“Thoracic Bridging” for the squash player

One of the topics we’ll be looking at more within our articles and videos over the coming months here on Squashskills, is Mobility.

For a lot of people, a lack of mobility in and around certain joints really limits their ability to move freely around the squash court. For people that work in deskbound jobs in particular, sitting at a desk hunched over a keyboard all day can also cause a number of additional issues that lead to pain and dysfunction.

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Peter on yoga & squash

I tend to have a short attention span when it comes to my physical conditioning – focusing day-to-day and/or week-by-week with my preparation and recovery. I was not always this way; when I was a professional my regime was long-term, unwavering, and there was always plenty of time allocated to training.

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Winning ugly

We try and feature sport psychology and mental training tips here at SquashSkills whenever we can, and the challenge is always to make the content and information as practical and easy to implement as possible. There is a lot of interesting theory surrounding the whole field of sports psychology, but the average squash player is usually (quite understandably) more concerned with what they can do to actually improve and impact their game in the shortest timeframe and with the minimum fuss possible.

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Spinning for squash

There are dozens of different exercise classes available to the average gym goer nowadays, with a variety of different durations, intensities, and pieces of equipment used. How useful are they for the squash player though?

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Combating the common cold

For those of us in the northern hemisphere the dropping temperatures and shorter days marks the incoming heart of Winter, and for those so predisposed it’s unfortunately also the peak of what is often termed as ‘cold season’.

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Progressive practicing

When I was a professional, and especially at the beginning/middle of my career, my morning weekday sessions would always follow a simple progression. As the focus later in my career was more specifically on my technique and learning to play in a different style my sessions were sometimes just a random collection of routines and conditioned games that fit with what I wanted to practice.

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Fitness Tip of the Week: Sore Muscles?

Having returned from the Tournament of Champions recently, I was interested to see how many professional players still rely on NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Advil) considering the side-effects regular use can cause. When I asked why an alternative approach had not yet been adopted, I commonly heard that they would like to, however they have not been advised a clear plan in order to effectively replace the easy to reach Ibuprofen bottle. Also, as most players I spoke with, had a celebration period over December/January, getting back into their training in time for ToC resulted in stiff and sore muscles, hence the regular need for ibuprofen.

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Take it slow…

This week’s blog is prompted by a session I ran recently, introducing a couple of good standard u17 junior players to a new speed/agility drill they hadn’t done before. It was quite a technical drill, where we were really looking to emphasise focus on the split step, elasticity, and efficiency of movement.

What really struck me, was how difficult it was for the players to actually go through it slowly. Every repetition was being done at high pace; even after they’d been told to slow it right down to get a proper feel of the movement before increasing the pace up to the full working sets.

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squash tin size

Understand the difference that tin size makes

It is really important to understand the difference the lower 17” tin makes in the men’s professional game and therefore the types of boast that can be played from various areas.

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Tailoring the OCTP for on-court training & matches

Tailoring the Off-Court Training Programme (OCTP) to suit your On-Court and Match schedule is going to vary person to person. Obviously you don’t want to be doing a full Smiths Machine session prior to a big match, but let’s break it down a little further.

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The image of successful squash!

We’ve discussed on the site before the importance of a strong mental game for maximising squash performance. Especially in matches with very closely matched participants, any small advantage gained can potentially provide that crucial edge that is the difference between winning and losing. One of the most popular and oft-utilised sport psychology techniques is Imagery.

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11 Points on Fitness Q&A: Adrian Grant

Adrian has recently returned from the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, where he and Nick Matthew teamed up to win silver medals in the men’s doubles, narrowly missing out on adding a second gold to the one’s they won in Delhi in 2010. Adrian has also been a key member of several of England’s European and World Championship winning teams, while reaching a career high no. 9 in the PSA rankings and claiming a number of the tour’s most prestigious titles.

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Training for gain, not just pain!

Depending on the actual goals of the session, the make-up of a training drill intended to improve an aspect of our physical conditioning can take many different forms. Our goal with every session has to be clearly realised however, and our aim should always be GAIN and not just PAIN.

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pre-performance

Pre-Performance routines

One of the biggest frequently problems reported by a lot of squash players, is achieving a consistent level of performance. That familiar and frustrating feeling of playing your best squash one day, and then walking on court for your next performance and feeling like you’ve never hit a ball before, is one that has affected most regular players at one time or another.

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squash junior

Coaching: Developing young athletes

Everyone’s approach to working with and developing young athletes is different, and there are numerous different views and methods as to the ‘right’ way to do it.

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Do you need a New Year detox?

Whilst New Year’s resolutions revolving around healthy lifestyle goals and new fitness programme pledges are a long established tradition, something related that has become an ever increasing trend in recent years amongst health devotees looking to kick-start their wellness regimes is the ‘Detox’ – a juice/supplement/enema based ‘flushing’ of the body, to cleanse you of ‘toxins’ and set you on the righteous path toward health and happiness.

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junior squash athlete

Early stage specialisation for junior athletes

For those that coach juniors or have children of their own that are keen squash players, the question often comes up of ‘How soon should my child specialise in just the one sport’? It’s a difficult one, with lots of factors to consider, and it can often be tough to give a categorical answer.

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chocolate milk

Got (Choc) Milk?

After a tough training session or match, our bodies are often left in a state of depletion – replenishing certain nutrients in this post-exercise period can be crucial in optimising our recovery.

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