Blog » Squash Fitness - Why fitness is so important in squash
There’s a saying that goes: "Get fit to play squash, don’t play squash to get fit". A truer word was never said!
Squash is one of the most, if not the most, intense sports there is. Squash is a fast and exciting game. It is a battle to win control of the court and to secure a positional advantage. Squash involves sprinting around the court, starting, stopping, and changing direction – perhaps all in one rally!
To play squash at a decent level, fitness must be high. Above all, you need stamina, quick reflexes and a fast recovery rate. You need to have the strength to generate powerful shots and the endurance to keep going through the whole match.
Squash is a fast and vigorous game. As you will have noticed, the squash ball moves incredibly quickly! To get to the ball in time and then play a good shot, you need to have a high level of fitness. You need to be able to sprint around the court as you play your shots and return to the T rapidly.
As a squash match is generally the best of 5 games, with only short breaks of approximately 90 seconds between games, you need to have good stamina and be able to recover rapidly. Play is continuous throughout a game – so there’s no stopping between points for a breather!
Squash rallies, especially between accomplished players, can be incredibly long and taxing. An opponent with good ball control may extend the rallies, not only to manoeuvre himself into a position to play a winning shot, but also in order to wear you out. If your fitness level is not high, you’ll tire, your concentration will waver, and your shots will fail you.
In the short break between games, you need to be able to get the heart rate down again quickly, so you’re ready and able to tackle the next game. It’s important to master your breathing technique too, to help you recover quickly.
Above all, squash fitness needs to be high so you don’t have to think about it while you’re playing. You want to be confident your body has the strength and endurance to last the entire match, so that you can concentrate on technique, shot selection, and taking strategic control of the court.
Besides squash itself, good training activities to get your squash fitness up include spinning (intense exercise classes on a stationary bike), jogging, yoga, and the old classic – jumping rope.
For more useful squash tips, check out the SquashFit training and fitness course.