They consist of 8 reps over 4 minutes and it’s almost the best 4 minutes you can spend on your squash fitness.
You do 20 seconds of 100% all-out sprinting with 10 seconds rest (which adds to 30 seconds) – and, as I said, you do that 8 times… if you are able 😉
Performing Tabata sprints automatically puts your body into an out-of-breath state that reflects what it’s like to play in a tough squash match with lots of long rallies.
It taxes your entire body.
The Science Of Tabata Squash Sprints
The protocol described above comes from research done by Dr. Izumi Tabata.
His findings from a 1996 study on moderate and high-intensity interval training helped legitimize a movement – away from chronic cardio, like long-distance jogging and toward high-intensity workouts. He showed that high-intensity intermittent training actually improves both anaerobic (intensity and muscle building) and aerobic (slower, oxygen consuming) body systems, while aerobic exercise only improves aerobic systems.
Where & How To Do Tabata Squash Sprints
You can do the sprints on a beach (like in the video above), or on a running track, up a hill or anywhere you have the space.
And you can apply the same protocol to any exercise you are doing. Just make sure you’re doing the same movement over the whole 4 minutes.
2 Common Mistakes With Tabata Squash Sprints
Mistake #1: Some people do a different exercise for each 20 second rep which defeats the purpose of the Tabata protocol approach.
Solution: The instant repetition of the same muscles is what makes it effective.
Mistake #2: Not putting in 100% effort right from the start because you want to conserve energy for the whole 8 reps.
Solution: Do as many reps as you can with 100% effort, even if you don’t make the full 8. When you can feel your body doesn’t have the ability to explode with that maximum effort, just remember how many reps you were able to do, then try to beat it next time.
How To Make Tabata Squash Sprints Easier
If you are building a strong core foundation underneath any sprint work you are doing, then:
- You will feel the positive effects you are hoping for sooner and more powerfully; therefore
- You will persist to the point where you actually become fitter
For squash players, Tabata sprints are definitely something to try at least once!
Have fun & play your own game!
Mick enjoys showing squash players simple, effective exercises to feel stronger, faster and more durable on court to help them play better & win more matches.
He was ranked #2 in Australian juniors and has spent over 20 years training in various martial arts so his background provides a fresh, unique perspective.
You can find his core programs at…