The effects of strength training upon front foot contact ground reaction forces and ball release speed among high-level cricket pace bowlers
Taylor & Francis
School of Medical and Health Sciences / Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research
The effects of an eight-week off-season strength training program upon lower-body strength, power, eccentric capacity, front foot contact (FFC) kinetics, and ball release speed (BRS) in pace bowlers were investigated. Ten elite-academy pace bowlers completed the intervention, and pre- and post-testing. Pre- and post-testing included: double (DLDL) and single leg (SLDL) drop landings; isometric mid-thigh pull (IMTP); countermovement jump; and pace bowling performance (two-over bowling spell measuring BRS and FFC kinetics). Changes from pre- to post-testing were assessed with paired sample t tests (p ≤ 0.01), effects sizes and statistical parametrical mapping. Post-testing revealed a significant decrease in peak normalised vertical force during DLDL and SLDL with large effects and a significant, moderate effect increase in IMTP. There was no significant changes in BRS. Concomitantly, neither discrete scalar (p= 0.15-0.58) nor vector field analysis kinetics during FFC indicated significant changes. No significant alterations in FFC kinetics may explain the lack of improvement in BRS (pre = 31.55 ± 1.44 m/s; post = 31.79 ± 1.33 m/s). This study indicated an eight-week strength training program can improve strength and eccentric capacity in pace bowlers, and these changes when developed in the absence of skills training neither improved nor decreased pace bowling performance.