Panihar Usha1, Rathi Monika1, Joshi Shabnam2, Gera Charu1
1 MPT, Department of Physiotherapy, Guru Jambheshwar University of Science & Technology, Hisar, Haryana, India, 125001
2 PhD, Department of Physiotherapy, Guru Jambheshwar University of Science & Technology, Hisar, Haryana, India, 125001
Introduction: Cricket is a widely played sport, characterized by intermittent movement efforts of varying intensities such as bowling and batting. The study aimed to assess the effects of whole-body resistance band training on physical components of cricketers.
Methods: Twenty state-level cricket players aged 18-25 years were included and randomly allocated into two groups. In control group (n=10), only regular cricket training was given, while in experimental group (n=10) resistance band training was given along with regular cricket training, 3 times/week for 6 weeks. The outcome measures: upper and lower abdominal strength, endurance, coordination, power, and balance of upper extremities were assessed at baseline and after
Results: The results suggested a statistically significant improvement in control group for upper & lower abdominal strength, power and balance of the upper extremity (p<0.05). In experimental group, all outcome measures showed statistically significant improvement (p<0.05). Between groups comparison indicated statistically significant difference for all outcome measures (p<0.05) except for upper abdominal strength (p=0.470) and upper body coordination (p= 0.146), suggesting more progress in experimental group than control group.
Conclusions: The resistance band training along with regular cricket training improved the physical performance of cricketers, which may enhance overall performance and prevent injuries in cricketers.
Introduction: Le cricket est un sport très répandu, caractérisé par des mouvements intermittents d’intensité variable, comme le bowling et la frappe avec la batte. L’étude vise à évaluer les effets de l’entraînement à l’aide d’une bande élastique de résistance pour l’ensemble du corps sur les composantes physiques des joueurs de cricket.
Méthodes: Vingt joueurs de cricket de niveau national âgés de 18 à 25 ans ont été inclus et répartis au hasard en deux groupes. Dans le groupe de contrôle (n=10), seul l’entraînement régulier de cricket a été dispensé, tandis que dans le groupe expérimental (n=10), l’entraînement à la bande élastique a été dispensé en sus de l’entraînement régulier de cricket, 3 fois par semaine pendant 6 semaines. Mesures des résultats: la force abdominale supérieure et inférieure, l’endurance, la coordination, la puissance et l’équilibre des extrémités supérieures ont été évalués au début et après 6 semaines.
Résultats: Les résultats suggèrent une amélioration statistiquement significative dans le groupe de contrôle pour la force abdominale supérieure et inférieure, la puissance et l’équilibre des extrémités supérieures (p<0.05). Dans le groupe expérimental, toutes les mesures de résultats ont montré une amélioration significative (p<0.05). La comparaison entre les groupes a révélé une différence significative pour toutes les mesures (p<0.05), à l’exception de la force abdominale supérieure (p=0.470) et de la coordination du haut du corps
(p= 0.146), ce qui suggère des progrès plus importants dans le groupe expérimental que dans le groupe de contrôle.
Conclusions: L’entraînement à l’aide d’une bande élastique de résistance, associé à un entraînement régulier de cricket, a amélioré les performances physiques des joueurs de cricket, ce qui peut améliorer les performances générales et prévenir les blessures chez les joueurs.
Mots-clés: Bande élastique, cricket, endurance, force abdominale, équilibre.
