Love them or hate them (and it’s probably more likely to be the latter!), court sprints are a familiar part of squash training for players of any and all levels. While some debate may surround exactly how beneficial they are in comparison to other lower impact training modalities, there’s no escaping the fact that they provide a simple, straightforward, and effective session to boost your squash-specific conditioning.
In celebration of the humble court sprint then, check out our SquashSkills Top 5 Court Sprint workouts!** Give some of them a go, and let us know your best times through our social media channels:
In this session, you’ll start with a set of 20 sprints, then drop 2 to 18, another 2 to 16, and so on, until you reach 10. You’ll then work back up to 20, this time adding 2 on each time – giving an overall pattern of 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20. Work to rest ratio is 1:1, so time how long each set of sprints take you, and then give yourself an equal amount of recovery time before going into the next set.
Court Sprint Ladders
For the court sprint ladders, you’ll be working in sets of 12 reps throughout, with a different breakdown each time. You’ll start with 6 sets of 2, followed by 4 sets of 3, then 3 sets of 4, 2 sets of 6, and finally 1 set of 12. You’ll then rest for 60secs, before repeating back the other way (so this time starting with the 1 set of 12, then 2 sets of 6 etc). Rest periods between sets are kept at 3secs per court sprint just completed – i.e. 6secs between each set of 2, 9secs between each set of 3, 12secs between each set of 4, and so on.
A slight twist in this workout, with the addition of lateral movements of the court width to the standard court lengths. For this session you’ll start with 20 court sprints the usual way, followed by 60secs rest. You’ll then go into 20 widths of the court working a ‘shuffle’ motion across (so staying facing the front wall throughout), getting down low to touch the nick on each side of the court. You’ll repeat the 20/20 pattern 5 times through (so 10 total working sets), aiming to keep the 20 lengths below 60secs each time, and the 20 widths below 45secs each time. Rest period between sets is kept at 60secs throughout.
Exactly as it says on the tin – 100 lengths of the court! For those wanting to really push themselves, the target time here is to be able to build up to completing the set in sub-5mins… A rare feat, even amongst the extremely well-conditioned! A good initial aim is to be able to finish in under 5:30 and then work on bringing your time down from there.
10 sets of 20
The daddy of them all! 10 sets of 20 court sprints, with 60secs break between each. The initial target is to be able to keep every set of 20 below 60secs, 55secs for the more advanced players, or sub-50secs for the pros. Not just a great training session, but a great gauge of exactly where your fitness is at – give it a go every few weeks, and if you can complete the session in under a total of 20mins then you can be confident that you’re in pretty good squash-shape. Enjoy!
**For every session described, 1 court sprint = 1 length of the court
B.Sc.(Hons), CSCS, NSCA-CPT, Dip. FTST
SquashSkills Fitness & Performance Director
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