Ever since lockdown in certain parts of the U.K. Squash players have been limited to what kind exercises, they can do to maintain match fitness – one suggestion is Pilates.
So, you are probably thinking how effective is Pilates to the recreational, amateur player or professional squash pro? Well, like Squash’s racket cousins Badminton and Tennis, you are using half of your body in a game.
As soon lockdown ends, every Squash player is going to look to be fit for play; so, how can Pilates improve your squash game? Racket sports, by nature, thus the rotation required in the torso, let alone the extremities, is significant in the game of squash.
Furthermore, the mental focus and physical stamina required in squash is crucial to the outcome.
The ultimate body workout and mind
With Pilates, it is an exercise designed to work your body evenly, along with building strength in the torso to aide in the mobility of the entire body, thus making you more agile in moving around the Squash court.
In study conducted by exercise found that, Pilates can increase muscular endurance and flexibility (Kloubec 2010); develop mindfulness, which improves sleep quality (Caldwell 2010); and improve chronic lower-back pain and disability (Rydeard, Leger & Smith 2006).
A program of specific exercises will work the body more uniformly in order to prevent overdevelopment of one side.
A normal Pilates workout will also strengthen the deep abdominal muscles providing a stable base from which to hit the ultimate ‘kill shot’. The range of motions through with every Pilates exercise will see improvement in core areas of the body, because of the core initiates all movement.
As your shoulders and upper back, are typically a difficult region to stretch, it important to gain flexibility through precise movements that will subsequently enhance far-reaching swings, and your ability to reach that drop shot.
The focus required for your Pilates workout will increase your focus on the court.
The ability to decelerate in your Pilates workout in order to develop the specificity of the work, will inherently improve your concentration in any fast-paced sport.
It is known that with Pilates, Squash players can anticipate and prepare shots that were once more hurried and less skilful. In addition, the breath control that is essential to your Pilates workout, will enhance your innate ability to find that last energetic lungful in order to successfully complete the game.
Tips for introducing Pilates to young Squash players
For any young Squash U19 player, Pilates will become an important exercise to do before using machine weights and cardiovascular machines in the gymnasium.
According to the IDEA Health & Fitness, the best ways to for Squash coaches with a Pilate’s background to teach U19 players or introduce them to the exercise are:
- Do not make assumptions that athletes are strong, tight, coordinated and so on.
- Evaluate individuals for muscle imbalances, and identify priorities for addressing these.
- Train both boys’ and girls’ players separately.
- Do not make direct comparisons between athletes.
- Start with the introductory Pilates exercise series.
- Teach the Pilates vocabulary as a set of alignment tools for life.
- Include both static and dynamic stretches.
- At the end of a session, transfer the Pilates training directly to a sports skill.
- Keep it fun, and keep the players moving.
Makes you injury free
Substantial benefits of Pilates in your Squash game are that you will follow you through your daily routine, condition your body so that you stay injury-free, and will clearly aide in the mastering of your chosen sport.
Squash is a challenging game of athleticism, and Pilates is clearly a ‘straight drive’ to your success!
Come the end of lockdown, you will need to be more healthy not only in mind but physically, so adding Pilates to your regime of fitness will give that 360 of all round fitness.
To sum up, there are so many ways to be healthy for Squash; whatever techniques you incorporate will help boost your longevity of your playing career and add years to your life.