Cricket is a widely played sport, characterized by intermittent efforts with varying intensities, including persistent low intensity activity. However, it includes some high-intensity movements as well, such as bowling and batting . Several physical attributes like muscular strength, endurance, speed, power, and agility affect the game. Muscle strength, power and speed are the essential components for batting, chasing the ball, running between the wickets, bowling, fielding and throwing. The requirement of physical fitness, techniques and tactics varies according to the nature of game, affecting the performance of the players. The higher level of physical fitness is necessary for optimal performance of players because cricket is a sport with a short time constraint . Some other factors like body composition, physique and psychological traits can also affect the physical fitness status, technical and tactical capabilities of player, overall affecting their performance . Generally, conventional exercise or training programs are used to enhance muscle strength, concentrating on the specific muscles during sports to maintain the physical fitness . These traditional training regimens include stretching exercises, endurance exercises, and sports-specific workouts etc. These exercises help to maintain flexibility, strength, and endurance while also reducing the risk of injury. To reduce the growing risk of injury in the game, greater levels of physical fitness and expertise are needed as the game progresses. There are three formats in cricket based on game duration: test match being the oldest format, is played for about 4–5 days (around 90 overs played in a day; one-day match or 50-over match is shorter, where 50 overs are played by each team; T 20 match is the newest format, where 20 overs are played by each team . In the T-20 format, the injury prevalence among batsmen, spin bowlers, and wicketkeepers rises nearly by 3%, which is greater than their respective injury prevalence in the before-T-20 format . The fast bowlers without back problems can develop quadratus lumborum asymmetry, which again raises the risk of injury . The current competitive cricket season and current in-season training are not sufficient to maintain the adequate strength, jump, and sprint performances among cricketers . The physical demands of playing cricket may depend on the competition style (50-over match, T-20 match, or Test match). A player with superior physical fitness can perform well throughout the entire game and have only fewer injuries . Hence, players must be physically fit for the overall needs of cricket as well as for their specific roles such as bowlers and batters . The training regimens should include resistance exercises such as elastic band resistance exercises focused on strengthening the muscle of whole body.
Elastic resistance bands are frequently used in therapeutic and fitness settings, along with light strength training through a short-term (4-5 weeks) exercise program. Exercises with elastic resistance bands can be used for a variety of purposes, such as to strengthen the muscles, enhance coordination, and increase range of motion . As per research, athletes’ functional and in-game performance may be enhanced by using elastic resistance bands . These bands can be used to train one or more joints at the same time and these never operate against gravity . A single band or tube can be used for a variety of workouts, and switching to the next color of the band or tube makes it simple to raise (or decrease) the resistance. Elastic bands can also be utilized to strengthen particular muscles, such as the rotator cuff and peroneus longus, that are difficult to activate with muscle-specific devices. These elastic bands have been more popular in recent years due to their affordability, simplicity, adaptability, and portability . It has been claimed that elastic resistance bands are the good substitute for conventional strength training. There are various exercise protocol which have been used to find effect on a variety of physical parameters of cricket players but there is dearth of studies performed with whole body resistance band training and its effects on physical components of cricketers. This study aimed to determine the effects of whole body resistance band training on physical components such as upper and lower abdominal strength, endurance, coordination, balance, power of upper extremity in cricketers.
The study design was a randomized, controlled and single blinded (participants blinded) clinical trial conducted on state level cricket players at Guru Jambheshwar University, sports complex and Shri Ram Cricket Academy, Hisar. Ethical approval was obtained from the Departmental Ethics Committee (vide letter no. PTY/2022/155). The study was also registered under Clinical Trial Registry-India (CTRI) with the registration no. CTRI/2022/06/054954. The study was performed as per the declaration of Helsinki and informed consent from each participant was taken at the start of the study.
The study included total 20 male cricket players (State level) with age group of 18-25 years, who were practicing cricket at least three days/week and having experience of more than 2 years. The players were excluded if they were not regularly participating cricket, players who are already practicing resistance band exercises, using any kind of nutrition supplement or on specific diet, history of any recent injury and/or any surgery, history of drug abuse or alcohol consumption.
A total of 32 players were screened based on inclusion and exclusion criteria of the study. Out of 32 subjects, only 20 players who satisfied the selection criteria were considered for the study (Figure 1). The study details were explained to all the included participants and written signed informed consent was obtained from each player. The participants were randomly divided into 2 groups, i.e. Group-A (Control group) and Group-B (Experimental group) using lottery method (10 players in each group). The total duration for the protocol was six weeks.
