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Laura Massaro takes on Raneem El Welily in the final of the PSA Dubai World Series Finals

Pre-season With SquashXtra: Glute Weakness, Getting to the bottom of it

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With the new squash season approaching, we’ve delved into the SquashXtra archives to bring you some of the best advice and tips to have graced our pages in the past few years to help you get into prime condition ahead of the new campaign.

From technique tips to injury advice, SquashXtra has you covered.

Lie face down on the floor, supporting your head. Keep your legs straight and lift one off the floor. If the glutes are good, you should be able to keep your leg straight without dipping at the lower back, or bending the knee. A training partner can further test you by placing one hand over your hamstrings and glutes, and another at the muscles to the side of your lower spine. On lifting the leg, the glutes should re/ work first. However, it is more common when glutes are weak for the back muscles or the hamstrings to kick in first.

Bridge (Double Leg)
> Lying on your back, knees bent and feet hip-width apart on the floor
> Engage the core muscles by pressing the lower back into the floor and tighten abs
> Roll the pelvis and then the lower back off the floor into a bridge position
> Push your hips up as high as is comfortable (no strain at the back) and hold for up to 30 seconds
> Slowly lower back down (back first, bottom last)
> Repeat up to 15 times as one set.

Bridge (Single Leg)
> Complete steps 1-4 as per the first bridge exercise
> Extend one leg at the knee, making sure the hips do not tilt or dip. Hold for up to 30 seconds
> Slowly lower and repeat as per the first bridge exercise

Squat
> Stand up tall with feet a little wider than hip width apart and toes turn out slightly.
> Engage core muscles by tucking hips under slightly, keep the back straight and shoulders back
> Slowly lower your body into a squat position by focusing on pushing your bottom out and down (the knees will naturally bend)
> Keep the weight in the heels
> Add a hold on for up to 30 seconds if you wish
> On the way back up – push hips forwards and squeeze buttocks at the top
> Repeat up to 15 times per set
> You can add graded weight to progress, i.e. dumbbells
> Knees should not fall over toes
> Don’t over-arch the back forwards or back

Lunge
> Stand up tall with feet together, engage core muscles
> Step forwards into a lunge with one foot
> Front foot should be at with the knee above ankle – back straight and shoulders back
> Keep the weight in your front heel and lower the back knee into as deep a lunge as able – don’t let your back knee touch the floor
> Hold the lunge position for up to 30 seconds if you wish
> Push back up with the front leg to bring you back to standing
> Repeat on the other side, up to 15 times per set
> You can add graded weight to progress, i.e. dumbbells, or vary the lunge length

'Glute Weakness: Getting to the Bottom of it' as featured in SquashXtra Issue 06

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