Wednesday, April 29, 2020

How To Make Best Use Of Your Prolonged Off Season

While we're currently in a forced prolonged off season I thought it would be a good time to discuss what types of training you should be focusing on. Back when I was competing I would focus mainly on improving my cardio in the offseason. I would do a mixture of building an aerobic base (trail runs), anaerobic and explosiveness work (hill sprints, stair running and 200 meter sprints) and some gym strength training too. How much of what should you be doing now?

I'm a big believer in routines. If we want to make positive changes to our daily lives developing positive routines can be extremely effective. Routines can be difficult to change, but within a few weeks they can become the new normal. We all know we should be more active and eat healthier, yet many of us don't. Why is it so difficult to change our behaviours to one that's better for us long term? If this topic interests you I would highly recommend you check out the book 'The Power Of Habit' by Charles Duhigg. If you don't read it, just know that new habits become habits within 3-4 weeks. So if you start planning a workout for certain days and times you can build a new more beneficial routine by the end of next month.

Looking back at my own personal experience I should have focused more on strength and mobility training. My aerobic fitness base could only get so high no matter how hard I trained, but if I was stronger I would be faster off the mark, more stable through my shot and be able to play at faster pace. Training has come a long ways since I was in university so there's a lot more knowledge and sharing of information.

Even though a lot of us are trapped indoors (at least here in most of Canada the weather hasn't been too great) there is a lot we can do to improve our overall fitness. You don't need any equipment to have a great workout. Exercises like yoga, stretching or body weight strength workouts can be super effective and also require little space. What I like doing now is at least twice per week making my home workout focused on cardio. How I do this is by increasing the repetitions and/or reducing the rest time.

Last week I did a live home squash specific workout on my new clubs Instagram page where I did a circuit of 4 squats, 4 lunges and 4 pushups on the minute every minute for 12 minutes. By doing this I was exercising for approximately 30 seconds and having 30 seconds of recovery. This way of designing a workout makes you keep going even though you maybe want a longer break later in your sets. You can adapt it in numbers ways too. If you want to do more or less you can increase or decrease your reps, sets or your rest time. I used weights for my exercise, but I'm certain many of the people following along didn't.

As the weather gets nicer there will be more opportunities to include some aerobic and anaerobic training outdoors. This could include going for runs or cycling. I remember almost 20 years ago losing a match to someone in the spring and I felt like it was because of my base fitness so I started jogging for 20-30 minutes 2-3 times per week and when I got my rematch at the end of the summer I won. Nothing is more frustrating than losing to a lesser skilled player simply because they are fitter than you. Those that are making use of this time to get fitter will come out of this in a much better position when competitions start back up.

Being in such a unique position during this prolonged off season you have to do what you can for now. When more options become available we can all be a bit smarter about how much of what we are doing. That being said if you know you really need to work on your strength (as I needed to) you should focus on this year round. I know when there season gets going how much you do and the frequency will change, but if that is the area holding you back you should still be trying to make strength gains during the season. This of course changes as you mature and get to the level you require to play at your best.

I'm going to take a step back and discuss the importance of basic mobility for a moment. Now more than ever we are doing more sitting and lying around than ever. My brother found a 6 week program that he is doing and I am doing some of as well. You can find the details on his Instagram page here: None of these stretches or exercises require any equipment yet a lot of them are quite challenging and if you stick to the schedule you will definitely improve your mobility and strength. Movement must come before hard training so this could be a good starting point for many of you. What I'm doing is picking some of the exercises and adding them into my own workouts.

If your mobility is already at a high level it's time to think about what areas you want to work on next. Having an aerobic base is essential for squash players. How long do your matches typically last? If your jogs are for 20 minutes but your matches last for an hour or more you may have to adapt your training accordingly. When we play squash our heart rates vary because we are working harder at various points in the match. This is why when I used to jog I would make sure to include a few sprints and always finish hard. But now that I'm older and I've had 1 knee surgery jogging isn't for me; at least not for any real length. This is where everybody had individual difference and why 1 single training plan can't be used for players even if they are a similar age and ability.

