Let’s All Do The T Jump

Let’s All Do The T Jump

Let me get straight to the point.

The moment before your opponent hits the ball, you should do a little jump, with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders. This movement, gives you the “bounce” effect that means you can move faster to the ball.

In fact, it is a form of plyometrics, which is the idea of compressing the muscles in one movement to allow them to release at greater power than from a static position. That’s why plyometrics is so good for you and what is the most common plyometrics training? Yes, that’s right, skipping. Perfect for boxers and squash players.

Once your heels touch the ground, it takes more time to get moving than if you were bouncing.

The timing of the jump is crucial because if you do it too early all benefit is lost and you will probably be slower.

If you do it too late, you will be in the air when the ball is moving and by the time you land, you will be a little late.

The key is to start to jump JUST before you think the ball is about to be hit BUT don’t jump too high. You are just doing a little bounce to make sure you are ready to pounce once you know where the ball is going.

Like everything worth working for, you will need to practice until it feels comfortable.

If you can, watch some professionals matches on YouTube and focus on this aspect of their movement. Especially, Nicole David, who moves so beautifully.

Lastly, notice what happens when a player hits the ball off the back wall and the opponent at the front. He or she often waits….and waits….and waits before hitting the ball.

This waiting make it hard for you to guess the moment to jump and you often see players become static, making that much harder to get moving.

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.

 

 

 

 

Agility Ladders Make You Lighter On Your Feet.

Agility Ladders Make You Lighter On Your Feet.

I have to admit I am new to agility ladders. Having been out of the game for nearly 15 years, returning a few years ago made it clear how new ideas had worked their way into squash. Sure, crosstraining was all the rage back then and we even did some crosscoaching, but I had never used an agility ladder until a few months ago.

In the past, we used to use the lines around the service box and they can still be used if you don’t have anything else but a proper ladder forces you to lift you feet higher and in different ways.

As with the Swiss ball, there are plenty of articles and videos that show you how to use one.

As squash players, look for the exercises that work on lateral movement more than just forwards and backwards workouts.

In the few months I have been using one, I feel so much faster. I should mention that I am not playing squash at the moment due to hip and shoulder problems, but I can still do fitness work.

You can buy them for around 10 pounds and if that’s too much I plan to make a video about making one with a roll of duct tape soon.