Making a Big Racket

When most folks think of hardcore fitness freaks, images of intense triathletes in the zone or overly tanned shirtless gym rats spending hours on a Stairmaster probably spring to mind. Squash players also tend to get pretty passionate during their workouts, as evidenced by the way they dive around during fast-paced, hard-hitting action that’s a hallmark of the game.

A British-born variant of racquetball that involves swatting rubber balls around an enclosed court, squash burns up to 1,000 calories an hour, which is why you’re unlikely to see any flabby athletes participating in the Tequila Don Ramon Southwest Open Squash Tournament.

Hosted by the Lifetime Fitness location in Tempe, the weekend-long squash battle will involve 20 professional female squash stars from around the globe -- highlighted by Latasha Kahn, the top-ranked U.S. player in the world -- competing in a single-elimination tournament for $12,000 in cash and prizes. Meanwhile, more than 100 different men and women amateurs will also participate, albeit for bragging rights only. All of which sounds like a smashing good time.

Thu., Sept. 15, 2011