Racquetball is a demanding game and can give you a good workout. But how do you get in shape for racquetball?
Most people tend to play racquetball to get in shape, rather than the other way around. But there are still many people who do it the other way as well!
Because racquetball is an intense and fast-paced game, players can get in shape for it by improving their reflexes to hit shots in time, with consistency. They should also improve their upper body and core strength to make the heavy swings needed.
Racquetball engages both, body and mind, and to be able to play well, you’d have to get in shape for it.
We read up on what different players and fitness experts had to say about getting in shape for racquetball to form our opinions.
Getting in Shape For Racquetball
Racquetball is a relatively safe sport, so most people play it for a long time – well into their retirement years, even! When playing a sport for such a long time, you want to improve your body strength and thus, gameplay!
Four Corner Drill
Fast reaction and recovery are crucial skills for racquetball, and the four-corner drill is an excellent way to develop that. All you have to do is find a space, rush forward to touch the corners and return to the center one by one as fast as you can. This will improve your reaction time.
Upper Body Rows
Upper body strength is necessary for racquetball, especially since you have to give consistent and strong swings. Upper body rows are easy if you use a resistance band. Loop it around a horizontal band and holding a handle in each hand, move back until the band becomes tense. You should keep your back straight and bend your knees just slightly. Pull the handles towards your chest, and perform in sets with small breaks in between.
Jumping in Place
An extremely simple way to get into shape for your game is to just jump in place. By strengthening your core and lower body, you can develop the power needed to pivot fast when you’re on the court.
All you have to do is assume an athletic stance, and jump forward to land on one foot before you jump back to land on the other. Keep repeating this, and without stopping, swing the racquet in the opposite direction.
Make sure your shoulders are level and your back is straight.
You don’t get racquetball without quick directional changes. Players have to rush all over the court to try and get the ball. This needs a significant amount of power and agility to move on a lateral plane.
Strength for the lateral shuffle comes from the lower body – particularly the glutes and the quads and calves.
To exercise for this, stand with your racquet in hand and keep your feet aligned with your hips.
Shuffle towards the right – about four steps is fine – as fast as you can while still keeping control of your body, and then shuffle back to your original spot. In this exercise, keep your forefoot light, and make an effort to push yourself to the side, rather than pull.
Your glutes and core should be engaged in this exercise, and your chest should not be hunched forward. Your legs should be slightly bent, to keep your center of gravity low. Avoid bouncing as well.
As you improve on this, you can up the difficulty and start swinging the racquet while you shuffle to bring better coordination of your body movement. Over time, this will become second nature, and your body will be in shape to not only make the shuffles, but your mind will also be prepared to manage different upper and lower body movements as well.
To develop explosive power in your upper body, you can easily do burpees. Not only do they improve your stamina by giving you a cardio workout, but they can also improve your speed and reaction time.
Standing with your feet aligned with your shoulders, squat down and put your hands on the floor.
Now, with your arms extended, jump into a high plank position. Then, jump back into the squat. Repeat this as many times as you can within a minute. As you keep practicing these, you should try to increase the total number of burpees you can do within a minute.
As you improve your body strength and reaction time, you’ll get a decent workout, which will not just help with your gameplay, but also with how long you can stay on the court itself. A huge part of preparing for games is building the stamina needed to keep going, on top of developing the body skills needed to play a better game.
About THE AUTHOR
Since initially playing at the collegiate level, I have amassed several decades of experience playing racquetball, tennis, and pickleball. I have played thousands of matches and games, and won medals and awards in multiple tourantments. I am constantly improving my game and enjoy mentoring and coaching other players in strategy and technique. I have authored dozens of articles on the sport.Read More About Michael Stevens