Squash places range of fit­ness de­mands on the body

South Waikato News - - SPORT / TE PAPA HA¯ KINAKINA - By LISA MANSELL, South Waikato dis­trict co-or­di­na­tor

This week we are putting squash un­der the spot­light.

Be­cause squash is a con­stant whole body ac­tiv­ity, it de­mands a high level of aer­o­bic fit­ness.

In a typ­i­cal game you will be work­ing at about 80 per cent of your max­i­mum heart rate. Although the dis­tance trav­elled is short and ex­plo­sive, the con­tin­u­ous na­ture of the ral­lies with re­cov­ery pe­ri­ods in be­tween means the en­ergy sup­ply comes from aer­o­bic metabolism.

This does not mean you have to run hun­dreds of miles in train­ing, be­cause there are other fit­ness de­mands in the game as well. It is im­por­tant to have speed in or­der to be able to pick up your op­po­nent’s crafti­est back­hand drop shot and get back in po­si­tion after your re­ply.

Anaer­o­bic en­durance is also an es­sen­tial fit­ness re­quire­ment. Dur­ing long ral­lies the abil­ity to keep go­ing at high in­ten­sity is crit­i­cal and this re­lies on solid lo­cal mus­cu­lar en­durance, par­tic­u­larly in the legs.

Mus­cu­lar strength is im­por­tant for both the lower and up­per body. Strong legs will con­trib­ute to anaer­o­bic fit­ness, while strong arms, chest and back will help with speed and power.

Ton­ing the mus­cles in the back, ab­domen and legs will also en­hance good pos­ture on court. It is also es­sen­tial to have a full range of move­ments in the mus­cles you are us­ing. This means that flex­i­bil­ity is cru­cial to a match per­for­mance and help­ing pre­vent in­jury.

As your stan­dard im­proves, you find you need to get fit to play squash. Run­ning around the court for 40 min­utes or so will cer­tainly give you a work­out and im­prove your fit­ness if you do it reg­u­larly.

In­quire at your lo­cal squash clubs to­day. Toko­roa Squash Club – con­tact Wayne Ry­der on 07 886 4452 or 021 0299 0708, Pu­taruru Squash Club – con­tact Jojo on 021 237 9239.

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