Right now there are plenty of athletes sharing their home workouts. You can find a lot of great stuff on Instagram which will challenge you and keep things interesting. But should you allocate a specific period of time for a certain type of training before moving on to the next? Chunking your training into specific quadrants is called either a mircocycle, mesocylce or macrocycle.
A mircocycle is something short term (averages about 1 week) while a mesocycle is normally about 4-6 weeks in duration. A macrocycle is longer and can be many months or even a year or more. Right now we have time to focus on more than 1 athletic trait so you can opt to set up a 4-6 training period with a singular focus; say strength. Once that cycle is complete you can move on to something else. Doing this doesn't mean you stop all strength training, it means you are simply looking to maintain that while building up another essential area. Remember you can still target anaerobic and aerobic fitness targets while doing strength training.

Switching athletic trait targets in your training program isn't just about preparing for the season, but it's also good for your mental well being. How many consecutive weeks or months can you go do wind sprints and achieve maximal gains and even just simply enjoy your training? If you have a specific 4-8 week period focused on this you will see the light at the end of the tunnel and you can also continue pushing yourself week after week to go faster, take less recovery or do more sets. This obviously cannot continue indefinitely, nor should it. When the season gets going again you will get a lot of your training from on court sessions so this build up won't be entirely lost.

Once the season begins you want to have base built up for aerobic, anaerobic and strength training because there's not always a sufficient time to work on these with all of the on court time. Building up this base over the course of years is what is referred to as training years or training age. This is the accumulation of the training you have done over time. So no matter how hard someone tries in 1 or 2 off seasons they will not be able to get as strong or as fit as someone genetically similar that has more training years under their belt (at least until father time comes a-calling).

One area that is super important in training programs is planned time off. I know most of us are getting more than enough of this at this point in time, but it is something our bodies and minds need. We will perform better, experience less injuries and burnout if we schedule times in the year where we avoid overexerting ourselves. But don't get rest confused with being completely inactive. If you are having a planned rest period you should still be moving around; going on walks, easy bike rides or perhaps doing a few light stretching sessions or yoga classes.

If you're well over the 1-2 week rest time and ready to get back to action go slow. Start with some of the mobility exercises outlined in the guide above or even some daily walks or bike rides. A big mistake people make when getting back into training is that they do too much too soon which doesn't give their body enough time to recover and adjust to the increased workloads. You can't go from zero to a marathon or a tough Crossfit workout and not expect some repercussions. And as you get older and have to deal with more injuries so training smarter becomes even more critical. When I play a match these days and feel good physically the squash seems to follow. I don't get upset even if I'm not playing my best, simply because I'm feeling good and moving well it's a good day.
If you're looking for more squash specific home workouts you can find mine on Youtube. I've created a playlist for them at

I'm also doing a weekly live workout on the @LondonSquash Instagram page. These will later be posted on the Serious Squash Youtube channel if you happen to miss them. I'm currently focusing on building up basic strength required for squash by focusing on squats, lunges, deadlifts and core exercises.

Ideally this post provides some motivation and ideas on what type of cross training you can and should be doing. If you're not already in a positive routine there's no better time to switch and getting going than today. If you want to purchase some kettlebells for home you can order them here on Amazon and I think I get about 1% commission if you order through my storefront:

On a side note, if you're looking for some squash to watch I just posted an instructional film, Mastering Deception. You can watch the complete film here:

That's all for this week. I hope this post will get you up and off the couch and thinking about how to make the most of your time. Don't just wait for the clubs to reopen to make your fitness a priority. Right now most of us have more time than we ever have to concentrate on improving the often neglected cross training side of squash. I'll leave you with a comment from my old squash club, 'get fit to play squash, don't play squash to get fit.'

