Virat Kohli performing clean and jerk lifting in the gym (Screengrab/@imVkohli)
Virender Sehwag asserted that former India Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Basu Shanker made the same fitness program for all players.
Veteran opener Virender Sehwag pointed out a flaw in India’s fitness programme as he feels there is no place for ‘weightlifting’ in cricket. The Indian team has faced several injury issues in recent times as players like Jasprit Bumrah, Shreyas Iyer and Prasiddh Krishna are dealing with serious injuries and have been ruled out for a big period. While other players including skipper Rohit Sharma, Deepak Chahar and a few others also remain under the scanners for their injury concerns in recent times.
Former India skipper Virat Kohli brought a fitness revolution to the Indian team as the players took serious care of their health and fitness. They started spending more time in the gym for muscle training and other fitness-related regimes.
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Sehwag pointed out that the players of his generation including Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni and some others never missed games due to back, hamstring or quadricep injuries.
“There is no place for weightlifting in cricket. Instead, you should do the exercises that improve your game. Weightlifting will give you strength, but will also increase stiffness and soreness. In our days, Aakash Chopra, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, MS Dhoni, or Yuvraj Singh, nobody were ruled out due to back, hamstring, or quadricep injuries,” Sehwag said on TRS Clips.
The legendary opener also recalled an incident when Ravichandran Ashwin was doing clean-and-jerk workouts in the gym when they shared the same dressing room at Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings). Sehwag asserted that former India Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Basu Shanker made the same fitness program for all players as Ashwin and Axar Patel started feeling discomfort in their knees due to weightlifting workouts.
“Basu Shanker was with the Indian team for a lot of years, and he made the same programs for all players. Why should there be the same program for Ravichandran Ashwin and Virat Kohli? When Ashwin was with the Kings XI Punjab, he told me he was doing clean-and-jerk workouts because it was in trend. Athletes train from childhood for clean and jerk and still get injured. Imagine a cricketer starting when he’s over 30 years old. Both Ashwin and Axar had problems with their knees because of this workout,” Sehwag said.
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Sehwag suggested that weight training works for Kohli but it’s not for everybody and every player has a separate training program.
“We didn’t do any weight training in our days, but we were still able to play cricket all day. This could be Virat Kohli’s funda. But not everyone is Virat Kohli. You need to prepare a training program based on your own body,” the former Indian opener concluded.
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