Riyan Parag
© Ali Bharmal
Fitness Training

5 warm-up exercises to do before you play a cricket match

Indian all-rounder Riyan Parag explains the dynamic stretching and warm-up exercises he does before going to the pitch to bat in a cricket match.
Written by Shivani Mankad
4 min readPublished on
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Riyan Parag is one of India’s most exciting upcoming talents.
He’s made all the right moves on the cricket field in his young career so far, being a star player for his Assam state team in domestic cricket and for Rajasthan Royals in India’s biggest T20 franchise league.
One of the reasons for Riyan’s success has been his dedication to fitness and his constant training off the field. He leaves no stone unturned in net sessions either. And so his skill development and fitness have gone hand in hand.
Indian cricket player Riyan Parag
Riyan Parag
Riyan knows exactly what he needs to do to get the best out of his game. He has a simple warm-up routine before batting (and before fielding as well) which helps him get his body ready for cricketing action.
“I have some favourite warm-up exercises that I do before going out on the pitch or for fielding. So let me explain them to you here,” says Riyan.
01

Calf raises

Calf Raise
Calf Raise
“First, I do calf raises. These help me stretch and mobilize my calf muscles,” says Riyan.
You can do these by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly raise your heels off the ground so you are standing on the balls of your feet. Lift till your calf muscles are fully extended and then return to the starting position with your heels back on the ground.
02

Hamstring kicks

Indian cricket all-rounder Riyan Parag performs warm-up exercises to be done before a cricket match
Riyan demonstrates hamstring kicks
“Second, I do hammy kicks. These are particularly good to help mobilize the muscles of my hamstrings,” says Riyan.
Standing with your feet at shoulder-width, balance on your left foot as your swing your right foot up as high as possible while keeping your leg as straight as possible. Make sure to stretch only as much as comfortable. If needed, you could extend your left arm ahead of you and try bringing your right foot up to your left hand. Repeat on the other leg.
An alternate to this exercise are leg swings.
03

Lunges

Indian cricket all-rounder Riyan Parag performs warm-up exercises to be done before a cricket match
Riyan performs lunges
“Third, I do lunges because they help mobilize the hip and warm-up the muscles in my hips,” says Riyan.
Standing in a neutral position, place your right foot forward and slowly drop your body down till your left knee is just off the floor. Return back up, bring your right foot back and repeat on your other leg. When placing your right foot forward, maintain a distance that is comfortable for you when dropping your body down. Keep in mind that your right knee should not extend further than your right foot when dropping down, so your knees should ideally be at 90-degree angles.
04

Squats

Indian cricket all-rounder Riyan Parag performs warm-up exercises to be done before a cricket match
Riyan performs squats
“Fourth, I do some squats to use all of the muscles that I mobilized in the first few exercises,” says Riyan.
Stand with your legs shoulder width apart. Slowly drop down into a seating position and then raise your body back up. Remember that when performing a squat, your knees should not extend forward further than your feet. It is best to keep your knees at higher than 90-degree angles in the squat, especially if you have any knee injuries or pain.
05

Deltoid stretches

“After working on my lower body, I do some deltoid stretches. These help open up my shoulders and get my upper body ready for batting,” says Riyan.
Stand in a neutral position. Extend your right arm across your chest and to the left side of your body. Bring your left hand up folded at the elbow and lock your right arm inside your left elbow. Release slowly and then repeat on the other arm.
06

High knee spot jogging

Indian cricket all-rounder Riyan Parag performs warm-up exercises to be done before a cricket match
Riyan practices high knee spot jogging
“And lastly, to get my heart rate up, I do some on-the-spot high knee jogs,” says Riyan.
Standing upright, jog in one spot. Lift your knees up high while jogging so your thighs are parallel to the ground. Continue for a few seconds – up to a minute – to quicken your heart rate and increase your breathing.