07 May 2022 / 3-Min Read / Translate↗
Professional squash players have been using weight training to get stronger for decades. Of course, they have more time than you to dedicate to training, so the question becomes: with limited time, should I stop doing other sorts of training and replace it with weight training?
When performed correctly (more on that in a moment), weight training can drastically improve your core strength, your ability to reach the ball and your ability to recover after a hard match.
I am not going to give you a “Weight Training Routine For Squash Players” because I am not a qualified fitness trainer, but also because each player is different and may have different needs. I will say that an all-round beginner training programme is good enough for most players, unless they have any particular injuries or issues with their body.
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You need a balance between endurance (low eights with high repetitions) and pure strength (a lot of weight with only a few repetitions). The generally recommend weight is one that you can do between 10 and 15 repetitions of the movement (one set), then a short rest, then two more sets – don’t forget the rest between the second and third set! For squash players just starting a weight training routine this is perfect.
It is very important that you perform the exercises exactly as you are supposed to. It’s very tempting to want to use more weight to “increase the gains“, but by doing this you risk injury. In addition, and this is purely anecdotal, I have found that if you train with heavy weights and don’t spend a lot of time hitting solo your timing goes awry.
Squash players need power, not strength. Power is the ability to use force in a short time. Being able to bench press 100Kg for 10 reps slowly will not improve your squash, but being able to bench press 40kg 15 times quickly may help your squash. That DOES NOT mean I recommend weight training by lifting the weights fast! Safety must always come first.
Squash needs fast and powerful movement. Think about the average professional squash player. Do you imagine a body builder or a long distance runner? Almost certainly no. Those body types are not good for moving around a squash court and hitting great shots. You need something in the middle of those ideas.
Yes, weight training can be good for your squash, but you need to ensure that you stretch more than usual and keep hitting the ball regularly.