Olympic lifting is indeed one of the most complex sports when it comes to maintaining form and technique. Olympic lifts tend to utilise all the muscles of the body making it a compound movement and the most advanced one at that. Many of the sportsmen across the world use lifting to improve their power and strength. This trend was brought to India by none other than Virat kohli. Let us analyse in depth, how does olympic lifting affect anyone? And more specifically affect cricketers.
What happens in olympic lifting? Olympic lifting exercises consist of cleans, jerks and snatch with its variations like hang cleans and power snatch etc. During any of these lifts, your body moves in biplanar motion stressing and loading various muscles in that time. The point of multiple muscle activation means the entire body needs to act in unison rather than the muscles individually. To put it more simply, look at virat doing the lifts phase wise; I have highlighted each muscle getting activated at certain junctures.
The activation clearly highlights the muscles situated in the back, hips, hamstrings and calves. In the upper body, the shoulder acts in a stabilizing manner. Overall, you will be able to see how a single lift activates almost every component in the body (and this is just 1 of the lifts) These muscle activations are essential to understand what I am about to explain next: How does this affect cricketers?
An arm throw generates power from the trunk as well as shoulders, a sprint during pace bowling generates power from the hamstring as well as calf muscles, every stance and shot you play during the batting innings activates different muscles. This precisely is the reason we should start training cricketers through olympic lifting. Few of the many benefits for a cricketer is their increased stamina and power generation capacities. The others include reduced injuries (If done properly) and great reflexes. In comparison with other strength sports, olympic weightlifting tests ballistic/explosive limits; the lifts are therefore executed faster—and with more mobility and a greater range of motion during their execution—than other strength movements
Cricket is a sport which requires intermittent bursts of explosiveness, be it in any aspect, batting-bowling-fielding. By intermittent bursts of explosiveness, take running between the wickets or hitting big shots out of the ground etc. The whole sport itself works on intermittent bursts of energy.
In conclusion, we need to address the fact that cricket requires a lot of explosiveness and lifting weights explosively provides a lot of specific training to the cricketers. If we combine the fact and start training the newer generation of grassroots level cricketers with more specificity, we can produce a newer and fitter breed of athletes who are injury free, performance hungry and scientifically trained on the field.
Thank you for taking time out to read this article. It is going to be a part of a bigger genre where we explore physiotherapy from a practical and management aspect. This article is our take on the physio staff management in a team format. We cannot cover all the sports because of time restrictions, but if you guys liked the article and want us to break it down for each (or any requested) sport, mention it in the comments below. The figures are not validated by research, albeit are based on author’s personal knowledge and practical experiences in team management.