Fitness programme update – Speed up your game

14th May 2015

We’ve got a great selection of training programmes here on the site, with a wide variety of beginner and more advanced programmes to cover all levels and abilities.

Whether you’re looking to focus your training on power, stability, endurance, or just general all-round physical gains, there’s a programme for you.

This month the spotlight is on our new speed training programme.

The ability to move quickly in all directions is a key element of a lot of sports, but it is particularly crucial to squash players in regards to the ability to both get onto the ball quickly to attack and the ability to be able to cover ground rapidly to be able to retrieve the ball in defence.

The movements we make in a game of squash tend to cover a much shorter distance than a lot of sports, due to the enclosed nature of the court. Thus speed for the squash player relies heavily on the related attributes of Acceleration (the rate of increase in velocity), Agility (ability to quickly and efficiently change direction), and Reaction (speed of response and initiation of movement).

These elements can all be addressed together in a properly structured squash-specific speed session. One of the key things to remember when training speed for squash, however, is to maintain the quality of the efforts.

Too often speed sessions are inadequately designed, and work/rest ratios are not appropriately structured – if work efforts are too long and rest periods too short the training outcome will be less the development of pure speed and instead become more of an endurance session.

A good general rule of thumb to use in pure speed training then is to maintain a work:rest ratio of between 1:3 and 1:5. Repetitions should be kept short, usually, a maximum of around 15secs for squash, depending on the drill (so 15secs work, to 45-75secs rest for example). The overall volume of the speed element of a training session depends somewhat on the individuals conditioning, but should usually last no more than about 15-20 efforts, or around 20-25mins.

Try to also focus on remaining as loose and as fluid as possible when carrying out any speed drills, aiming to keep the movements light and efficient to really help maximise the development of quick feet and rapid court coverage.

An excellent squash-specific speed exercise for you to try is the racket touch drill, it’s great for developing your speed in and out of the corners.

Subscribers can check out our full speed training programme here.


Gary Nisbet

B.Sc.(Hons), CSCS, NSCA-CPT, Dip. FTST
SquashSkills Fitness & Conditioning Director

Need to improve your speed?

Then make sure to check out the series where Gary discusses the importance for speed for the squash player, explains what speed is, how to train it, specific drills and analyses how professional players use it to attack and defend.

Watch now