My coaches often asked me why I stick to a certain warm-up format through the season? I can improvise and change drills every now and then to add an element of excitement to training, but the basics always remain same.

And my answer is always been the same that since muscles anatomy and functioning don’t change with time; the basics to warm-up a muscle don’t change either. Be it then a hotel room, a play ground, a yoga mat, or a gym. The basics don’t change!

“Make it interesting”

“I never get bored with the basics” – Kobe Bryant.

Kobe may have said it in context of skills training but it equally applies to physical training for a sport. Yes, even when the situation is been challenging – life shuttling from one hotel room to another, living out of bio bubble, less practice, etc.; my mantra of following the basics in training did not change this season.

Ques: How should one look at training?

Let us look at a few examples of training ‘back’ to find an answer:

Firstly we should look at what ‘back’ does and what it is capable of doing. After that we should evaluate how it may be used in the sport you play given different postural situations. Once we have evaluated that, it becomes relatively easy to create a training program to warm-up and train the relevant body part.

“Make it relevant”

If you look at various pictures, you would be able to relate both with the role of ‘back’ in sport and what it does. How it relates to a specific sport may differ from other sports, but its usage don’t! Muscles contract or elongate in the same manner regardless of the sport. However the circuitry system – synergies for a movement change from one sport to another. So does the postural alignment for a take off and thereby, movement in general.

As a fitness expert, my first job is to ensure to make the musculoskeletal system is ready to take the load keeping the flexibility quotient intact (for movements) for its usage in different sporting movements arising in different situations posturally.

“Make it different”

All the pictures display different exercises performed in a cozy hotel room on a given day warming up and training different muscles/joints for the game of ‘Cricket’. Of course, this is just one off session and there have been several with different exercises in different room dimensions using hotel room props 🙂

In fact, we did a speed and agility session online. Surprising? The sweat…the adrenaline rush….the intensity….and finally, the calorie burn confirmed the satisfaction of boys.

“Make it environment friendly”

We did stretching sessions (upper body) mixed with strength (lower body); recovery sessions while activating a few muscle groups & resting others; agility sessions with change of direction; and of course worked on focus by bringing meditative aspect through the sessions.

“Make it playful”

In my recent conversation with a sports league team director, I learnt that they have added more physios and masseurs to their squad keeping their training capacity to one expert. I was a bit disappointed to hear that because it is like saying – we are adding more hospitals and doctors to keep our people healthy! WRONG THINKING!!!! Sports teams should think about adding someone who can make players healthy in whatever environment they are living so that they don’t need the services of doctors or masseurs.

“Make it challenging”

And please do not….DO NOT…compare physios or masseurs work with a fitness expert if your primary aim is fitness and not rehab

Once again….FITNESS is not just GYM work. The sooner you understand it the better it will be for your team. Number of injuries occurring in your team is a good indicator of how well you are doing in training.

Yes….3rd cricket season in a row – NO INJURIES!!

Umesh Chhikara