Want to know where else you can find Serious Squash?
Instagram @SeriousSquash

Oh and did I forget to mention that there could be a limited edition Serious Squash shirt coming out in the very near future...stay tuned and as always thanks for the support!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

My Tribute To Stuart Dixon

I've always had a difficult time dealing with the passing of a loved one. Dealing with loss is not easy and as someone who doesn't outwardly express a lot of emotion it's difficult to let your guard down to feel hurt and vulnerable and to share this pain with other people. But we can either not talk about it and hope that time will heal our wounds or we can think about all of the joy and wonderful things that person brought into your world. Today's post is my chance of doing just that for one of the kindest humans and best coaches I've ever had the privilege to know, Stuart Dixon.

Stuart didn't just recently pass away, it was back in September so I apologize for taking so long to get to this. A friend from back in Victoria told me about Stuart's passing. I knew he hadn't been well for some time, but I didn't know the finish line was so close. Later that week I watched his funeral remotely from Turks and Caicos and I felt bad that I couldn't be there in person to show my respect for his wife Sandy. I figure it's about time that I shared how wonderful of a person he was and important he was to me as coach and also as a person.

Stuart is a well known coach not only here in Canada, but worldwide. He's coached multiple Canadian National Teams and he's worked with plenty of top juniors and professional players throughout his career. He's in the Squash Canada hall of fame and was the proud owner of the Victoria Squash Club (VSC).

As many of you are already well aware, the VSC was a club like no other in Canada. Dogs strolled by the courts, including Kiri, who was Stuart and Sandy's golden retriever. Stuart ran monthly cup tournaments which included after event parties hosted at Stuart and Sandy's house. They would hand cook dinner, including their famous mashed potatoes, for all of the participants and have a keg of beer to boot. The VSC was a club where the members truly felt like a part of the Dixon family.

I first met Stuart when I moved to Victoria in the summer of 2011. When I moved there he let me play and train at his club for free. I was a broke masters student, but I was one of the strongest players in the city and he loved having good players around the club. Shortly after he asked if I wanted to coach with him at St. Michaels University School. This school was close to the club and had 4 courts on campus. After our first season he told the school to hire me as their head coach and that's what they did. The school had a lot of respect for Stuart and generally did what he suggested. I owe everything to Stuart for my 8 years at that school.

Stuart had a way clarifying issues and making the correct choice seem more clear, but without telling you what to think or say. He did this in coaching too; even though I was much less experienced he would constantly ask me for my opinion on someones game or a specific training method; he was a lifelong learner. To this day I have never met a coach who absolutely loved coaching more than Stuart. Little did I know that my real master's degree was going to be by working alongside Stuart and not the diploma that the local university presented to me.

Stuart was a lot of fun on our school's team trips. Even in his 60's he was just like a big kid, full or enthusiasm and excited about the matches that lie ahead. He was honest, yet super positive when coaching which made everyone love and respect him. In some ways it's quite intimidating to be working with someone like that because you feel like you don't measure up, and really how could you?

One particular tournament I remember sharing a room with Stuart during the Rugby World Cup. I believe it was the semis or finals and New Zealand was playing. Being a Kiwi, Stuart loved his rugby and especially the All Blacks. So at 3am he had his alarm set so he could tune in to watch the big match. Knowing nothing about rugby, I stayed up and and watched the game with him learning a bit about the sport and the team. And if my memory serves me correctly, I believe the All Blacks won which put Stuart in an even better me than usual.

If I had to select Stuart's best characteristics, I would say that he always made time for everyone (and every dog too) and he genuinely took an interest in their lives. He was known for constantly being on 'west coast time' because he would be deep into a discussion with the mail person or someone who passed by the club who was a member a few decades ago. Knowing what he was doing nobody could ever get upset at having to wait a bit for him. That's just how he lived. He would give you as much of his time as you wanted. I spent many of afternoons sitting on the couches or in his office talking about squash and life in general. When he did eventually get on court he would stay out there long after the practice because he was so engaged on helping this person learn and improve. Your level or age didn't matter to him and when your session was over he would continue chatting and cracking jokes.

