DELAYED ARMS

IMPROVE YOUR TIMING TO CREATE MORE SPEED

Delayed Arms refers to the timing of when your arms move in your fast bowling action. Ideally you want both your bowling arm and front arm to be between shoulder and waist height at Front Foot Contact, and for your bowling arm to be the last part of your body to move from this position as you start to bowl the cricket ball. 

Mitchell Johnson at Front Foot Contact with both arms delayed (original) - CC2.0 Photo by Gareth Williams

Front Foot Contact is a crucial point in your bowling action where you add power and direction to the ball. It is essential that both your arms are in the best position possible if you want to bowl the ball fast and straight.

WHY DELAY THE ARMS?

Delaying your Bowling Arm creates more time for you to accelerate the cricket ball between Front Foot Contact and Release. The more time you have to accelerate the ball, and the faster you can accelerate it during this time, the faster you will be able to bowl. 

Shoaib Akhtar keeps his bowling arm low at Front Foot Contact (original) - Photo © John Driscoll

Delaying your bowling arm can also help to create Separation between your bowling side hip and shoulder. As your hips rotate forward and your bowling arm is left behind, you create a big stretch between these body parts which can contribute to you bowling faster. 

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Steven Finn (ENG) delays both arms at Front Foot Contact (original) - Photo © Dave Morton

When you delay your Front Arm effectively, it keeps your upper body in a closed position at Front Foot Contact, helping to create Hip/Shoulder Separation.  A Delayed Front Arm also provides the most powerful "pull" and helps your Chest Drive towards the target. This creates further Separation between your chest and the ball - helping you to bowl faster - and encourages your upper body to drive forwards rather than collapse sideways. 

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HOW TO DELAY YOUR ARMS

Being able to delay your arms is often a result of what happens previously in your fast bowling action. If your bowling action happens in the correct sequence, both of your arms will be in a delayed position at Front Foot Contact, giving you the best chance to bowl fast.  

To use your Delayed Arms effectively:

  • Both arms should be slightly below or level with shoulder height at Front Foot Contact

  • Stretch your front arm out to your target so that it can powerfully pull your chest forwards 

  • Use your front arm to hold your upper body in a slightly closed position

  • Keep your bowling arm as far behind you as possible to create a big stretch throughout your upper body 

  • Your bowling arm should be the last thing to move as you progress through your bowling action

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