​At-Home Exercises to Improve Wrist & Forearm Strength

M​y favorite at-home exercises for racket sports are wrist and forearm strengthening.  As you do these exercises regularly, you’ll notice shocking improvements in your:

  • Hitting power
  • Forearm and wrist muscle endurance – you’ll be able to hit hard for hours
  • Consistency – an enhanced grip strength will result in less racket bobbles

Wrist and forearm strength are ​VERY important in squash.  They are the main arm muscles that determine how hard you can hit the ball, and for how long (muscle endurance).

​Wrist & Grip Strength

For this, you’ll want to use a “hand grip strengthener”, though you may find these sold under different names.  The photo below shows a basic one that I use.  I recommend finding one that has different resistance settings, so you can get stronger and see your progress. 

hand grip strengthener tool

Hand grip strengtheners target primarily your hand and wrist muscles, which are heavily used in squash.  These simple tools are great to use while you’re sitting watching TV, or even while on public transit to and from work.  After 2-3 weeks of using them for 10-15 minutes per day, you’ll notice significant improvements in your hitting power.

My most improved shots with this exercise are:

  • Hard kill shots
  • Wristy shots, like flicks and quick reaction volleys

​Forearm Strength

A great squash-specific exercise I use to build my forearm strength at home is:

  1. I take an old sweater and tie it to the end of my squash racket.  The further towards the racket head you tie it, the more resistance it will give
  2. I slowly go through the full motions of forehand and backhand, being sure to whip the racket as much as possible with my forearm
  3. I speed up the exercise until my arm is exhausted
squash racket wrapped in sweater

This exercise builds the exact muscles I’ll be using in a squash match, since I’m holding my racket and doing the same forehand and backhand motions.  Be sure not to push yourself too hard with this one, especially if you’re using a really thick, heavy sweater. 

My most improved shots with this exercise are:

  • Forehand and backhand length - easier to hit; power becomes effortless
  • Backhand power on all shots
  • Endurance overall – my forearm and wrist become less tired

​Whole Wrist & Forearm Strength

This 3rd exercise is my secret weapon while at home.  This is what I use when I really want to blast my wrist & forearm muscles, and I won’t be playing an important match for 1-2 days.  This WILL make you sore if you use it for more than 10 minutes or so.

This tool has improved ALL of my shots!

​It's called a “Powerball” or “Gyroball”.  It's a tool I rarely see getting used by squash players, and even in other sports, it's not very common.  It's very important to buy a good brand, so you get a smooth workout and don't injure yourself.  You can find my recommended one here.  (The one sold new is a newer, more improved version of mine, so it looks a bit different)

It gets sold under a few names, and the majority of people use it to improve strength for golf, tennis, and even arm wrestling. But the fact is, the Powerball absolutely blasts your forearm muscles like nothing I’ve ever felt, and squash players use their forearm more than any of the sports previously mentioned.  I’m surprised it’s not used by more players, or advertised in more squash clubs

​The Powerball works by somehow (almost magically) providing counter-resistance as you spin the ball.  The faster you spin it, the more resistance it provides, and the harder it gets.  You’ll feel your wrist and forearm burning after just 30-45 seconds.

I usually use the Powerball short bursts of 2-3 minutes.  I start off slow and build up to as fast as I can, until I can barely hold onto the Powerball any more.  I’ll use it for 3-4 days in a row, trying to increase my time every day, and then give my muscles 1-2 days to rest.  I’ll break this routine if I have an important match coming up, and won’t use the Powerball for at least 1 day before, to assure my muscles are recovered.

ALL of my shots have improved with the Powerball.  Get one ASAP, and tell your squash friends about it!  Unless you want to keep it a secret.