The participants in the control group (Group-A) performed regular cricket training protocol, whereas, participants in the experimental group (Group-B) performed resistance band exercise in addition to their regular cricket training. In both groups, the regular cricket training was taught to the participants by coaches.
The players in Group A (control group), followed the usual cricket-training regimen, which included 10-minutes warm-up before each cricket training session and a 10-minutes cool-down thereafter. The exercises such as jogging, running, and general stretching of whole body muscles were performed during the warm-up and cool-down sessions for three days per week for a total period of 6 weeks.
The players in Group B (experimental group), performed resistance band exercises in addition to their regular cricket training. In this group, the participants followed a designated protocol that consists of three phases, i.e. warm up, resistance band training and cool down. The warm-up phase lasted for 10 minutes that consist of breathing exercises, hip rotation, head movement, shoulder stretch, shoulder elevation, thoracic muscle stretch, leg stretching and cat stretch. Then resistance band exercises (such as standing shoulder press, chest fly, Bulgarian squat, unilateral handball throw, triceps French press, biceps curl, trunk twist, row with high elbows and forward and backward lunges) with elastic band were performed by the participants according to the progressions made from week I to week VI in terms of number of repetitions and sets (as shown in figure 2). After completing resistance band exercises, players performed exercises for 10 minutes of cool down that consists of brisk walking or running and whole body stretching exercises. The total duration of training in this group took 45 minutes in each session. This resistance band training was given three times per week for a period of 6 weeks. However, the regular cricket training remained same as it was for control group.
The outcome measures were upper and lower abdominal strength, coordination, power, endurance and balance of upper body. Yo-Yo intermittent test was used to measure the endurance and closed kinetic chain upper extremity stability test (CKCUEST) was used to assess the upper body coordination [14,15]. Upper body power and balance of upper body were measured by sitting medicine ball throw and Upper Quarter-Y balance test, respectively [16,17]. Upper and lower abdominal strength were measured by curl up test and double leg lowering test respectively [18,19].
The reliability of curl up test, double leg lowering test, CKCUEST, sitting medicine ball throw test, Yo-Yo intermittent test and Upper Quarter-Y balance test has been reported to be good to excellent (ICC= 0.995, 0.93 to 0.98, 0.85 to 0.96, 0.98, 0.69 to 0.97 and 0.80 to 0.99, respectively) [15,17, 18,20-22]. The measurements were taken at baseline and at the end of six weeks. At the time of assessment of the outcome measures, all players were advised to do gentle stretching to warm up their body before each test. Three trials for each test were performed by the players, where best out of three was considered.
The statistical analysis was done using SPSS (IBM statistical package for social science) software version 21. The mean, standard deviation, t-value and p-value were calculated for all the outcome measures. Within the group and between groups comparison were made by using paired t-test and independent t-test, respectively. The level of significance (p-value) was kept at ≤0.05.
The demographic characteristics, including age (years), height (cm), weight (kilograms) and body mass index (BMI) (kg/m2), were recorded at baseline for all the participants. The results of baseline comparison of demographics characteristics and outcome measures of both the groups suggests that there was statistically non-significant difference observed between the groups for age, height, weight, BMI and majority of outcomes measures (Table 1). Therefore, it can be inferred that both the groups were similar at baseline.
The results of current study suggest that there was statistically significant improvement in upper and lower abdominal muscle strength, power, and balance of upper extremity within control group after 6 weeks but no significant improvement was observed in endurance of upper extremity (Table 2). While in the experimental group, within group comparisons revealed improvement in their all physical traits including abdominal muscle strength, endurance, balance, power, and coordination of upper extremity (Table 3).
