Here at SquashSkills we’ve highlighted many times how important the warm-up is for you to be able to compete at your highest possible level, yet it’s an area that is still very often neglected at an amateur level.
With our new content this week we’ve given you an insight into not just why we do it and how important it is, but we’ve also laid out all the details as to how to properly construct a squash-specific warm-up of your own… So now there really is no excuse!
The introduction video above provides a brief overview, with the other videos in the series looking at each of the 3 warm-up stages in more depth, discussing what to do if you only have limited space to warm-up in, and also touching upon the warm-down/cool-down.
One of the oft-mentioned reasons that players give for neglecting their warm-up is time availability – each of the 3 stages needs only last around 5mins however, so you can still complete a perfectly adequate warm-up in just 10-15mins. When you’re heading in for a training session especially, just getting to the squash club that little bit earlier can really help make a difference to the quality of your session, even if you spill over a couple of minutes into your allotted court time – particularly when you consider if you DON’T properly warm-up, the first few minutes of your training session will be spent getting your body properly going in any case. Most players can’t go from 0 to 60 immediately, so you may as well actually specifically focus on gearing your body up for a good session even if it eats a little into your designated training time.
For any important matches you play, the warm-up really should be non-negotiable.
You so often hear players lament that their opponent got out in front early, that they took a while to get going, that it just wasn’t their day today… The concept of a player being a ‘slow-starter’ is a bit of a myth – it usually just means they hadn’t prepared and warmed-up adequately.
Warm-ups of course need to be personalised to the individual however, in terms of intensity, time, and particular drills used. However you construct your warm-up though, its should follow the 3 stage process we’ve outlined in this week’s content.
Another great resource we have available through SquashSkills, is our ‘SquashSkills Guide to the Warm-up’ PDF.
You can download that here, and we really recommend you take a look – it summarises much of the content from the videos, whilst also providing you with some sample warm-ups you can model your own upon.
We also have some other useful blogs surrounding warming-up and cooling-down, that are well worth a read. There are lots of great mobility videos on the site as well, to help you tailor that element of the warm-up more specifically to your individual needs.
Finally, don’t neglect the psychological aspect of the warm-up.
We’ve spoken mainly here and in this week’s content about physiological factors and considerations, but pre-match the warm-up is also a great time to actually go through your mental rehearsals and visualisation exercises, to really help ensure both body and mind are primed for the match ahead.
B.Sc.(Hons), CSCS, NSCA-CPT, Dip. FTST
SquashSkills Fitness & Performance Director
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