This is an issue I have been thinking about for quite a while now.
Generally, it seems to me that many people only focus on the major muscle groups when working out. They don’t place any importance on the smaller muscles groups and fail to understand the advantages of working specifically on those.
The most obvious one to me is the wrist (and forearms). I have seen many people focus on the Biceps/Triceps, but very few actually consider a workout for your wrists.
Especially in cricket, the wrists do play a major role, and that too in almost every aspect of the game.
- Batsmen rely heavily on quick wrist movements to guide/deflect the ball through either the leg or off sides.
- Fielders use the wrist to generate extra speed when throwing the ball.
- Bowlers use their wrists to generate extra pace but also impart specific rotations on the ball in an attempt to cause deviation either in the air or off the pitch.
These are just some basic examples, but you get the point. Throwing and controlling the ball is such a key component of the game and it relies heavily on the control and strength in your wrists. Therefore it is only logical to ensure that you dedicate some of your time to increasing the strength or your wrists (and forearms) to improve your game.
One exercise that I have tried out recently are wrist curls.
It’s a very basic exercise although I would suggest you start with a low weight and slowly work your way up over a period of weeks/months as your strength increases.
The basic procedure is,
- Sit down on a comfortable surface.
- Place your forearms on your thighs (make sure your wrists are just in line with the end of your knees, palms facing up).
- Now start with your palms facing away from you (bend your wrists at almost 90 degrees), holding a light dumbbell in each hand.
- Slowly curl your wrists up. Make sure you remain comfortable and don’t cause unnecessary pain. If in doubt, use a lighter weight.
- Move your wrists down back to the starting position. (Note: Your body shouldn’t move at all during this motion and should be stable. The only movement should be in the wrists).
I have currently been doing 3 sets of 15 reps each. It is best to allow a decent recovery period of at least 24-48 hours as you don’t want to overwork the muscles. That is pretty standard advice.
The wrists play a very important role in the game and I think it would definitely be beneficial to start including some wrist strengthening exercises into your routine. Start off slow and ease into it.
I’m also going to look into some other methods of wrist strengthening and will introduce those later to add some variety into your workouts. So for now, try out the exercises and see if there is any noticeable difference after a set period of time. If you’re not already doing it, you should at least think about including it into your workouts.