Never Get Thirsty

Never Get Thirsty

One piece of advice I give and live by is “never be thirsty”.

Drink small amounts of water at regular intervals.

If you are thirsty, that’s your body telling you that you have left it really late to drink.

It’s a delicate balance between rushing to the bathroom all the time and not drinking enough.

Your body NEEDS water to survive and being dehydrated, even a little, will significantly reduce your physical capabilities.

You will need to find the right amount of water for YOUR situation, but start today with at least 1.5 litres and adjust accordingly.

It’s such a simple topic but with a little effort can bring a real difference in your performance.

I have a sports drink bottle that I fill 4 times a day. I use that because it makes it easy to know how much I have drunk.

One last thing, it IS possible to drink too much but you would need to be drinking over 5 litres per day for that to happen, but that doesn’t mean you should be drinking 4 litres per day either!

Just be sensible.

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Equipment Spotlight: Foam Rollers

Foam rollers have become quite fashionable over the last few years and for good reason.

Foam rollers allow you to massage yourself easily and cheaply. You can carry them in your bag and use them on almost any surface, including the wall.

They come in two types: solid foam, with various surface treads and ones with a plastic inner core and an outer foam surface.

They are easy to carry and use and provide a perfect post-match/training cool down.

I highly recommend you try one a few times, you should notice the difference in a few days.

No for my confession: I don’t like them. I find them awkward to use, although I do see and feel the benefit.

I have an alternative which I will tell you about another time, but just because I don’t like them doesn’t mean you won’t.

Essentially, you roll your body over and around them and your body weight provides the pressure for the massage.

They can work the legs, back, shoulders and arms.

I’m pretty sure you local gym already uses them, so try and check them out.

Equipment Spotlight: Resistance Bands

One of the most versatile pieces of equipment is the resistance band.  It’s inexpensive, easy to carry and can be used for a huge range of exercises.

There are three main types of resistance bands: short closed loops; often used for the legs, tubular bands; often with handles and can sometimes be used in different resistance combinations and plain old narrow sheets.

I am not going to be discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each type or even suggesting which exercises you should do.

All I want to do with this article is encourage you to try them.

Squash players need power and agility and while using weights won’t cause you to become “muscle-bound”, having a better way to get or stay strong is always preferable.

Resistance bands allow you to use the full range of motion at speeds that won’t injury you but reflect what happens on court.

They allow you to use them as part of your warm up or training and even for stretching.

The problem is that they seem to have had bad press in that they are seen by men as only used by women or you won’t be able to build muscle mass.

Both are misconceptions but squash players don’t want or need muscle mass anyway!

Being able to use them almost anywhere is a great feature and I remember a few years ago using them in Heathrow’s Terminal 3 lounge while getting a few funny looks, but I managed to get a short workout while I waited for my delayed flight.

For less than 10 Pounds, Euros or Dollars you can buy a piece of equipment that could improve your squash.

I challenge you to buy a set and use them for one month.

 

 

 

 

Rotation – the key to staying fresh.

Rotation – the key to staying fresh.

I want to introduce a idea today that could save you from being injured AND keep your training interesting. I’ve been using it for years but have no idea where it came from. Perhaps I invented or heard about it and forgot from where.

It can be used for any sports and all sorts of training.

As you have already guessed from the title it’s called Rotation.

I define two types: Mega and Micro rotation and will give you some specific examples and I am sure you will be able to adapt the concept to your situation.

I have 6 types of fitness workout: Agility Ladder (AG), Medicine Ball (MB), Swiss Ball (SB), Plyometrics(PM), Skipping (SK), Floor Work (FW). They are all in addition to my main aerobic sessions of cycling as I can no longer do any ghosting, conditioned games or playing.

You may have noticed that the agility ladder, plyometrics and skipping are very similar.

MEGA ROTATION
For my Mega rotation I do 2 types per month.

Jan: AG SB
Feb: SB PM
Mar: PM MB
Apr: MB SK
May: SK FW
Jun: FW AG
Jul: AG SB
and so on.

What you should notice is that I never do any type of exercise for more than 2 months. I alternate between AG, PM and SK because those exercise are so similar but perfect for squash.

This rotation keeps my training fresh but also allows my body enough time to adapt to each type of exercise and enough time to improve without over stressing it.

I train either 3 or 4 times a week with the occasional 5 or 6 sessions for a couple of weeks.

MICRO ROTATION
Within any one of the above main types of fitness sessions I normally do 6 exercises per session. I have approximately 10 different possible exercises per fitness type I could do and just like the Mega Rotation, in the Micro rotation I rotate those exercises.

For Example

Floor Workout:
Session 1: Exercises 1,2,3,4,5,6
Session 2: Exercises 2,3,4,5,6,7
Session 3: Exercises 3,4,5,6,7,8
Session 4: Exercises 4,5,6,7,8,9
Session 5: Exercises 5,6,7,8,9,10
Session 6: Exercises 6,7,8,9,10,1
Session 7: Exercises 7,8,9,10,1,2
and so on.

It doesn’t matter if I do 3 or 4 or 5 sessions per week, I just keep rotating. This means that no training session is exactly the same as the last but they contain enough of the same exercises that my body adapts and gets fitter.

SQUASH SPECIFIC

Adapting this to squash is pretty easy. Instead of my types of exercises you have Solo, Pair or Group Routines and Conditioned Games. Within each type you have a variety of different practices you can do.

Each session will be slightly different meaning it won’t feel repetitive. Also notice that the first exercise is always different and this alone can make the sessions less daunting.

Yes, you need to have a simple chart with this information on it, but it’s not exactly hard work and a little paperwork is good for your fitness.

TAKEAWAY POINTS:
Rotate the types and individual exercises you do on a monthly and per session basis. This process will keep your training organized and fresh. Having planned sessions makes everything feel more professional too.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Now, GET PLANNING!

Treat Injuries Seriously

Perhaps I am more conscious of this because I am getting old, but make sure you treat all your injuries seriously.

Don’t try to “play through them” or ignore them.

The key is knowing the difference between a niggle and a real injury and I have to admit that sometimes I get it wrong.

When you are sure you are injured and it’s not your body complaining, get it treated properly and immediately.

By delay action you are lengthening the recovery time and possibly introducing complications.

Always carry an ice pack or spray in your kit bag or at the very least car.

Don’t try to be a hero – knowing when to admit it is the time to stop is the sign of a professional.

One Month Off From Squash Each Year

One Month Off From Squash Each Year.

I recommend each and every player to stay away from a squash court for one complete month a year.

Ideally during the Summer but it has to fit your lifestyle and schedule.

I’m not saying do nothing, although that is not a bad thing, I’m just saying keep away from a squash court.

You need to recharge your batteries, both physical and mental, and staying away from the court will help do that.

You will feel a renewed enthusiasm for playing and training.