Gyms and Fitness Clubs

Playing Racquetball to Exercise has Many Fitness Benefits

Racquetball is a port that is usually played in grade school, but not revisited by most fitness enthusiasts. However, racquetball can have some very noticeable health benefits and fitness improvements in unrelated sports. One of the key elements of racquetball that can either bring frustration or added enjoyment is the ability to play the racquetball ball off of the ceilings, floor, and sides of the racquetball court. Like any sport that involves a racket, there are some key ares of fitness that will benefit the recreational racquetball player the most.

Using the Right Racquetball Equipment

The typical recreational racquetball game requires several key pieces of racquetball equipment. The wrist is the racquetball racquet (not to be confused with a tennis racquet). The racquet used in racquetball has a shorter length and handle than a tennis racket, with a uniquely shaped racquet head. Whether buying a new or used racquet, look for a racquetball racquet with tight and even stringing. Loose stringing can rob your swings of their power and accuracy.

There are shoes designed specifically for racquetball, but the most important consideration when choosing racquetball shoes is finding a pair that has good traction and will allow for optimal lateral (side to side) and front to back movement. Movements in racquetball are often performed from a resting position and involve sprinting at every angle imaginable, so your racquetball shoes should accommodate those movements and provide ankle support to avoid rolled ankles and other ankle related injuries.

The racquetball itself should be a regulation size and weight racquetball which are usually sold in sealed packs at sports stores. Most packages will guarantee the performance of their racquetball as long as the printed logo is still visible. When a racquetball ball has worn out it will lose its elasticity and will no longer respond to swings of the same power or to rebounding off of a wall with the same force.

Optional equipment includes a racquetball glove to increase the grip of the hand holding the racquet when your hands sweat. If you wear glasses (or just prefer safety precautions) you can purchase sport goggles meant for sports such as racquetball to prevent eye injuries from impacts with a racquetball ball or a swinging racquet. Most optometrists provide services for putting prescription lenses in your goggles. Some players also prefer to wear sweat bands on their forehead and/or arms to absorb sweat and keep hands and eyes from becoming sweaty and interfering with performance.

Increasing Your Performance During Racquetball Games

Because racquetball requires more explosive speed and power than it does increased endurance and stamina, your best workout and fitness routines should include exercises and drill that focus on building power and speed with the muscles involved in a racquetball game. Remember that to reduce injury you want your bodies power and strength to be as even as possible on both sides, so even though only one arm will swing the racquet, both arms are trained in a similar fashion.

For your arms, focus on exercises that involve the shoulders, triceps and forearms. The actual swinging of a racquetball racquet involves a compound movement that incorporates the arm, trunk and back muscles, so try and perform workout exercises that also involve compound movements. Using cable machines is usually a great way to perform compound movements in a safe yet effective manner. Most gyms and fitness trainers can show you how to effectively use a cable machine to perform weighted swings and arm extensions. Keep your repetitions high and the weight low to avoid losing the speed of your swing while still increasing power.

For increased forearm strength you can perform dumbbell curls. Find a workout bench where you can sit on the edge and comfortably prop your forearm on your thigh. You want you wrist to hang in the air but keep it as close to your knee as possible. With either an underhand or overhand grip, grasp a dumbbell and curl your hand upwards, focusing on using your forearm muscles. An overhand grip will focus on the muscles on the top of your arm, whereas the underhand grip will focus on the muscles beneath your arm.

Exercises for legs should include all major muscle groups, but try and focus on exercises that mimic the movements during racquetball. Interval training on a treadmill can be great for working on speed and improving your base fitness level, but try some weighted lunges in both forward, backward and side to side movements. You can also perform shuttle runs in an open field by marking distances that are similar to the length and width of a racquetball court and then sprinting back and forth at angles and straight on.