Squash and Fitness – Steps Covered and Calories Burned

Squash, an anaerobic sport

Ever wonder how many steps you take in a squash game? Or, how many calories you burn?

Everyone knows squash is a taxing sport.

While squash pundits believe that you should stay fit to play the game, there are some inherent benefits in playing squash to stay fit.

However, it is difficult to quantify its benefits, or compare squash with other forms of exercises which are easier to measure.

For instance, a pedometer can measure the number of steps you cover when you walk, or run. It can then use the distance covered to calculate calories burned based on your weight and the speed at which you cover that distance.

Squash is largely an anaerobic sport.

The number of steps covered on a squash court does not accurately reflect the effort and the energy required by this high intensity activity.

Enter the concept of pedometer step equivalents.

It is the idea of measuring calories burned doing an activity like squash or tennis for one minute, with the amount of calories you would burn walking a minute.

Using a sedate pace of walking at three miles per hour (or 100 steps a minute), the pedometer equivalent for squash is a whopping 364 steps per minute. This step count can then be used to calculate calories burned.

The only activity that seems to trump squash according to this link is running a 7.5-minute mile.

But then, who wants to do that?

So, if your Fitbit shows youCalories burned playing squash that you took 5000 steps in a 40-minute match, you can ignore it. Going by the pedometer step equivalents, you would be in the region of 14,000 steps – give or take a few steps.

So what does this mean in terms of calories burned?

A quick look up at CalorieLab’s calculator shows that I can burn 187 calories playing squash for 15 minutes. Or, 748 calories, if I can last an hour.

Not bad for someone who never looks at calorie count or nutritional aspects of food!

A word of caution: I am not an expert in matters of health and fitness and my observations are based on the sources listed at the end of this post.

Sources: http://walking.about.com/od/measure/a/stepequivalents.htm

http://www.thewalkingsite.com/10000steps.html

http://calorielab.com/burned/

http://www.somervillema.gov/fitnesschallenge/resources/STEP-Activity-Conversions.pdf

Twelve squash racquet brands you may or may not know.

 

Squash Racquet Brands

Can a good squash racquet improve your game?

Maybe.

Unfortunately, it’s not about a good racquet; it’s about the right racquet.

A racquet that works well for me may not work well for you. For instance, very rarely would you find two professional players favouring the same model of squash racquet.

Sponsorship certainly has something to do with it. That aside, each player selects racquets based on their personal preferences and the style of their game.

It’s not like buying a Tesla vs. a Prius.

Follow this link to read a post on Racquet Sports Basics – Shoes, Courts and such.

Before you get into specific models of racquets, you should be aware of the squash racquet brands that are out there.

So, here’s the list.

Dunlop has been in the business of sports for over a hundred years. Primarily known for their tennis racquets and golf equipment, Dunlop, a British company, is listed as the official ball and racquet of PSA tournaments.

Nick Matthew and Gregory Gaultier, two top PSA professionals, use Dunlop racquets.

Wilson, the sporting goods company, has its roots in the meat-packing business from which it expanded to manufacturing tennis strings. Wilson has become a sporting powerhouse with products spanning multiple sports.

PSA players Peter Barker and Nicholas Müller use Wilson racquets.

Prince is a company that has its roots in Atlanta, Georgia, but gets its name from Princeton, New Jersey from where its founder Robert McClure hailed.

Prominent squash professionals who use Prince include top-ranked WSA player Nicol David, PSA players Ramy Ashour, and James Willstrop.

Head was started by Howard Head, an American businessman. Originally lunched as a company that manufactured alpine skis, Head has come a long way and is a major supplier of racquets and sports accessories.

Recently retired Karim Darwish, and Laura Massaro, the third ranked WSA player, are known to use Head racquets.

Technifibre, a French company, has its roots in racquet strings and stringing machines. Technifibre is a late entrant into the world of racquets and has been adopted by a number of professional tennis players.

Well known squash player Thierry Lincou and currently top-ranked PSA player Mohamed Elshorbagy use Technifibre racquets.Karakal Squash Logo

 

Karakal is a Belgium based company named after the wild cat Karakal (or Caracal) which translates to “Black Ears” in Turkish. If you look closely at the image shown here, you can see the similarity between the cat’s ears and company’s current logo.

