The Commonwealth Games reminded us what an awesome game squash is to watch and why it’s so utterly bizarre that it’s still not currently part of the Olympic Games
With rapid racket-work and sharp-shifting around the court, squash is a breath-taking spectacle of frenetic action and fast-thinking. It’s also one of the best workouts you can have as a great sport to play and one of the best ways to improve your fitness.
According to England Squash, more than 200,000 people play the sport on a regular basis and hopefully the Games will have given it a further boost. It’s easy to learn, can be played by all ages and delivers an excellent cardiovascular workout. Fancy giving it a try? Here’s some of the reasons why you should….
Work Every Muscle Group – Squash can help to build strong, shapely leg and bum muscles – the sports require lots of dynamic lunging which will give you that toned look. Moving to and hitting the ball also helps strengthen the back and shape the abdominals.
Burn Calories – Going to the gym is all well and good but it’s, well, a bit boring! Squash is a great alternative to running on a treadmill or pushing it on an exercise bike. You can burn around 650 calories per hour on court and not even realise you are doing so.
Have Fun – As well as improving your fitness levels, squash will help you develop your social network. You’ll get as much enjoyment out of the drink in the bar afterwards as you do from the competition on the court.
It’s Quick – You only need 30 minutes to get a great all-round workout. So even the busiest people can fit it in around work, university, family and other commitments. You can even squeeze a game in on your lunch break!
For All Ages And Abilities – Juniors, adults and seniors can all enjoy a session on the court. And you don’t need to be super-star status. Squash delivers for everyone from knock-about amateurs to serious professionals.
Develops agility – Leaping, spinning, stopping, bending, jumping, sprinting and running are just some of the moves the body has to make in a game of squash. These movements condition squash athletes to be. Squash teaches quickness and equilibrium around the court, especially the power of the first explosive step and challenges speed by forcing you to move quickly while maintaining a strong and balanced position to hit the ball hard and accurately.
Sharpens hand-eye co-ordination – Squash promotes good hand-eye coordination as repeatedly seeing the ball and adjusting your body and hand so you can hit it back under competitive stress forces the body to hone-in on target and destination. The coordinated control of eye movement, hand movement and the processing of what you see to guide one’s reach boosts accuracy and promotes finesse of movement. Since hand-eye coordination tends to decrease when we stop participating in activities that foster this type of coordination, squash is a premier sport to ensure your coordination abilities are well-developed.
Compels flexibility – Constant movement (particularly movement outside typical range of motion) is so often required in a game of squash, your joints and ligaments are able to stretch, promoting elasticity and blood flow in the body. If you can make a save by covering a good portion of the court with a deep lunge and a stretch of your racquet, you can save yourself energy and decrease your chance of missing the ball. Regularly playing squash will improve your flexibility, ensuring your muscles get the most stretch out of every game.