Tips on Squash Training
There is a unique feature about the game of squash; training for the sport can be totally a solo venture. While each person’s training schedule can differ, it is imperative that a full body workout be incorporated to prepare the body for the constant demands placed on it during the game.
About the game
Squash is a sport that pits one individual against another, or played between two teams of doubles. It is a very fast game, requiring the body to be in almost constant movement. Speed, agility and strength are all demanded of the player as they sprint, run, reach, stretch and twist their bodies while chasing the ball around the court. Needless to say, the sport necessitates several levels of fitness of the player; fitness that can only be attained through hours of practice and training.
How to train
Different types of training will help to develop the skills needed for playing squash. It is beneficial to practice regular training and cross training to get in shape and stay in shape, including aerobic exercise, anaerobic activity, strength training and endurance building.
- Aerobics. Aerobic training is an obvious requirement for the game of squash. Keeping the body in continuous motion needs endurance and flexibility; both of which can be honed by regular aerobic activity. Bicycling, swimming, stair climbing, walking, jogging and kickboxing are excellent sources for this type of exercise.
- Anaerobic. Literally meaning “without oxygen”, anaerobic exercise moves at faster than aerobics or uses greater effort. Unlike aerobics which burn fast through slower, methodical motion, anaerobic works to burn carbohydrates as fuel to energize the muscles. Running sprints at a fast pace and then briefly resting before beginning again is a great method of building anaerobic endurance. Weight lifting is also classified as anaerobic, as it requires great effort.
Also anaerobic, dexterity and flexibility are needed in squash training. To achieve the speed and agility that is needed on the court during the game, sprints combined with finger dexterity are often recommended. This can be achieved by strategically placing items at key points around the court to form a type of obstacle course. Individuals sprint as quickly as they can to the first location, where they stop and pick up the item before darting off to the next location to drop off the item and pick up another. This activity is continued around the court.
- Strength training. It requires great strength to swing the racket throughout the game of squash in both forward and backward movements, as well as to manage the short sprints across the court. Strength training of the arms, hamstrings, quadriceps and gluteus muscles will enhance not only playing ability but the player’s ability to last throughout the game without excess fatigue.
- Building endurance. This involves engaging in activities that require long periods of activity, such as running or bicycling. Endurance takes time and effort, and should be approached slowly will increased intensity added periodically.
One of the great things about training for the game of squash is that it does not require group effort. Individual players can concentrate on specific areas in which they are lacking to enhance their physical condition, or to design their own full body workout that cross trains between the difference types of fitness activity. This means they are able to determine their own exercise schedule based on their time availability and their resources.
Most sports engage in team training or practice to enhance the playing power of the group activity, but squash training is unique in that players can design their own training schedule and practice solo. Because of the high level of energy exerted during the game, it is strongly recommended that players work at their fitness levels before and while they are involved with playing the game.