18 Jan Workout for the 21st century – How to get an intense (yet fun) workout with interactiveSquash
Squash is a demanding, energetic sport
– no question. But, it’s about to become the most fun way to stay in shape too.
I never thought fun and sweat could be in the same sentence. interactiveSquash is a thrill ride and a great workout!
We’ve already explored the many health benefits offered by playing traditional squash. Now it is time to kick things into the 21st century by looking at how you can get into great shape, lose weight, increase stamina and improve agility through a combination of traditional exercise drills and interactiveSquash.
If you only have 60 minutes of court time, this workout allows you to pack in as much activity as possible.
Required equipment: Regular squash ball and racket.
Who said your workout couldn’t be fun?
Tips for beginners
IMPORTANT: Listen to your body. If you are in pain, stop the workout immediately. Pay attention to correct form and do not attempt the workout if you have a prior injury.
Tip for squash beginners
Before commencing the workout, take some basic squash lessons with a coach. These will give you a good grounding to help you get more out of this workout and simply have more fun. It’s perfectly okay to jump in, but a squash coach can set you on the path to forming good habits in technique and form.
Looking for some inspiration from the pros? We love Free Game Friday on PSA SquashTV. It’s where we go to get our fix of fast-paced professional squash action.
After a long day of work, I'm not usually up for exercise, but this changes everything.
Warm up (7 minutes)
Warming up should never be neglected. Philip Newtown (who kindly provided us with this warm-up sequence) is a UK-based physiotherapist and sports injury rehab specialist. He stresses the need for a well-rounded warm-up routine – this lowers the risk of sustaining an injury. Should that not be reason enough, Philip also mentions that scientific studies now point to warm-ups as potentially improving your overall speed and stamina. In that sense, a decent routine might just give you the edge before your next match.
|Side to side skipping||30 seconds|
|High-knee running||30 seconds|
|Heel to buttocks running||30 seconds|
|Hamstring stretch walking||30 seconds|
|Lunge walking with trunk twists||30 seconds|
|Short sprints(increase speed each minute)||3 minutes|
Squash skills training (20 minutes)
interactiveSquash’s training modules are designed to amp up your shot accuracy and provide a full-body workout. We suggest 10 minutes on each module. Here are a couple examples of modules you can do:
The aim of LongLine is to make your heart race, by hitting the wall repeatedly and rapidly to see how many hits you can get.
It ensures that your heart is racing as you try to beat the countdown.
The aim of Training Wall is to hit certain numbers on the front wall.
This module is wonderful toner for legs and glutes, since some of the shots require quick lunges and high hits.
Games (23 minutes)
Don’t let the word ‘game’ fool you. The interactiveSquash games still require sprints and quick footwork. The great part about it is that you will be so focused on the games that you won’t even notice breaking a sweat. If you want to take things up a notch, you could intersperse the levels with exercises like push-ups or squats. Compete with your squash partner for an added challenge!
A. TicTac Squash
This game is as addictive as it is rewarding. Light up three blocks in a row to win a round.
Be warned, your opponent can change your colours during their turn and the blocks will start moving in later levels.
The aim of BlockSquash is to carve a path for a giant sphere to get from the start-zone to the end-zone.
Expect some surprises as not all blocks act the same way when hit.
I especially like how I can easily switch from training modules to games. It makes for a balanced workout with a fun twist.
Cool down (10 min)
Static stretches improve overall flexibility and will aid muscle recovery. It is important to move in a controlled manner rather than “flinging” or “throwing” yourself into these poses. Remember also to breathe into the stretch. If you are clenching your jaw or feeling tense, hold off, it probably means that you are stretching too far.
|Neck Stretches||30 seconds on each side (repeat cycle twice)|
|Bicep Stretch||30 seconds on each side (repeat cycle twice)|
|Shoulder Stretch||30 seconds on each side (repeat cycle twice)|
|Shoulder rolls||30 seconds on each side (repeat cycle twice)|
|Calf Stretch||30 seconds on each side (repeat cycle twice)|
|Frog Squat||30 seconds on each side (repeat cycle twice)|
|Seated Twist||30 seconds on each side (repeat cycle twice)|
|Butterfly||30 seconds on each side (repeat cycle twice)|
|Runner’s lunge||30 seconds on each side (repeat cycle twice)|
|Foot loose kicks||30 seconds on each side (repeat cycle twice)|
It’s not all fun and games, you can also focus on perfecting your repertoire of different shots.
I think I'll finally follow through on my New Year's fitness goals.
As wholesome as exercise is, it can sometimes be a bit demotivating to go it alone.
Squash is a community, and other players are usually receptive and encouraging to new players. Find a squash buddy, and turn your workout into a squash lifestyle.
- Squash is all about explosive endurance. Ideally you want to be able to sprint in intervals without collapsing. This means being very attentive to your back, hips, and knees.
- Never skip the warm-up and remember to stretch.
- Remember to have fun!
For more on the health benefits of squash click: here.