Preparing for Squash Camp

Our Top 3 Training Exercises to Try at Home

April showers bring May flowers, and Squash training season! This is the time to brush the cobwebs off your racket — and your body. Squash coaches across the country want players to get moving yearlong, because they know off-season training results in top performing players who stay ahead of the competition. That’s why we’ve put together these proven squash exercises to help you stay on top of your game while getting in tip-top shape — just in time for International Squash Academy!

“Do not be too hard, lest you be broken; do not be too soft, lest you be squeezed.”

Ali ibn Abi Talib

Pre-Season Prep for Squash Summer Camp:

1. Squat for Stability & Success 

The standard squash court is only 32 by 21 feet, and players average about 1 mile of running per match — most without traveling the full dimensions of the court. The fast pace of the game requires a lot of sprinting within a small space, commonly resulting in knee, hip and ankle injuries.

Squat Exercise with Dumbbells

“I work with many racket game players who suffer injuries due to poor conditioning. I tell them to protect their lower back, hips, and knees with simple squats, and use a wrist roller* to bulletproof forearms.”

—Todd Murray, Expert trainer &
owner of
Results Plus Fitness, Hamden, CT

To outperform on the court, leg training needs to be top priority in pre-season drills. Leg training helps you to develop a powerful base and supports explosive court moves. Squats are super effective, are simple to do, take little time, and don’t require a gym or elaborate equipment. Dumbbell squats strengthen your core, thighs and hamstrings, and help stabilize the micro muscles around your knees and ankles. 

  1. Starting with 10-pound dumbbells held at your sides with palms facing your legs, keep your back straight, & place your feet shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Lower your rear end as if you are about to sit in a chair. You want to get your thighs to be parallel with the floor, while keeping your chin up & back straight. 
  3. Pause in the lowered position for a breath, & then push from your feet & squeeze your glutes to return to a standing position. Use a full-length mirror to check your posture to avoid injury, & never lower to the point that your thighs are no longer at a 90-degree angle to your calves. 
  4. Work up to 3 sets of 6-10 repetitions, & increase weight only when you feel that 10 repetitions are no longer challenging. 

Wrist Roller* Note: A wrist roller is an exercise tool that strengthening the forearm muscles together in a rolling-pulling motion. It has a bar of varying lengths, with a cord or rope attached, which the user rolls and unrolls with a weight attachment at the bottom of the cord.

2. Lunge for Longevity

Another great way to build leg strength and incorporate cardio is the walking lunge. Walking lunges are a little more difficult than basic lunges, but the added movement will also strengthen your core and stabilizers.

  1. Start with 5 to 10-pound dumbbells (or kettlebells) in each hand with palms facing your legs. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, & add a slight bend to your knees. 
  2. Keep your eyes forward, so your neck remains neutral. 
  3. Tighten your stomach, & take a step forward to land with your heel first. 
  4. With your forward foot firmly gripping the ground, lower your hips until your back knee is 1-2 inches off the floor. Maintain your weight evenly over your entire front foot. The back foot will rest on the ball of your foot with your heel lifted.
  5. Keep your shoulders over your hips, & pause for a breath while your body is lowered.
  6. While keeping your chest high, use your front foot to evenly grip the ground and activate your glute & quad to push yourself to return to standing with legs returning to a hip-width position.
  7. Repeat with the next step forward. Work up to 3 sets of 10- 15 repetitions on each side. Do not increase weight if you cannot maintain good technique. 

If you are just getting started with seasonal strength training, start with stationary lunges, or one-leg stationary lunges with a weight bench or kitchen chair.

Remember: injuries before the season are NOT allowed, so always make sure to warm up slowly, practice good form, and know your limits. If something hurts, it’s time to take a break.

“The way I usually know I’ve set the right goal is when it seems impossible, but at the same time, it’s giving me a sense of crazed excitement just to think about the possibility of achieving it.”

— Tony Robbins, international speaker & bestselling author

3. Monkey Around

After your weight training sessions, get outside and try this deceptively difficult move at your local park or playground. This exercise will improve your grip and strengthen the micro muscles around your shoulders, elbows, and wrists. Practice a passive hang daily to stay in the game — while having fun:

  1. Visit your local park’s monkey bars, or simply use a chin-up bar at home or at the gym.
  2. Grab the horizontal bar and hang for a count of 30 seconds.
  3. Try to keep your body as still as possible. No swinging — just a simple hang.
  4. After 30 seconds, drop & rest for 60 seconds. Repeat the 30-second hold & 1-minute rest 4 times.

Beginners can start by hanging for 10 seconds, but should work up to 30 seconds. Once you complete a 30-second hang, drop and repeat until you are able to complete 4, 30-second sets. We guarantee your racket will never leave your grip after mastering this exercise.

Have you or your children expressed an interest in squash? Are you looking to advance your squash skills to prepare for high school or college sports? Register now for Summer 2022, and foster a love for the game of squash. Learn more at International Squash Academy.

“Spectacular performances are preceded by spectacular preparation..”

Frank Giampaolo, award-winning coach, speaker & sports writer