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Fitness training for squash

Published: 01 Jan 2008 - 01:41 by jimbob1965

Updated: 24 Sep 2008 - 17:03

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I am starting 2008 more determined to improve my game than ever before and have set out a schedule of practice routines, both solo and with a partner, in between my matches, which is a first for me.  I had figured that I could not improve just by playing more matches as the mind cannot be taught (or untaught even!) during the heat of a match.  In fact, my form in matches has dipped of late as I find myself thinking too much about technique and tactics during the games.

However, I have also decided to do more work in an area I have traditionally never paid much attention to - off court fitness.  This is partly down to the fact that as a result of Christmas, my sport mad son has just added two pieces of fitness equipment to the weights bench he already has - a motorised treadmill and an elliptical cross-trainer bike.

I would be grateful if someone who knows a bit about fitness training for squash could provide me with the wisdom of their advice so that I can get the most from this 'home multi-gym'.  For instance, with the treadmill, should I aim for steady pace over a reasonable length of time (e.g. 10kph for 30-40 mins) for aerobic benefit, or should I intersperse this with some faster burst of activity to build up leg muscle strength as this is more reminiscent of what happens on court?  Similarly with the cross-trainer, should I set the resistance low and go for an aerobic workout, or higher with shorter and sudden bursts of speed?  I imagine a mix of the two types of exercise could be best?

My son also has a range of weights, so what are the best types of exercises to try, particularly with the arms for better racket arm strength, endurance and coordination?

How often should I be aiming to use these various pieces of equipment?  I am in my early forties and reasonably fit already.

My son will probably soon start moaning that he cannot get to use this equipment himself and will be wondering for whose benefit they were really purchased!!

Thanks in advance for any advice.



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From hamburglar - 01 Jan 2008 - 09:15

it's kind of hard to use an elliptical and a treadmill at the same time, so unless you don't like working out together, it shouldn't be an issue.

I think what matters is where your fitness needs improvement. If you always find yourself breathing hard, but your legs can still carry you, you need good aerobic exercise. If your legs tend to fail first, you need good anaerobic exercise, or interval training with spurts of hard exertion, but always staying moving. Plyometrics, stretching, and good coaching will all help.

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From rippa rit - 01 Jan 2008 - 08:11   -   Updated: 01 Jan 2008 - 08:18

Jim I am not sure if you understood the How to Train/Periodisation section of Squash Fitness, as well as the Field Tests (shows the type of exercises for various muscle groups), as a way of monitoring your progress?

What others say about squash fitness training, and in particular the reference to power and strength, and of course the balance is in retaining the speed and agility. This is why a periodised program is necessary, eg a greater percentage of gym and fitness work in the off-season (Christmas/New Year) and greater percentage of on court during the Competitive Phase.

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