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  • Writer's pictureAustin Coutinho

Mastering the Art of Fast Bowling: Unveiling the Secret Corridor to Success

Discover the key to becoming a phenomenal fast bowler lies in a unique corridor exercise. Strengthen your fitness, work on flexibility, and focus on the specific training program to elevate your game. Learn how to bowl within a one-yard corridor and unleash the corridor of uncertainty to baffle batsmen. Follow this comprehensive guide to transform yourself into a match-winning fast bowler!

Fast bowling, an art mastered by the cricket legends, demands more than just raw talent—it requires the perfect blend of fitness and power in the shoulders. While the ability to release the ball quickly might be innate, budding fast bowlers can undoubtedly hone their skills by investing in their fitness levels.

However, the path to greatness isn't without its challenges. Fast bowlers often face injuries, particularly in their back, knee, and shoulder muscles. To combat these risks, they must focus on strengthening their core muscles through gym workouts and various exercises. Flexibility is equally crucial, as stiff muscles and joints can lead to severe injuries. Moreover, heart and muscle endurance play a vital role in a fast bowler's performance, necessitating regular inclusion of long-distance runs, fartlek, and interval training in their routine.

The transformation from good to great lies in a tale shared by the legendary fast bowler, Bob Willis. He recounts how Greg Chappell's challenge to exploit him in specific sessions motivated him to enhance his fitness levels, especially his stamina. The result? Willis bowled with the same ferocity in the final overs as he did in his opening spell, a testament to the power of relentless dedication.

For aspiring fast bowlers, a comprehensive strength and conditioning program can make all the difference. Incorporating exercises like shoulder presses and lateral raises builds strength and stability, while plyometric exercises, such as box jumps and medicine ball throws, enhance explosiveness. Cricket-specific movements and rotational exercises strengthen the precise muscles used during bowling. Flexibility and mobility exercises, like arm circles and yoga poses, are essential to expand the range of motion. Prioritizing recovery through rest, nutrition, and rehabilitation exercises is also vital in this demanding sport.

Now, let's unveil the key element that can elevate a good fast bowler to greatness—the secret corridor exercise that paved the way for Glenn McGrath's extraordinary success. To begin, visualize the distance between the bowler's mark and the wicket-keeper standing back. Construct a corridor approximately 72 yards long and one yard wide (with ropes, plastic cones or just chunam), extending from the bowling mark to where the 'keeper crouches. This corridor acts as a guiding alley, and the goal is to stay within it during the run-up, pitch the ball within its confines, and finish with a powerful follow-through along its outer edge.

Remember, there's no batter and this provides good practice to the 'keeper too.

A loose upper body and smooth arm movements (Watch a 800-metre runner in action) are crucial within this corridor, utilizing power only during the ball release. Dedicate an hour, six days a week, to this exercise, and in two to three months, witness the remarkable transformation into a match-winning bowler.

Once mastery of the one-yard corridor is achieved, advanced bowlers can reduce the tram-lines to two or even one foot, creating the infamous "corridor of uncertainty" for bewildered batsmen.

In summary, mastering the art of fast bowling requires a holistic approach. Strengthen your fitness, fine-tune your techniques, and embrace the secret corridor exercise to propel yourself into the league of exceptional fast bowlers. Embrace the challenge, and let greatness be your destination!

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