Squash Injuries: Ice is still the Queen!

February 12, 2011

Most squash injuries are not acute or catastrophic – mostly they are “itis'”: usually some type of tendonitis – sometimes a bursitis.  These are usually caused by an increase in training or competing volume to a level beyond the fitness preparation of the athlete.  Although the intensity of training is also a factor – most studies of high volume sports (like squash or running) point to an increase in volume (e.g., miles run per week) as the culprit.

Is Inflammation “Good” for Squash injuries?

Similar to recent sport science discussions on the benefit of stretching as part of an sport warm-up, the role of ice in managing sport injuries is a currently a hot topic.  The most recent controversy involves a scientific study that concluded that inflammation can actually speed the recovery process – the implication bringing  traditional methods of reducing inflammation, ice and NSAIDs, might not be recommended.

Read the rest of this entry »

New Aerobic Training Tool For Squash Coaches: miCoach iPhone App!

August 4, 2010

Regular readers will know that I have been singing the praises of CorePerformance.com for squash strength training since I learned about them while doing the rehab for my hip replacement.  One of the strengths of Core Performance is that if you sign-up as a member ($9.99/month) you can download daily, somewhat individualized workouts to your iPhone – which always includes an “energy systems” (their term for aerobic training) component – usually not that long (e.g., 14 minutes).

Now Core Performance has teamed with adidas to develop an aerobic training tool (free iPhone App and website) called miCoach.  Although the probable goal of adidas is to get consumers to purchase a $139 Pacer which includes a heart rate monitor and stride counter, I think the real value for squash coaches are the well designed and neatly packaged training plans – which do not require a purchase.  Web site registration (which I just completed) and the app is free. There are no plans for squash so I would recommend the tennis or soccer plans – slight edge to the tennis as being more specific to our PAR modern attacking game.

Your athletes will have a chance  to individualize somewhat by selecting their initial starting level or doing a 12-minute self-assessment.  If you are working with more than one athlete great packaging is absolutely key in saving time and communicating and monitoring training plans clearly – this is an area where Core Performance excels.  I will report back after trying out a few weeks of training using the app with my team – in the meantime here is a short review of the iPhone app and a video review of the Pacer:

Strength Training for Squash – Basic Exercises made Squash-Specific

February 18, 2010

I have already blogged on some useless strength exercises for squash – in this post I discuss how we can turn some of these useless, basic, “bodybuilding” -type of exercises into more useful ones.

The strategy to do this is simple, and is based on the importance of the lunge in squash, and the need to save time in our squash supplementary strength workouts.  Depending on the level of play and type of strategy and shots being used, a player may need to lunge up to 100 times or more a match. Three types of muscle contraction are important in performing the lunge in a match situation:  eccentric as you step into the lunge and plant your front foot, isometric when there is a momentary holding of position, and concentric as the legs push back out of the lunge.  The lunge trained in the video examples below is the static one – also useful in the beginning weeks of a annual periodized strength program for working an athlete up towards more dynamic and intense lunging, such as that used in court movement drills and plyometrics.

There are definitely more complex and intense exercises that incorporate lunging – this post is emphasizing a safe, easy way to incorporate more core and squash specificity into a regular routine. Keiser Functional Training has a YouTube Channel which features the use of cable machines for more core and functional training, and of course Core Performance has a wide variety of lunging type exercises that are great for squash.