Competitive tennis matches feature short bursts of intense energy and demand top physical condition. Players can benefit from general exercise to improve aerobic capacity and strength training for the upper body, lower body and core. Because the sudden starts and stops of tennis can cause injuries, it is important to strengthen joints such as knees and ankles. Performing five sets of 10 lunges per side strengthens knee and ankle joints, and helps limit lower body injuries. Medicine ball exercises improve the explosive strength and twisting motion needed for a powerful server. Stand perpendicular to a wall one to two feet away, hold the ball in both hands, twist your body to one side and throw the ball as hard as you can at the wall, squeezing your core muscles as you thrust your arms forward. Catch the ball as it bounces back, and repeat the process. Or, raise the ball above your head and slam it into the ground directly beneath you. By generating speed and power when performing these exercises, your throws will get faster and your bounces will be longer and faster, too.
Weight training exercises performed two days a week for six to eight weeks-with at least a day or two between sessions-can strengthen the upper back and shoulders. These include:
- dumbell squats
- bench presses
- standing machine calf raises
- barbell upright rows
- weighted crunches
To be sure your body is in peak competitive condition, schedule an appointment with us. We will work with you to design a program that will maximize your functional tennis strength, beef up your serve, and help you attain and maintain your “A” game.