Tennis is a complex sport and uses a lot of muscle groups that other sports do not particularly rely on.
Therefore it is important to train properly to play the game and to follow the correct warm up and warm down procedures.
Below are some top tips to help you prepare for your matches and to condition your body to be able to play. They are all based on improving your serve.
Take an 8lb medicine ball, bring it over your head with both hands and drive the ball down, enough to bring your feet off the ground. This is a fantastic exercise for explosive power through the upper body.
Medicine Ball Perpendicular Throws
Serving depends largely on a twisting force, this exercise works that movement and generates the required power. A ball filled with sand is most favourable as this will give the required weight. Start with 2-3 sets of 8 reps.
This exercise is to develop your upward and forward drive, serving requires hip strength and balance. Single-Leg squats improve balance, strength and stability through your torso. Aim for three sets of 8-10 reps.
Ys, Ts, Ws and Ls
While the majority of the power for your serve comes from the lower body and torso, your shoulder needs to be strong and stable. Done standing or lying over a physioball, these four exercises develop both strength and functional stability, helping to prevent injuries that would come from overcompensation.
Start with three sets of 5 second static holds(squeeze your shoulder blades at the top of the move and hold for a count of five) and progress by increasing the time, adding reps, and using light weights.
Single Leg Balance with External Rotation
This exercise is a great way to improve your overall body balance which will help your movement around the court.
Balance on one foot while standing on a foam pad. With the opposite arm, perform shoulder external rotation in the 90 / 90 position with a piece of tubing. Focus on stabilising the moving shoulder with the scapular muscles and keep the abdominals engaged. Perform three sets of 15 reps.
Bench Split Squats
Place one foot on top of a bench and the other foot forward in the split squat position. With body weight or dumbbells in hand squat down on one leg. The weight should be in the heel, shoulders back, chest up, and abdominals engaged. The key to this lift is to maintain perfect posture through the spine throughout the movement. Perform three sets of 10 reps each leg.
Remember that it is of the utmost importance that a sufficient warm up is done before performing these exercises.
A gentle jog increasing pace slightly for ten minutes is a good way to start. When you stretch muscles do not bounce on your joints.or do rapid muscle jerks.
Once your body is warm and the muscles are sufficiently stretched then you may begin your workout.
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