We’ve put together a great selection of fitness training programmes for you here on the site, with a wide variety of beginner and more advanced programmes to cover all levels and abilities.
So what is power, and how does it relate to the squash player?
Power can be seen as a function of muscular strength – in this context, meaning the ability to produce high levels of force at the fastest rate possible. So where an individual might be very strong in terms of generating maximal force, if the rate of their force development is too slow then they will never be truly ‘powerful’ – and this power in respect to rapid force generation is vital in sports such as squash where the ability to explode from the T, change direction, accelerate quickly, and make fast dynamic movements around the court are crucial to high-level performance.
The game of squash is carried out within a relatively small area compared to many other sports, which means the distances covered by the players with each movement will in turn also be far shorter – the distance corner to corner across the diagonal of a squash court is approximately 11.5m, so the furthest length a squash player will ever travel in a single direct movement in a game is only around 10m (or approx.. 6 – 8 steps). This is considerably less than in most other sports.
The ability to generate force quickly and move dynamically onto the ball in as short a time as possible then takes on even more importance in such a closely confined playing area – traditional ‘speed’ is less important in many ways than the ability to make short, rapid movements to and from the ball, utilising powerful muscular contractions in the lower body. The player with high levels of power will benefit from an increase in movement speed and efficiency, due to the larger amount of force able to be generated by these muscles.
Training for developing muscular power needs to be carried out at high velocities, incorporating multiple muscle groups working together in large compound movements – these movements need to be adapted to be specific to the sport in question, so in squash, the resistance exercises used will revolve primarily around explosive ankle/knee/hip triple extensions (e.g. jumps, squats), and dynamic single leg lunge type actions to replicate the movements that take place to and from the four corners of the court. Another popular method for developing sports-specific power is through the use of plyometrics, which we looked at on the site in detail in a recent blog.
For a good introduction to some power training methods, check out our FREE bodyweight mini-circuit available to all registered users of the site.
For those looking to take their power training to the next level, check out the full programme and consider incorporating some of the additional power drills into your physical training, to put yourself in the best position to really optimise your force generation and super-charge your movement around the court.
B.Sc.(Hons), CSCS, NSCA-CPT, Dip. FTST
SquashSkills Fitness & Performance Director
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