Squash is a game that requires not only physical stamina but strong eyes - peripheral vision, awareness and depth perception. It can be one of the best sports in terms of calories burned per hour. I also love that it can be played all year round! You can play for fun, join a club to play more competitively, play with friends, family or your significant other.
An important lesson to learn for all squash squash players is to warm up your muscles first. Muscles stretch a lot better when they are warmed up. Additionally, muscles stay stretched for a long period of time when they are warmed up prior to the stretching!
As a squash player myself, here are 3 key lessons to help you Perform Better:
1) Warm-Up - 5-10 mins of light aerobic activity (think of an intensity where you can maintain a conversation). This can be speed walking, light jogging, biking or any exercise that increases your heart rate.
2) Dynamic Stretching – this is a type of stretch where you are actively using the muscles (the end position is not held). Muscles and momentum are used to generate the warm-up. You can go through 30 reps per side of 5-7 of the following dynamic stretches/exercises: walking lunge, walking lunge with upper body twists, weightless squat, rowing machine minimal resistance, trunk rotations on each side, arm circles, leg swings (front & back and side to side), workthing through your swing forehand and backhand, squat jumps, hip rotations and/or mobilzing your wrists and ankles. This should be done immediately following your warm-up.
3) Static Stretching – this type of stretch is held at a set position for 10-30 seconds. This is the most common type of stretch you see people doing. Be sure to work from the head down and hit all major muscles/body parts - neck, shoulders, biceps, tricepts, pecs, upper and lower back, hip flexors, glutes, quads and calfs. Some new research has shown decreased power output for a short-period of time after completing static stretching. This type of stretching should only be done at the end of your workout! At Honsberger we believe strongly in mobilizing your spine as the last step of your 'cool down'. A tool we incorporate to our practice known as the 'Posture Arch' is a great way to loosen up the upper and lower back while hitting the pec's as well - start low with 2 minutes and work your way up to 10-15 minutes.
If at any point your body starts to scream at you, stop the movement and modify. If you aren't sure where to go, we are here to help!
It's never to late to take control of your health and Build A Better You!
Written by SARO MINASSIAN, MScPT, BAH (Kin)