As a squash player, the warm-up and cool-down exercises are quintessential because playing this sport strains your muscles and joints.
An active workout improves the motion range, oxygen intake, muscle pH, speed of muscle contractions and transmission of nerve impulses. With all these physiological benefits, why shouldn’t you warm up?
A proper cool down helps you recover fast from the rigorous session. In order to improve the recovery, aerobic activities (jogging, walking, and cycling) are also recommended. And if you’re serious about your game, a cool-down is helpful for your body before you ride your way back to home.
The 10-minute warm-up is sufficient for you to kick-start your game.
Below are the finest warm-up exercises for the diligent squash lover in you:
A 60-second side to side squat will suffice. Weigh down 20 squats. While squatting, keep your back straight and chest up.
A 60-second high kick and a 60-second butt kick is the finest way to increase speed and acceleration. The butt kick burns fats quicker.
An alternating side lunge for a minute with 5 for each leg will strengthen your legs. It will also improve your hip flexibility.
4. Jumping Jacks
50 jumping jacks should be the target and can extend up to 2-3 minutes. Here, you should concentrate on your movement since the aim is to get the whole body moving.
5. Jumping Rope
This also follows 2-3 minutes workout using the jump rope. Do it with bent knees and land on the balls of your feet.
Apart from these, you may consider warming up your squash ball. While performing the above exercises, you may keep the ball in your shorts pocket so that it derives the temperature you’re you meantime.
Next, you could try skill warm-ups which include swings (air, running, footwork) and ghosting rally. Ghosting rally is the top pick because it involves swinging your squash racquet. Push-ups also contribute to warm up.
All this said avoid static stretches i.e. stretching for 30 seconds or above because it reduces your muscle strength. Don’t follow the same warm-up exercises daily. You may even opt for a treadmill.
This 5 minute warm down exercises will prevent soreness for your next practice. The post-squash soreness is usually felt after a day or two due to the intensive physical activity involved.
Read on to know the principle cool down stretches:
A 20 seconds sitting down on your heels with stretched arms will help you rest, restore and renew. It’s also called Balasana in Yoga.
2. Shoulder Stretch:
This 40-second stretch will loosen up both your arms and shoulders. Focus on your breathing as you alternate your shoulders.
3. Lower Back Stretch:
Lie down on your back and bring your knees up to the chest. As the name goes, it helps reduce back pain after the squash match. This should be a 30-second exercise.
4. Abs Stretch:
Lie down with the head facing downwards and then slowly raise your torso resting on your palms. Stretch it for 20 seconds.
5. Cat-Cow Stretch
This enhances your spine movement. It is also called Marjari asana. You have to be on all fours and stretch your neck.
Try using a foam roller to reduce muscle soreness. These rollers are not costly and can be bought online or from a local sports equipment store. Always opt for a medium density foam roller.
At the end of the day, don’t forget the 3R’s – Refresh, Replenish, and Reflect. Refresh yourself in the shower and remove those sweaty clothes. Replenish your body with fluids having a balanced carb and protein ratio. Reflect on your training by maintaining a diary or a journal of it.
A warm-up is as essential as cool-down to improve your performance on the court.
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