I have seen too many players
just get onto the court and start the knock-up without stretching out
and warming up the body.
Why? I'm young, you say -
my body doesn't need that warm up that the old guys do. Wrong! The good
players get that extra edge by getting their bodies warmed up and flexible
enough to reach that extra half-meter to get that impossible drop shot!.
What you should do before
every squash session
Before any squash game your
body has to be warmed up for the exertion ahead. Simple warm-up exercises
like jogging on the spot, on court sprits should be followed by stretching
Stretching is important for
every activity or sport. Unfortunately many people neglect this aspect
in their training schedule. Stretching will increase your flexibility
and reduce chances of injuring or tearing muscles and also improve your
performance. A flexible muscle reacts and contracts faster and stronger
than a non-flexible muscle, increasing balance, agility and movement.
The following is a list of
stretching exercises you must incorporate into your workout. Hold each
stretch for 10-30 seconds and remember, do not bounce. Breath deeply
during the stretch.
It is advisable to do your
stretches in a in a fixed pattern i.e. moving from toe to head or vice
versa. This will enable you to remember the stretches and do it consistently.
Ankle Stretch Keeping your toes
on the floor rotate your right foot clockwise and counter-clockwise 20
times. Repeat with the other foot. Always remember to use a thin-soled
shoe for squash. The quick rotation, back and front movement, puts a lot
of pressure on the foot. The thin-soled shoe will prevent you from twisting
Achilles Stretch Facing a wall,
stand with one leg in front of the other. The back leg should be kept
straight with the heel flat on the floor. Bend your front knee keeping
your hands on the wall. Lean toward the front knee, keeping the back foot
and heel flat. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat with the other leg. This will
keep you foot flexible and avoid injuries that take place due to the constant
thumping of your foot on the floor while playing.
Calf Stretch Get in a push up
position, but put one knee on the ground. Put your weight on the toes
of your other foot and then push the heel down until you feel a slight
pull. Hold that position for a count of 10. Repeat thrice with each leg.
Hamstring Stretch Sitting on
the floor, place one leg straight out in front of you. Bend the other
leg alongside to form a triangle. With a straight back, bend from your
hips, and touch the toe of your straight leg with both hands and hold
for 20 seconds. Power & flexibility of movement depends on the strength
of the hamstring. This injury occurs more frequently than others as athletes
strive to attain high speed & flexibility and in doing so enormous pressure
is put on this muscle.
Quadricep Stretch Standing,
bend your right knee and bring it towards your buttock holding your foot
with your right hand. Hold for 20 seconds. It is important to remember
to keep your back straight and knees together. The opposite muscle to
the hamstring, this muscle gives you the power to move on court.
Groin Stretch Sitting, put the
soles of your feet together, with your knees as close as possible to the
ground. Hold your ankles for 10 seconds. Repeat thrice. A Flexible Groin
helps one to move freely taking big steps and moving swiftly on court.
Back Stretch Lying on your back,
raise one leg and holding it below the knee, slowly bring it up to your
chest. Keeping your other leg straight and your head on the ground, hold
this position for 8 seconds. Repeat thrice with each leg. While moving,
a lot of the pressure falls on the back. Thus by keeping it strong & flexible
you will be able to play for a long, long time.
Shoulder Stretch a. Move one
arm across your body, hold the elbow of the arm in motion with your other
hand and gently pull the arm further across your body to your shoulder.
Hold for 10 seconds and repeat thrice with each arm. b. Arms overhead,
hold the elbow of one arm with the hand of the other arm. Gently pull
your elbow behind your head, stretching it and keep it for 15 seconds.
The power generated in your stroke starts from the shoulder (back-swing).
Keeping it strong & flexible will enable you to swing freely.
Extend your right arm straight
out in front of you, palm downward. With the left hand, grasp the fingers
of the right hand and pull back gently, stretching the wrist and forearm.
Repeat with the left arm. The point of contact with the ball is controlled
by the arm. A flexible & strong forearm will enable you to improve control
of the ball and deception.
Turn your head to the side,
touching your shoulder with your chin. Turn head back to center and repeat
to the other side. Do this thrice. This will enable you to keep your eyes
on the ball at all times.
Even when you get to the club
late - take the time to stretch properly.
And finally - Have fun!
Your friend, Cyrus