Squash Coaching Blog: A strong core

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Shoulder rotation originating from the hips is of massive importance to a squash player.

Rotating the shoulders enables you to strike the ball with the upper body facing the side wall, essential for consistently hitting tight, straight shots.  Using the hips to do so creates weight transfer from the back of your body (pre-shot) to the front of your body and into the ball (impact).  This weight shift will continue into your follow-through aiding fast, smooth movement back to the ‘T’.

Weight transfer helps generate considerably more power than can be created from a more static position, on by simply using your wrist to inject extra racket speed.  This weight transfer also creates flow, aiding light but explosive movement, as opposed to disjointed, plodding strides.  The lighter your movement, the more energy you save on every shot. (This energy save is incredibly appealing considering you could be playing between 1500 and 4000 shots in a match).

As mentioned in last week blog, a strong core is also essential if you are to play a shot off the “wrong leg”. You need to use your core to twist your middle in order for your shoulders to face the side wall.

Hips are important in every shot, especially if we want to hit the ball hard.  So, we need a strong and flexible core.  This core needs to act like a spring, coiling up and then quickly releasing with incredible speed and power.

How do we get a strong core?

(I’m not going to list all the specific exercises you can do, as these are common knowledge or can be easily Googled. Here are the basic areas to concentrate on.)

Sit-ups are obviously a brilliant way to do this.  The more the merrier.  Do not forget the back though.  The stronger you make your stomach, you need to keep it balanced by working your lower back.

Stomach exercises which include leg movements are very useful as this also improves flexibility whilst working your stomach.

The Plank I like as it requires balance and stability whilst under pressure.

LESSON – A STRONG CORE INCREASES HIP AND SHOULDER ROTATION, GIVING MORE POWER AND AIDING MOVEMENT TO AND FROM THE BALL.