A good warm-up before physical exercise is a vital part of the workout. Of course, the main goal of warming up is to prepare your body and mind for the training session or match. That´s why it´s good to plan a warm-up routine which gradually raises your body temperature and increases the blood flow in the muscles, maximizing your performance.
A proper, dynamic warm-up helps you to:
- contract and relax the muscles of your body faster
- recover more quickly
- improve faster
- reduce the risk of injuries
To obtain all these benefits it´s important to include in your warm-up routine multi-directional movements and light aerobic exercises which gradually elevate your heart rate, blood flow, respiratory rate and muscle temperature. Also, include some appropriate stretching exercises in your routine and never forget to increase the range of motion of your joints.
So what is the best way to build up a warm-up routine?
In my experience, an ideal warm-up routine for squash consists of three parts, each lasting about 5-7 minutes.
1) Elevating heart rate
The aim of this first phase is to increase body temperature and heart rate.
2) Dynamic flexibility and activation of muscle groups
In this phase you increase the range of motion of joints and activate important muscles.
3) Elevating heart rate further and sport-specific exercises
In this last phase you really get your body ready for a training session or a match by elevating your hear rate even more.
It´s important to build up the warm-up routine gradually. Start gently by warming up your muscles and increasing your heart rate a little bit. After this you can do exercises to activate the muscles that are now warm and finish by more intense, squash-specific exercises. Then, ready to go!
Now that you understand why warming-up is so important, you definitely want to know what specific squash exercises you can do. Soon we’ll post an article with a video in which Stef will show you a range of exercises to prepare your body for the game. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to make sure you don't miss a single squash coaching video.