Thursday, October 9, 2014

On Court Circuit Training

Today I'm going to talk about on court circuit training. I've participated in many of these throughout the years and it's a great method for a large group to train in limited space. Squash requires a variety of fitness traits so I like training a lot of them while doing these circuits. For example, for 1 exercise you could do court sprints and then the next one pushups or some burpees. I like keeping things interesting and using a variety of circuits. For younger juniors just learning to train I would keep the rest time higher and the number of total circuits lower. Also be sure to not have them do exercises they are physically unable to perform yet (e.g. a burpee, plank, or wall sit). 

Here's some information about circuit training followed by a list of exercises you can add to your circuit. This isn't a complete list, just what I came up with thinking about it for a while.  
  1. the dimensions of a squash court are 32 feet by 21 feet
  2. an effective way to train a large group of people (when multiple courts aren't accessible) in this small dimension is by using multiple circuits (it is also helpful for group cohesion to train together as a team)
  3. circuits can be timed for any measure between 10 seconds up to 90, while most use a middle measurement of between 20 to 40 seconds
  4. after the specified time is up, the players all rotate to the next station on the court or they can all do the same exercise at the same time and move onto the next stations together. they either go directly into the next exercise without any rest time or you can have a predetermined rest time after each exercise is completed
  5. depending on the number of people and stations, there are almost endless possibilities for varying circuits
  1. choose from as little as 3 circuit exercises, including a rest station or two for 1 complete circuit
  2. choose how many sets you are going to do, and if you like you can change the exercises that are included for each set of circuit training
        • use creativity to keep thing interesting; vary the exercises, time of reps and rest, etc
Circuit Training Exercises (listed from easiest to most physically challenging):
  1. rest station(s)
  2. stretching (many variations, simply pick what might need the most attention)
  3. slow jog (lengthwise up and down the court)
  4. side shuffle up and down the court or between the sidewalls
  5. small corener/area to ghost into
  6. calf raises (with or without weight in hands, go onto toes and then back down)
  7. alternate toe tapping on top of the tin
  8. walking lunges up and down the court (can also do backwards)
  9. small, quick jumps over the service box lines, frontwards/backwards and/or sideways jumps)
  10. agility ladder (variety of exercises you can use here)
  11. quick vertical jumps (trying to touch out of court line)
  12. skipping
  13. one legged hopping to front wall and back, alternating legs
  14. touch tin with both hands (backwards to T area)
  15. side to side ghosting/lateral movement patterns
  16. push ups (many variations possible) – listed easiest to most difficult knees on the floor
    1. knees on the floor with light resistance from rest station person
    2. fast, only going down half way to the floor
    3. regular
    4. narrow grip/hand placement
    5. very low, touching chest to floor
    6. feet raised on a box/exercise ball
    7. full push ups as fast as possible
    8. slow, pausing for split second at bottom and top of push up
    9. rest station person light resistance on back with 1 hand
    10. placing medicine ball under 1 hand and switching after every push up
    11. clapping push ups if you really want to show off:)
  17. sit ups (many variations possible: i've listed a few) – listed from easiest to most difficult
    1. low/short crunches, regular pace
    2. normal crunches
    3. in crunch position, using medicine ball, tapping it quickly on floor, switching from hip to hip
    4. a plank
    5. seated rows, bringing knees up to chest
    6. full sit ups
    7. bicycle crunches, touching opposite elbow to knee (executed quickly)
    8. sit ups or crnuches with medicine ball
    9. sit ups with rest station person passing medicine ball (either from straight in front or side)
    10. while lying with your back on the floor, raise your straight legs and arms and touch touch them straight overhear
  18. wall sit
  19. explosive squat jumps (from a squatting position with your hands on the ground, explode with legs and reach as high as possible with your arms)
  20. frog jumps (lengths of the court, jump with both legs, land and lower body near the floor and then from a squatting position jump again with both legs)
  21. box jumps (many various plyometric exercise options available) – see weight/strength training section
  22. burpees
  23. court sprints (running lengths of the court as hard as possible)
    1. can do 'courties' where instead of stopping and turning around you move back and skip out like you would near the side wall in a game. This makes people have to decelerate using their muscles and avoids them using the walls as their brakes!)
You can tell I really like variations of core exercises and pushups! I guess I've done so many of these over the years that I find a slight modification of the exercise can make it much more challenging and beneficial.

You can also do circuit training in a gym if you have some open space/room or outside when the weather is nice.

Have you don any circuit training? On or off court? I know the military style boot camps used to be pretty popular. Not sure if they are anymore. Anyways, if any of the kids read my post today they'll know what they're in store for at practice tonight! Get fitter by introducing circuit training into your practice. You can do a small number of circuits as a warmup or do a bunch of reps as a complete workout. 


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  2. Not bad training you suggested. I am playing basketball, and I always have to increase my vertical jump. In this case I started to use these very effective programs in my training

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