As Stuart got older and his health slowly deteriorated the club was struggling more and more to pay the bills. He was the manager, owner and head coach, but the clubs revenue had been relying heavily on Stuart's coaching revenue to pay the bills for years. Stuart and Sandy have also put a lot of their own savings into keeping the club afloat. It was clear he wasn't into coaching and owning the club to make money. I'm still amazed that someone can be so unselfish and love what they do even while their business is struggling with such financial burden.

A couple of years ago now I started a Go Fund Me page for the club because it was going to have to shut its doors. It was time to pay the property tax and there were some other building expenses that totalled over $30,000. I remember Stuart said he had a month or so before he'd have to declare bankruptcy. I was determined to find a way to keep the club doors open. Later that day I thought about this funding idea and Stuart was initially reluctant. He didn't like the idea of asking for a handout, but I kept insisting it was the only way. Eventually he let me do it and the campaign was a major success. We raised over $50,000 and Stuart felt incredibly touched. He couldn't believe how many people cared and came out of the woodworks to show their love and support for Stuart. See it wasn't about the club necessarily as it was about Stuart. Everyone who knew him understood that there are few greater causes than helping such a beautiful individual. The club and Stuart at one time or another had made such a positive impact on so many peoples lives that by keeping the doors open those opportunities would continue.

The club struggled to pay the bills when Stuart couldn't get on court as much and also because the rent was quite high considering the low membership numbers. Stuart made it so cheap for people to pay a guest fee, or even cheaper if they were a member at another club, that likely resulted in the club having fewer total memberships. He wanted squash to be affordable for everyone even at his own expense. It also didn't help that the other club in town had not raised their membership dues since the courts were built a few decades ago. They are part of a government complex so they don't have the overhead facilities costs that the VSC did. So people living in Victorias had a choice to pay nearly twice the price to play at the VSC or save some cash and play at the rec centre. Ultimately not enough people chose to support the VSC and that's a big reason why I believe it ultimately faltered.

The club officially shut its doors last summer. Our Go Fund Me campaign helped it stay afloat for another year and it gave the members an opportunity to get a committee and plan in place to take over the club or rejuvenate it somehow, but to this day it has yet to occur. Hopefully someday in the future the VSC will be back and I would like to think better than ever, but without Stuart it could never be the same.

I vividly recall the last time I was with Stuart. Him and Sandy came out to a Thai restaurant with 2 of our mutual friends. I brought him a bottle of Scotch (he loved Scotch) and it was our goodbye meal before I was moving to Turks and Caicos. Stuart had been battling cancer for some time now and he was not as spritely as he had once been, but he still enjoyed our dinner and discussion. He never once seemed upset that I was leaving the city and would no longer be able to help his club. Instead he was so happy for me and said he would think about me enjoying frozen drinks on the beach. This was just about 1 year ago now. It was sad to leave Stuart, Sandy, the club and my friends, but things were not working out at the school as I had hoped so I felt like I had no choice but to move on.

For awhile I contemplated trying to take over his club full time and see if I could make a go of it, but living in Victoria without a base salary and with 6 years of student loans to pay back was more than I could handle. Now I can't help but think I should have tried to do more. But this post isn't about me, it's meant to be my tribute to Stuart Dixon. I had the pleasure of getting to know him really well over the course of 8 years and I will always treasure that time. I know he has made name a better person and also a better coach too. These are attributes that I hope I will be able to pass on to others one day too thanks to Stuart.

So from the bottom of my heart, I just want to thank you one more time, Stuart. You welcomed me into your family just like you did for so many others. You made me feel special and you lived each day with an unwavering zest for life. Even when your health was deteriorating you always had a smile and you were more interested in how everyone else was going. Even though the club was struggling you'd still offer to buy me a coffee. You were one of the most unselfish people I've ever met and even though you are gone your impact is still felt through everyone you've touched. Rest in peace, Stuart and thank you for all that you have done and continue to do.

