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Playing Squash for Fitness

Aug 23, 2010

Squash is a racquet sport that you can play to help improve your fitness level. Like racquetball, squash is usually played indoors on an enclosed court. Depending on how long you play, you can easily burn 500 calories or more during a match.

Preparation

Before you attempt to play squash, make sure you have the proper footwear and safety equipment, including protective goggles and a glove for your racquet hand. Some players also use elbow and knee braces, for added support. Perform a thorough warm up and do some stretching before you start a match, to avoid injury to your serving arm and your legs.

Recreational Squash

Anyone who enjoys racquetball or tennis may also like playing squash. Since this activity requires a lot of short sprints, if you have knee or ankle problems you should take it slow, until you become accustomed to the strain playing squash can put on the lower body. Shoulder injuries are common in racquet sports, so be careful not to swing the racquet too hard, especially when you are still a novice.

Since you play squash on a court that is surrounded by walls, there will be times when your body will make contact with a wall during a match. For example, you may bump into a wall with your shoulder after running to hit the ball during a point. You may also have to leap forward off one leg to reach a ball, and then contact the wall with your foot to stop your momentum. Be aware of your position on the court at all times, which will help you prevent an injury.

A one-on-one squash match requires a lot more running and quick lateral movements than a doubles match. Covering the court during a match will give your legs a thorough workout. The shoulder, elbow, forearm and wrist on your serving side may be sore after a long match. This could require you to use some ice, if you develop joint pain or muscle soreness.

You can increase your stamina if you play long squash matches on a regular basis. Try to play singles matches until you learn the game. Doubles matches are more dangerous, due to the possibility of tripping over the other players and falling into a wall at an awkward position.

Tournament Squash

As your knowledge and skill level increase, you can start to play in some squash tournaments to further improve your fitness. Playing in a tournament will usually require you to exert yourself more than you do in a regular friendly match. If the tournament has different skill levels, enter your name in the beginner's bracket, until you are ready to try playing against more advanced opponents.

If you perform well in a tournament, you will often have to play many matches in a single day as you advance through the field. Make sure you have an adequate supply of liquids and snacks when you participate in a multi-player tournament. This will help you maintain your energy level throughout the day.

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