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shuttle sprints

Published: 25 Feb 2010 - 08:10 by aprice1985

Updated: 28 Feb 2010 - 08:53

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I have been trying to get my fitness back up to par for a number of reasons, on a non-squash basis i want to get back to the level where I could do 13miles (half marathon distance) in a respectable time and for squash just last the league matches without destroying myself.  Being a retrieval player by nature I tend to run more than my opponents so have to be fitter.  I have been doing some basic jogging for the half marathon and have some small 5kg or 7.5kg dumbbells to do some upper body/arm strength and also lunges with weights (from Jon Power's DVD) and so press ups, sit ups and the plank for core strength, however this leaves out the speed training.

I have been reading the content on the forum where a lot of people talk about court sprints and 400s, as i am not paying for a court in order to run and have no free 400m marked track in range what are people's thoughts on shuttle sprints where you sprint a short distance then longer, longer again, and then reduce back down as 1 set.

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From rippa rit - 28 Feb 2010 - 08:53

Sounds good - taking things one at a time and gradually building on that base methodically with patience....there is a saying "more haste less speed"!.

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From aprice1985 - 27 Feb 2010 - 23:16

I think the methods do sound good, it is just a matter of time management for me and balancing improving my technique and footwork versus improving fitness.  3 more hours a week gone would be quite a bit when you all too often work 11 hour days!  I plan to try some of the ghosting patterns as sprints, not thinking so much about racquet movement or anything just quick movement to the corners with feet and body positioning right.  I like the idea of court sprints with the rest time being ghosting, that makes a lot of sense to me.  the park near me is grand for running during the day but maybe not so awesome at night so ik look forward to the longer days (and not continuously having to fix bike punctures).  I think we are thikning alike in wanting to get the fitness without paying a fortune to go down the gym every day.  Glad the feedback is good!

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From rippa rit - 26 Feb 2010 - 22:40   -   Updated: 27 Feb 2010 - 12:54

I hear what you are saying, and I know ghosting is something that is not easy to get the "hang" of. So you start off slowly with footwork only (any foot will do), and with a long low stride, firstly moving slowly within a limited space, then quickly radiating out in a six-point fashion from a central point (two to three steps in each direction).  The speed you are looking for can come from skipping, short sharp sprinting,etc but the movement we want is with balance and fluency changing direction often, and quickly, and this puts a lot of work on the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calf muscles. 

So, looking at a compromise would be to sprint for 25 sprints carrying your racket and touching down at each end of the court, then for the 10 secs rest do the slow ghosting concentrating on balance, weight transfer, and trying to get "light footed"; that lunging down into the front and back corners, and springing back into position quickly does develop agility.  After a few weeks as you start to feel more at ease with the movement and have improved speed, spend time using the racket, as you are really "dancing with it".  Your feet could become fast and your racket work lag behind so that would still make you seem slow on must all work together eventually very fluently to save energy.

Yes, I am a pain...but I have had very good results with these methods, even from people who are not that fit, but move well on court.  Hey, it is your choice as to how you go about it of course and no doubt whatever you do will help heaps anyway.

PS - aprice - Good feedback from you too.

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From aprice1985 - 26 Feb 2010 - 21:12

Rita, my main worry with the ghosting is that I am a limited person and when I have tried ghosting in order to get my footwork and positioning perfect (which is what i am aiming for in training in the hope that it may translate to matches!) I have to slow it down a lot so would not get the same level of maximal training that sprints would give.  I do some ghosting at the end of my solo practice sessions, normally about 5-10 minutes so as I work on the T positioning and footwork without having to worry about hitting the ball.

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From rippa rit - 25 Feb 2010 - 09:03   -   Updated: 25 Feb 2010 - 09:11

aprice - it is difficult to explain where to start unless you have done some self-testing as squash has cardio which needs your lungs to stand up to a 1.5hr match, leg strength and power(Slow twitch muscles), arm strength, speed (quick twitch muscles), agility (twisting and turning), flexibility (hamstrings, hip flexors, etc), as per our Squash Library/Fitness section on conditioning.

I would like to see you do ghosting rather than court sprints.  Mark out an area the size of a court approximately, place four balls on the area as pretend moving shots to retrieve, put your squash racket in your hand and "ghost dance" as Slavi called it, so you do that for 1 hr with shorts bursts of 6, 8, 10, 12 secs in between, swing your racket in preparation for each got the idea. The training benefits from this, say, 3 times a week would be aerobic fitness, anaerobic fitness, arm and leg strength over the period of time, speed, agility, leg power, court movement, all in one parcel.  Hey, you can be fit, and move like an ox and still not be squash fit.  Ghosting will help racket preparation. fluentency of movement, agility, etc all the things you need not only for squash but every day of your life. Our Library has the following links

Squash conditioning components

Simple Field Tests for your Diary to monitor your fitness level.

 Forum discussion on Ghosting

Hey, combine some sprints into your marathon training will also help.


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