Squash

How popular is squash in Britain?

Around a quarter of a million people across the country regularly play squash. Squash is a great social game, with thousands of people regularly meeting through clubs, social squash sessions and internet tournaments and networks. While clubs form a very important part of the sport, about 40% of courts are found in public leisure centres.

Health benefits of squash

Regularly playing squash gives excellent all-round health benefits, particularly for the heart and lungs. Squash can help build strong muscles in the legs and buttocks. The sport requires quick movements and lunges, which improve muscle tone. Moving to and hitting a moving ball also helps strengthen the back and shape the tummy.

What's the aim of the game?

Squash is a racket sport played on an indoor court. The ball is rubber and about the same size as a golf ball. Some squash balls are more bouncy than others, which can affect how difficult the game is.

Each time a player hits the ball, it must hit the front wall of the court before hitting the ground, or the player gives away a point. The other walls of the court can be used to bounce the ball off. The opposing player must return the ball before it bounces twice on the ground. See the England Squash & Racketball website for a full set of squash rules.

Training tips for squash

Squash can be played just for fun as well as to improve your fitness. However, like any sport, it is always good to do other exercise to improve your game, especially if you haven't done any sport for a long time.

Any cardiovascular exercise will help improve how quick you are on court. Walking, running or jogging, cycling and rowing are all good for building up your leg muscles. If you're out of shape, consider starting with racketball, which is slower than squash.

Advice on getting started in squash 

England Squash & Racketball can put you in touch with a local representative who can recommend a place to start. This might be a club, coach or a leisure centre near you.

What equipment do I need?

You need a squash racket, some squash balls and non-marking shoes. You won't be allowed on the court with black rubber soles. Most leisure centres hire out rackets and balls.

Advice on getting into competitive squash

Nearly all clubs and leisure centres with courts run leagues and ladders. You can also join online leagues where people challenge each other and play at different venues.

Page last reviewed: 02/07/2013

Next review due: 02/07/2015

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Media last reviewed: 10/09/2013

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