That's all for this week. If you knew Stuart I'm sure everything I said rings true and brings back a lot of great memories. If you don't know him hopefully I helped you get to know a bit more about a really special soul.

I'm still working on lots of home videos during isolation. You can follow along on Instagram @SeriousSquash or or I'm also posting mostly workout videos these days to Squash Shots. It's almost a year in now. You can learn more at and the online store is still open for business and has 3 instructional films, video analysis and Serious Squash signature racquets for sale:

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The Next Chapter: Back To London

It's funny how life works. Eleven years ago I couldn't wait to graduate university and get on with my coaching career. I had a 4 fun years at Western University where I played on the squash team and completed a degree in kinesiology ('09). Most of my best friends from my school days were on the squash team and we did everything together. Still, after 4 years of not making any money and training and studying year round I was eager to move on to the next chapter.

Now eleven years later I'm back in London hired by the club I was a member of back in my Western days, The London Squash and Fitness Club. The club is vastly improved from when I was a member. They've had a major club renovation since that time and it looks amazing. They still have many of the same members so I already know a lot of the people at the club. I've probably already received over 50 messages and emails from the members congratulating and welcoming me into the club. My brother also plays here so that's a bonus. It will be nice to have someone to film some episodes of Squash Shots with and to have my doubles partner close-by. 

It wasn't an easy decision to leave Turks and Caicos. The weather and the beaches were terrific, but in the end it was not possible to make a living there as a squash coach. I did get the junior program up to over 20 kids, but without a base salary life just wasn't affordable. I was running an Airbnb for awhile, but Coronavirus foiled those plans. 

(The front view of the London Squash and Fitness Club)

So here I am back in London, in the snowy winter belt of Southwestern Ontario. The club is closed for now, so I'm still waiting for this pandemic to dissipate before I can get to work. I have started working on some ideas for the programming for next season. I'm hoping to make a big splash with the junior program. I'm also intending to run some group classes, which I don't think they've had many of in recent years.

London Squash is also home to the Nash Cup which I even played in back in my Western days! It was my only PSA I ever played and I made out of qualification to lose to the second seed in a relatively competitive match. The Nash Cup has had many top players and has both a men's and women's event. They always have a top Western player in the draw along with many of the top Canadian PSA players. They have live scoring and streaming. Here's the website so you can bookmark it for future reference:

What am I working on at the moment? My days have basically revolved around workouts, filming episodes for Squash Shots, writing blog posts and now brainstorming for programming once the club opens back up. Yesterday I recorded a welcome video for the club which included 6 basic home exercises that the members that require no equipment. Here's the video if you're interested and yes, there were some flurries during production!! 

Until Covid-19 disappears life will be pretty relaxed, but once things ramp up I'm going to get quite busy. Right now I can't help but wonder how squash will change next season. Will I be able to run tournaments? If I do will people participate in them like they did before? What about leagues and so on? How will clubs transition back to being open again? Only time will tell, but I do think it's going to take quite awhile for things to get back to how they were before.

If you want to know more about my new club you can do so here: They have 4 singles courts, a hardball doubles court, a sauna in both change rooms, a pro shop and a bar/lounge. It's really a beautiful spot.  

On a different topic, I've been recording a lot of workout posts for Squash Shots. Recently I've posted kettlebell workouts and some core exercises. You don't need any equipment to get in a good workout from home. I not only demonstrate how to do the specific exercises, but I also explain how to design a home workout. You can find out more by checking out Serious Squash on Instagram @SeriousSquash and @SeriousSquashShots or at or or by subscribing to Squash Shots at

There's also an online shop if you want to purchase an instructional film, a video analysis or a signature Serious Squash Harrow racquet:

Until next week stay safe, stay healthy and stay (or get) fit!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Kettlebell Training

It's been 2+ weeks of quarantine at my brothers place. Luckily for me he has 3 kettlebells so I've been able to continue to get in some good workouts. When I was living out west in Victoria and I was working with some personal trainers they taught me how to use kettlebells properly. This week in Squash Shots I filmed an episode demonstrating 35 kettlebell exercises. You can get in a full body workout with very little space and with just a kettlebell or 2 which means it's the perfect piece of equipment to have while in self isolation.

