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Good core stability and strength are important for successful squash.
Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
If you want to play squash well, you need to be fit. As well as practicing and playing squash to develop your racket skills, specific conditioning can make you a more formidable opponent.
Speed and Agilty
Your opponent will try to put the ball anywhere you are not in an effort to force you to miss the ball, and you'll be doing the same to him. Improving your speed and agility will increase your chances of being in the right place at the right time on the court. You can develop this fitness attribute by doing short multi-directional sprints, using an agility ladder and doing foot speed drills or using a reaction ball -- an uneven rubber ball that bounces in random directions when bounced. You can assess your multidirectional running speed by regularly performing a T drill test, which is also a good squash-specific workout.
Aerobic and Anaerobic Fitness
This high intensity start-stop game is played at or above 80 percent of your maximum heart rate. This means squash players need a high level of aerobic and anaerobic fitness. To develop your aerobic fitness, perform steady-paced cardio activities such as jogging, running, swimming, cycling or rowing for 20 to 30 minutes or more. To develop your anaerobic fitness, perform the same activities at a much higher speed for 30 to 60 seconds before resting for 60 to 120 seconds -- a method of exercise called interval training. Repeat the work and rest periods four to eight times depending on your fitness and experience.
Power is force generated at high speeds, and one of the best ways to develop power is through plyometrics. These exercises involve rapidly stretching and then contracting a muscle to create a powerful and explosive movement. Hurdle jumps, box jumps, squat jumps and lateral jumps develop lower body power, while clapping push-ups and various medicine ball throws develop upper body power.
Bending and twisting to reach and hit the ball requires tremendous core involvement. The core refers to the muscles of your midsection: your abs, waist and lower back. Your core bridges the gap between your legs and your arms, controls the movements of your spine and allows you to connect with the ball. Strengthen your core by performing exercises as part of your weekly workout routine. Russian cable twists, dumbbell side bends, planks and side planks, stability ball pikes, Pallof presses and bird-dogs strengthen your core and may also decrease your risk of injury.