T Nation

Training for Cricket Bowling/Pitching?


Hey guys,

Ultimately wanted to be able to perform the below movement as well as possible. From a strength/mobility POV, can anyone advise routines/exercises/“keep-in-minds” that could be helpful when performing this movement?

I guess it has some parallels to a baseball pitch. The differences as far as I can see are:

  • You generate speed of throw by running up to the mark
  • The arm is not allowed to bend as it does in a baseball pitch
  • The arm generally has to come down from above (like a windmill)
  • When you land (and release the ball) the front leg arrests your momentum and almost turns you into a catapult (though some ‘pitchers’ don’t rely on that bracing movement)


So your needing a pretty much a very sports specific answer…correct?


How much experience do you have with the movement now? Your greatest initial ‘gains’ will be from technical improvement. It’s very similar to throwing the ball from the outfield, in baseball, aside from the arm slot that is. I’d work on the technique of planting your back foot, timing the arm, release point and hip transition.

From a weight training standpoint, really leg strength and explosiveness will be the most beneficial. Also, lots of face pulls, shoulder work would help. Any type of overhead throwing is going to strain the shoulder, so strengthening the upper back and utilizing the legs is going to help.

This is all coming from a baseball perspective, but like I said, the throw is very similar to the below.


structurally impossible to say given nobody can examine your shoulder structure but in general you need to work on rear delt strength, and humeral “posterior pulling” muscles including the subscapularis to avoid anterior glide eventually. You will need good scapulothoracic coordination as well as good glenohumeral coordination. You will need strong serratus anterior. You will need Good mid back musculature of the low and mid traps. You will need rotation power from core. You will need hip mobility to ensure you’re not aggravating your hip (pitchers in baseball can develop lower leg pathology from the constant braking forces they need to apply to the body, although typically the first to go is the elbow, or some part of the shoulder complex.

You will also need good thoracic extension and rotation. And you will need strength in these ranges of motion, because it is not enough to have mobility, you have to be able to control your body under speed as well.

Too complex to give a very specific answer, but that is a starting point. I suggest reading up on Eric Cressey.


Actually kinda reminds me of a javelin throw.

Or a jai alai pitch.

Point is, don’t get tripped up over the general body mechanics compared to the very specific requirements of a sport’s movements. On many levels, athletes are athletes and they should train quite similarly, regardless of the sport or position.

The thing to remember with any kind of sports performance is that you get better at it by practicing it specifically. The gym is for building strength, power, and health, but you’re only going to “perform the movement as well as possible” by performing the movement, having a coach watch you, and refining your technique.

With that covered… like Aragorn said, Cressey is definitely the go-to with baseball-throwing stuff because he works with a ton of pitchers. Elbow health, shoulder mobility, and transferring power from the feet through the torso into the pitching hand are all crucial. Other general stuff like power training for explosive strength, unilateral work to address imbalances, and basic pure strength work (for upper and lower body) will all play a role in being a better thrower.


Thank you all for your feedback, dchris, Chris, bulldog and Aragorn. You’ve given me more than just food for thought. There’s more than enough here for me to be getting on with. Have discussed with one of the guys at the club (cricketers generally don’t go to gym at the amateur level I play at) who will help with the specific movement.

My concern was more about making sure I can have my body in a position where I can stretch to those requirements and positions. Will read some of Cressey’s stuff too, but overall, a big thanks to all.


Cressey is probably the foremost authority on pitching mechanics and shoulder anatomy and health in the US. He’s worked with over 100 MLB guys–the mechanics are markedly different for cricket bowlers than for MLB pitchers, but if you’re able to take what he’s written and apply it over to general aspects of shoulder health and injury bullet proofing and you’ll be good. If you can take his aspects of power training and core training you’ll be very well off.

Do a lot of reading though…it’s dense stuff!