The association between lower limb biomechanics and ball release speed in cricket fast bowlers: a comparison of high-performance and amateur competitors Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • The aim of this study was to compare the associations between lower limb biomechanics and ball release speed in 15 high-performance (HP) and 15 amateur fast bowlers. Kinematic and kinetic variables of the lower limbs collected in the laboratory environment with a 3D Vicon motion analysis system were compared between groups, as well as their associations with ball release speed. HP bowlers had a significantly higher run-up velocity at back foot impact but this difference became non-significant at ball release. Front knee kinematics were not statistically different, however effect sizes revealed medium-large differences with the HP group displaying a more extended knee joint at maximum flexion (d = 0.72) and ball release (d = 0.76). Only front hip positive power was significantly higher in the HP group and it was suggested that the probable cause was the HP bowlers having less knee flexion after front foot impact. From a joint power analysis, the extensor muscle groups of the hip and knee were shown to be important in developing ball release speed. This highlights the need for lower limb/core strength programmes to be multifaceted and focus on the muscles associated with both power and stability.

publication date

  • 2016