return to the fitness levels you were at, at the end of the previous season.

How do you keep fit for Cricket?

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