How many times have you introduced an athletic friend to squash and had them running enthusiastically all over the court, only to have them call you later that day or the next and say, “Man, my ass hurts!” Or maybe you yourself have been away from the game, either from injury, overwork or temporary disinterest, only to return and be reminded of the singular importance of the butt in the game of squash.
‘Squash butt’ is a real pain in the ass for those afflicted, but the discomfort will fade away. The only real cure is to go out there and play more and build up those butt muscles.
So what are the muscles in the butt? Mostly, they are the gluteus muscles, of which there are three: minimus (provides hip stability and raising and rotating the leg), medius (allows for raising the leg upwards or to the side, as well as hip abduction), and maximus (the largest, outermost of the muscles, which allows leg rotation and raising the thigh upwards and to the side). In squash, when you explosively accelerate, quickly decelerate, or kick your leg off to the side to cut off a passing shot you are employing your ‘glutes.’ Do that a thousand times in a match and voila, squash butt. Or not, depending upon how fit your glutes are.
My feeling is that regular squash players don’t need to exercise their glutes specifically because if they are playing regularly, that is exercise enough. You will by definition have well-exercised glutes. If you don’t play regularly, or are trying to get back into squash shape following injury, the best gluteus exercise I know is squats. And lots of ‘em. You can try double and single-leg squats or plyometric squats where you jump from a squat position, among several variations. But squat you must.
Some people may wonder if all that glute action will give them a big butt. The answer is no. You will not have a flabby butt. You will not have a gelatinous butt. You will have a butt that is defined, shapely and muscular. No buts about it….