Between group comparisons stated that participants who practiced whole body resistance band exercises showed more statistically significant improvement in all physical parameters (p<0.05) except for upper abdominal strength (p=0.470) and upper body coordination (p= 0.146) in cricket players as compared to control group which was only performing their regular training (Table 4, Figure 3 and 4).
The purpose of this study was to determine whether a resistance band exercise program given for six weeks had any positive effects on cricket players’ physical attributes such as abdominal muscle strength, power, endurance, coordination and balance of upper extremity. The results of this study suggested that there was significant improvement in upper and lower abdominal muscle strength, power and balance of upper extremity within control group, after 6 weeks but no significant improvement was observed in endurance of the players. In experimental group, improvement was seen in all physical traits including abdominal muscle strength, endurance, balance, coordination and power of upper extremity. Between groups comparison suggested that participants who practiced whole body resistance band exercises showed more improvement in physical parameters of cricket players as compared to control group. These findings indicated that resistance band exercises brought greater benefits to various physical components in cricket players.
The findings of our study are in agreement with the previous researches performed on different physical parameters in players involved in cricket and other games. A study done in hockey players, reported that shoulder strength and core strength significantly improved after undergoing six week of theraband resistance training . Further, a study revealed that 9-weeks of theraband resistance training has beneficial effect on various physical components such as upper extremity strength, endurance (closed kinetic chain upper extremity stability test), throwing velocity and maximal isometric strength of handball players . Another study, conducted on badminton players also showed the similar results stating that implementation of resistance band training has significant effect on shoulder strength (seated medicine ball throw), agility (closed kinetic chain upper extremity stability test), speed and function . Furthermore, a study reported that application of 10-weeks theraband exercises in handball players resulted in significant improvement of upper limb strength performance (including handgrip), back extensor strength, medicine ball throw, sprint performance and power indices . Anderson et al., also showed improvements in bench press performance and ball throwing velocity after a 6-week period of strength training with an elastic band in handball players . The possible explanation for these improvement can be related to the reasons explained by a study by Vandra stating that the resistance produced by the theraband increases strength. When resistance is provided, a strength curve generated by the tube that is similar to the strength curve produced by human. The angle produced by the lever arm and elastic resistance is responsible for this. This causes an increase in range of motion during exercise and increase the resistance of tube offered to the body. This encourages the utilization of more muscle fibers and contributes to increased muscle strength. The study further stated that exercises performed using resistance bands are beneficial to strengthen the muscles in our body . Likewise, a study done by Pelin et al., suggested that the theraband’s resistance increases when the band is stretched, enabling synchronized work on several joints. Furthermore, the resistance offered by theraband increases as the exercise range of motion does, increasing the muscle fiber count. A greater adaptation to the muscle strength achieved through exercise results from using more and more muscle fibers . These improvements in physical parameters with resistance band training compared to machinery, offers better muscle activation patterns. For instance, when compared to using an abdominal machine, executing an abdominal curl-up with elastic tubing results in a 58 percent reduction in hip flexor activation and a 24% increase in abdominal muscle activation . A study indicated that resistance band training was effective in improving strength and running performance of individuals involved in various sports activities . Furthermore, another study done on baseball players suggested that resistance band training enhances upper body strength and throwing velocity of players . The current study showed positive impact on male cricket players (state level). Therefore, the effect of resistance band training can also be studied in female cricket players and elite cricket players. As the study only assessed effect of training post intervention only, future study may include follow up in their research.
The six weeks of whole body resistance band training when given with regular training in cricket players proved to be beneficial by improving physical parameters such as abdominal muscle strength, endurance, balance, power of upper extremity in male cricketers.
The study findings may prove helpful to coaches and players in terms that if these exercises are added to their usual training may further enhance their overall performance in the game and may prevent occurrence of injuries.
This research was not funded by any organization or external funding agency.
Conflicts of interest
The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.
Department of Physiotherapy,
Guru Jambheshwar University
of Science & Technology, Hisar,
Haryana, India, 125001
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