One of the great benefits of kettlebells is that all of the exercises you do with them engage your core. Because of how often I use kettlebells I have a much stronger core than I ever have and I've done far fewer sit-ups and crunches.

Here's this weeks episode of Squash Shots if you'd like to see some of the various exercises you an do with a kettlebell.

If you don't own a kettlebell I suggest you picking some up so you can do some of these exercises from home. Even now I'm doing most of my workouts on my brothers deck. Kettlebell are also very easy to store and for many exercises they are mush easier to hold and use than dumbbells. They aren't cheap, but they are well worth the price if you put them to use. Here's a link of a group of training equipment I've created on a Serious Squash Amazon if you're thinking about making an investment

I'll walk you through a few of my training sessions over the past 2 weeks. Yesterday was pretty simple. I did 5 goblet squats with a kettlebell followed by 10 pushups. I did this on the minute, every minute for 20 minutes (sets). So by the end of this workout I had done 100 squats and 200 pushups. 

Last week I did a similar workout where I did 5 squats, 5 swings and then 5 pushups on the minute, every minute for 20 sets. Using a timing method like this keeps you moving even when you get winded and want that little extra rest. It also shows you how efficient you can be with your time and back in a great workout in just 20 minutes. This and the previous training session would equate to about 25-30 seconds of training and 30-35 seconds of rest. As you get further into your sets the rest sure seems to run out quicker.

Another excellent way to set up a workout is by doing a circuit. A circuit is what I do most often at the gym. Normally I'll go do an exercise, move on to the next, maybe 1 more and then go back to the first one. This gives the muscles you used for each exercise a little bit of rest. So generally I don't do back to back exercises focusing on the same muscle group unless I want to really target that area for that session. 

Today I did a circuit that included kettlebell carries (briefcase carry, shoulder carry and a high overhead carry) and mixed in between were planks, side planks with a kettlebell, snatches, presses and cleans. So it was a core and upper body focused workout after all of the squats yesterday. 

Another effective way to set up a training sessions is by setting a goal for how many of a certain exercise you want to do in total. Let's say you want to do 100 deadlifts. You can break anytime you want, but every time you break you have to do a 1 minute plank and 10 pushups or say 10 burpees. So your goal will be to try and get the 100 deadlifts in with as few breaks as possible, but you will inevitably need at least 3 or 4. The longer you go the more difficult the planks and pushups or burpees will be. On the other hand the fewer reps you do the more sets of planks and pushups or burpees you will have to do. 

For a future episode I filmed a bunch of complexes with kettlebells. A complex is a combination of 2 or more exercises which makes the workout more of a full body workout. A complex of exercises also increases the aerobic training component of the workout. When you combine exercises that add up to more than 30 seconds it means that you can still get in some of that important cardio that we need for squash. 

I've listed a number of ways for designing your own workouts from home. If you haven't tried kettlebells before use light ones. The 3 I have here are 25, 35 and 40lbs. If I was at the gym I would generally use 40+ ones, but it depends on the exercise and number of reps In intend to do. You can also use 2 of the same weighted kettlebells to do a number of other exercises. 

Five years ago I had never touched a kettlebell and now it's the piece of equipment I work out with the most. In this time of gym closures and home workouts it's the perfect piece of equipment. Until next week stay safe, stay healthy and keep active. 

If you enjoy Squash Shots you can subscribe for the weekly episodes for as little as $3/month at

Serious Squash is also on Instagram @SeriousSquash and and plus there's an online store where you can purchase instructional films, video analysis and the custom Serious Squash racquet (for when clubs reopen!). 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Don't Drop The Nachos

It's a fact that most club level squash players are not gym rats. Most club players play squash because they hate going to the gym. For this very reason most players have terrible hitting posture which results in poor technique. Right now most of us have a LOT of extra time. How can you make the most of this time? Get into some good habits which will improve your hitting posture and make you a better squash player. Let's start off by quickly discussing what is the correct hitting posture and why most people are unable to get into it.

