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Off the Wall: Racquetball 101

Find out why racquetball is one of the fastest growing sports in the UK...

Posted May 10, 2012

RacquetballTired of staring at a muted TV screen while running on the elliptical or pedaling to nowhere on the stationary bike? Same here. Nothing bores like a worn out workout routine. Luckily, reprieve can be found at the racquetball courts. 

“It’s not boring! And that’s exactly why people play,” says professional racquetball coach Fran Davis. “Racquetball is exciting. You can hit the ball over a hundred miles an hour, it’s flying all over and it never goes out of bounds…people love that.”

The appeal of racquetball comes down to two things, says Davis: One, it’s a fast-paced, sprint-style workout that’s constantly changing and engaging, and two, it’s an easy outlet for meeting other people who enjoy an active, healthy lifestyle. You can burn up to 600 calories an hour playing racquetball with its start, sprint, swing, stop and start-again pace. Most private fitness clubs - like LA Fitness, Bally, 24-Hour Fitness, etc. – have courts, and leagues are regularly scheduled.

If competing in a formal league isn’t your thing, you can always opt for a casual pick-up game instead. In either case, you’ll want to get a few lessons to get you started. “It’s an easy game to go out there and bang the ball around and break a sweat, but it’s a little tougher game to master,” says Davis. “If you go out and get bad habits, they’re hard to break.”

Davis calls racquetball “chess at a hundred miles an hour” because it is more calculated than it initially appears. She explains, “There are reasons to do certain things in racquetball, just like chess. There are tactics and strategy. You use certain parts of the wall to throw off your opponents or set up certain shots.”

Davis says, “I’ve never met a person that says, ‘Oh, I hate racquetball.’ Never.” It’s one of the fastest growing sports in the UK, and the reason is obvious: it’s simply a blast - energizing enjoyment the elliptical just can’t provide.

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