Three of the best core exercises14 Dec 2016
When it comes to strengthening the core to improve your game, there are three fundamental moves that anyone can do – even at home!
Every squash player knows the importance of core training and how effective integrated exercises are. After all, strong abdominal muscles are key to maximising strength and stability, maintaining mobility and reducing the risk of injury.
The oblique crunch comes close to comprehensively working all the muscles of the core. It’s pretty easy to do as well:
- Start with your hip and knee joints at 90 degree angles.
- Keep your fingers on your temples, to avoid cradling and lifting your head.
- Focus on lifting left shoulder to right knee as you extend the left leg (then swap sides).
- Ensure you twist from the centre of your chest to get the obliques working.
Not only do side planks provide an intense core challenge (you can strengthen your arms, shoulders, back and legs), it really is a full body functional exercise:
- Start on your side, keep your feet together and your hand directly below your shoulder.
- Brace your abdominals and raise your hips so that your body is in a straight line.
- Lift your top arm above your head and raise your top leg – this forces your core to work harder to maintain balance.
- Try and hold the plank for as long as you can, then switch sides. Whatever you do, keep your hips up in the air.
Using your arms and legs as levers is an excellent way to challenge your core. Make sure your back doesn’t arch. To get the full benefit of this exercise you need to focus on your breathing:
- Start with your knees hugged into your chest and your head and shoulders lifted.
- As you exhale, engage your core muscles to extend your legs to 45 degrees and reach your arms back.
- Inhale and pull your knees and arms back in.
- If you need to make it easier, simply keep your knees bent as you extend out.
- If you want to make it more challenging, lower your extended legs closer to the floor.
If you really want to improve your squash and take it to the next level, why not give SquashFit a go?