One key technical pointer is when the ball is low you are supposed to get low too. Most people do 1 of 2 things, they either break their wrist and drop the racquet head down to get the ball or they 'teapot.' Teapotting is a term for when people get low without using their lower body and their head, if it were a teapot would pour out. When someone teapots they are basically just collapsing their core and are not in a strong or stable position to hit the ball. I've also had students try and imagine that they are wearing a nacho hat and if they teapot the nachos go all over the floor.

(Even though he was able to hold up his nachos at the football game if he played squash he would definitely be a teapotter)

People drop their racquet to the ball and teapot because of 2 key factors. It is mainly because they don't have the proper mobility or strength. You need a sufficient amount of mobility in your entire lower body. You also need a sufficient amount of strength in your lower body and core. A lot of people have very tight hamstrings and are unable to even touch their toes. Most people cannot do a proper lunge, squat or a plank for a significant length of time. You can probably tell what exercises I'll be recommending today. That's right you don't even need and in fact you should not be using any weights when you're starting off doing these types of exercises. If you can set aside 20-30 minutes per day to do some prolonged stretching and body weight strength exercises you'll be a better player when you get back on the court.

How much stretching and how much strength work should you be doing. You should stretch everyday for 10-20 minutes (or try some yoga) and eventually you will start to feel better and notice improvements in your mobility. This week in Squash Shots I demonstrated some of my favourite mobility stretching exercises. Too much sitting and lying around is not good for us. Here's the episode if you'd like to see my favourite hamstring and hip stretches.

Squash Shots Episode 46: Mobility + Core Challenge

At the end of episode 46 I do a 5 minute plank with a variety of variations. All of our sitting is not good for our core and our back health and planks are an effective way to improve both. You could do a short plank and some stretches at least every second day. For the strength portion I would recommend every 3rd or 4th day depending on how much you do and what you're used to doing. Start slow and focus on the proper technique for squats and lunges. I also recommend 1 leg deadlifts. Here's a YouTube video I've found which demonstrates and explains the basics behind it and for the record you don't need the kettlebell or any weight when you're just learning this exercise. it's excellent for improving your balance as well as strengthening your glutes and hamstrings. 

Demonstrating the 2 legged deadlift

Next week for Squash Shots I'm going to be looking at 35 of my favourite kettlebell exercise. If you happen to have a kettlebell lying around at home you can get in some amazing workouts with very little space and no other equipment. For now start off with some lunges, squats, 1 leg deadlifts, planks and of course don't forget your stretching. This may not be the most enjoyable part of squash, but if you want to play competitively consider these essential things that must be done on a consistent basis.

Right now most of us have a lot of free time and are spending it playing online poker, video games or watching hours upon hours of Netflix. Try and make sure you come out of this healthier and fitter by setting aside as little as 20 minutes per day for some mobility work and a few strength exercises.

I hope all of you are staying safe and are healthy. I have 1 more week in quarantine at my brothers place. In Canada for that that were overseas you have to spend 2 weeks in quarantine so I'm half way there. I've been doing lots of stretching, rolling and exercising with a few kettlebells my brother has lying around. We also did a 1 minute pushup challenge the other day and got 39 and 41. Not too bad for a couple of middle aged guys.

That's all for this week. Please do not underestimate how vital this topic is. You don't need to turn into a gym rat, but you do need to take care of your body if you want to play your best squash and continue playing and moving well for the decades to come.

Where else can you find Serious Squash?
Squash Shots is a weekly exclusive coaching video which I release every Monday. Next week is episode 47. You can subscribe for as little as $3/month at

Serious Squash is also on YouTube at and at and on Instagram @SeriousSquash

Lastly there is an online store where you can purchase instructional films, video analysis and the Serious Squash custom racquet. Check it out