While it can seem difficult to know where to start when trying to keep up with your physical conditioning while deprived access to your local squash club or gym, there are still a number of training methods and workouts you can utilise to keep on top of your fitness while away from the court.
Everybody has different space and facilities available to them, depending on individual circumstances. If we strip things right back however and assume that you’re working by yourself with no equipment, then we can divide the available training environment into 2 basic categories: Home, and Outdoors.
So if you’re confined to your home or garden and can’t gain access to a larger outdoor space for any reason, you’re limited in respect to being able to do any kind of running or full ghosting exercises, but there are still plenty of ways you can train.
Our recently featured ‘Exercising at Home’ playlist is naturally a great place to start, but there are other options also.
We have a number of circuits within the fitness library on the site, that are designed specifically for those working out in limited space. These workouts all use bodyweight based routines with a blend of strength and endurance-focused exercises, and even some short footwork routines that can be adapted whether your confined to the living room, or if you have a little more space to spread your wings in the garden. 5 of our most popular home circuits are linked below:
YouTube is also a useful place to look for workout inspiration, with many good interval-based home sessions available on there – a good place to start is Fitness Blender, who have a huge library of workouts of different lengths and themes. You can check out their channel here.
If you have access to outdoor areas and can get out into your surrounding streets and local parks, then there are a whole other variety of training sessions you can incorporate.
The most obvious one is running. While we tend to focus more on shorter, more interval-based repeat-sprint routines for our squash conditioning, getting out and doing some longer running sessions can be a great way to incorporate some cross-training into your schedule. By utilising particular workout parameters, you can still ensure that these sessions stay specific to the energy-systems appropriate for squash.
For those that prefer to run set distances, then a 5k is a good distance to use to challenge your endurance without drifting into long, slow, steady pace runs that don’t really replicate the demands of the game. A great app to use for your running is Strava. We’ve recently set up a SquashSkills group on there, which you can access and join here. This will allow you to compare and contrast your runs to those of the wider squash community, and maybe get a little bit of competition flowing also!
Another good run workout format to explore, and a great way to start bringing in a bit more pace variation that more closely simulates that which you will experience in a match, is Fartlek Training. ‘Fartlek’ is Swedish for ‘speed-play’, and it’s a fun, open-ended way to structure your session – check out our article linked here that goes into more depth on what it is, and how it works.
With a little bit of improvisation, you could even start incorporating some ghosting sessions into your outdoors training. Check out our recent article linked here that discusses how you can set up your own makeshift ‘court’, and some of the workouts that you can try.
B.Sc.(Hons), CSCS, NSCA-CPT, Dip. FTST
SquashSkills Fitness & Performance Director
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