Cameron Pilley recently used his Karakal racquet to break his own world speed record by hitting a squash ball at a whopping 176 miles per hour!

Black Knight is a Canadian company that manufactures racquets for squash and badminton. Unlike other racquet manufacturers, Black Knight has stayed away from venturing into the larger tennis market.

Daryl Selby from England, and the retired Australian David Palmer are prominently featured on Black Knights website.

Harrow was founded in the year 2000 and is based in Denver, Colorado. Harrow’s range of products cover a wide spectrum of sports that include squash, hockey and lacrosse.

Players who use Harrow racquets include the Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema, and the number two raked WSA player Raneem El Weleily,

Oliver Racket Company was originally founded in Australia but has come to be known as a German brand.

The most prominent player who uses Oliver is Germany’s own Simon Rösner.

Victor is a brand known more in the badminton circles than squash. Victor has gained popularity among players in European countries like Germany and Austria.

Prokennex and Feather are brands that seem to have their glory days behind them and round-up the list of twelve squash racquet manufacturers.

Conspicuous by their absence in the world of squash are two major racquet brands – Babolat and Yonex.

So what’s your racquet? Do you believe that a racquet can make a difference to your game?

What’s your ranking? And, other dynamics of a squash club championship…

As I walked into Club Meadowvale, my friend Al asked me, “What’s your ranking?”Squash Club Championship

Not an everyday question that people get at the club.

Then again, we are not taking about everyday interactions here. The annual club championship – popularly referred to as the Club C – is about to kick off, and, the dynamics are a little different.

“Not very high,” I replied, reluctant to disclose my exact standing among the sixty-four participants who signed up for the tournament.

The draws – A, B, C, and D – of Club-C are complex. A first round victory or loss determines whether the player ends up in the top half – A/B Draw – or the bottom half – C/D Draw.

Hence the significance of the ranking.

I am a little miffed about my ranking. Many other players have their own pet theories about who should have been ranked above who. A scenario that most squash players who play in a club tournament can relate to. Unlike the professionals who are seeded based on a points system, there is a fair level of subjectivity to player rankings at clubs.

I try to put myself in the shoes of the Club Pro who came up with the rankings.

I do look like a poster boy for Tensor; I only play squash once a week; my one day of tennis really does not count towards my squash standings. Begrudgingly, I have to admit that he may be right. The mind is willing, but the body is weak!

“Oh, well, it’s not all about winning,” I kid myself.

That is part of the dynamics of a squash club around championship time. Egos are at stake, especially, when you are bordering on a “has-been.”

 And, what better way to display it than a higher spot in the rankings.

Squash Club ChampionshipSo, let’s take a look at some of the other dynamics at play during Club-C.

The top-ranked player, Ahad, is probably hoping that this is not the year that he gets upset. Being acknowledged as the number one player in the club, for a few years in a row, has to feel good. That kid, ranked number two, is not making things any easier though.

The second-ranked player, Rahul, likely believes that this could be the year that he pulls off that upset victory. Even if he does not, he knows that time is on his side. There is always next year for another shot at the top spot.

Players ranked within the top eight are hoping to get opponents that they have history with. Getting to the semi-finals of the A/B draw would be perceived as quite an accomplishment.  Upsetting Ahad still remains in the realm of wishful thinking.

Players that fall outside the top-eight, but, within the sixteen have a dilemma. Does it look better to lose in the main A/B draw, or win in A/B consolation?

There is a remote chance that players ranked 16-32 can get upset in the first round. Especially, if some of the lower ranked players end up being better than their rankings suggest. They also are likely to play their first round matches against people at their skill level making it harder to win.

Players ranked 32-48 have a point to prove. In their minds, they have a fair chance of winning the first round and proving the Club Pro wrong. At the very least, they don’t want to go down without a fight. They know that they most likely will end up in the C/D-draw where they will get another chance to prove their prowess.

Typically, players ranked below 48 are in it for the fun. Some of them have a shot at winning the main or consolation match of the D draw. They also get to play against some of the top players at the club who would normally not give them the time of day.

Irrespective of how each player fares in the tournament, the spirit of wanting to do well is undeniable. The complaints about incorrect rankings, match scheduling, and refereeing errors are all part of it.

So, when it comes to club tournaments, how competitive are you?

What’s your ranking?