Down here in the Golden Isles, there is no shortage of great places to play tennis! Today I have some great exercises for you to utilize so you can win a few more matches and improve your rating.
3 keys to success in tennis are footwork, core strength, and grip strength. Here are 7 great exercises to maximize your game.
Foot work is all about getting to the ball so you can execute your shot!
Create a 3 Cone Pyramid, we will focus on quick movements from the baseline to midcourt, and back to baseline. Be sure to pick a focal point and keep your eye on it just like you would a tennis ball. When you reach a cone, stop and get in a tennis ready position. Do not run backwards, turn your hips and move quickly to the back cones to get in a set shot position. Set a timer for 10 seconds and continue to move forward and back in a pyramid shape as quickly as possible. Do 4 total sets.
Toss & Catch is a great partner exercise. Set a small area up with your cones and have your partner toss the ball to you. Move quickly and catch the ball, toss it back, and return to your starting position in a tennis ready stance. You can even make a game out of it and see if your partner can get two bounces in before you get to the ball. Do 15 tosses and switch up positions.
A strong core is vital to any sport. Here are 3 exercises to give you a stronger back and better rotation on your swing.
The traditional sit up and abdominal crunch have us flex at the spine. Since we don’t walk around in a hunched over position I’ve changed up the movement to a Solid Spine Sit Up. This keeps an erect spine through the entire movement. Getting in a traditional sit up position with your feet anchored, keep your head up and your back tight. Lean back as far as you feel comfortable and return to the starting position. Keep your head up through the entire movement, this will automatically keep your back tight. You’ll also feel this in your lower back, that’s okay! It’s working your back too! Begin with 10 repetitions and workout your way up from there.
Using an exercise band anchored to a solid area, we will do Forward/Backhand Twists. Setting up just like we would for a shot, we’ll keep the band tight through the entire movement. Explode as you would with your shot and control and tension as you return to the starting position. Do 10 repetitions and move to the other side to do backhands for another 10 repetitions.
One final movement is the Medicine Ball Lunge. This is a great shoulder, core, and leg movement! Begin with a medicine ball held overhead, step forward with your right foot into a lunge position, and bring the ball across your body parallel with the floor. Drive up with your leg and return to the starting position. You can do 8 repetitions on one side, or alternate right and left for a total of 8 repetitions on each side. Always make sure you step far enough out with a lunge movement to your front leg’s knee does not go past your front toe.
A strong grip on your racket, especially late in a match, can make the difference between winning deuce and dropping a tight set. Here are two great strength exercises to ensure power and grip strength.
Using a hand towel woven around a barbell or into a plate, we’ll perform a Bent Over Row. Bending at the hips and using a bench to stabilize, we grab a hold of the towel, drive our elbow back, and bring our hand into our shoulder. With control, return your arm to the starting position. You can use a moderately heavy weight and perform 8 to 12 repetitions. As you gain strength, increase weight while decreasing repetitions until you can perform 6 to 8 with excellent form. Do 3 to 4 sets on each arm.
A Single Arm Bench Press is a great chest, core, and grip workout. Since you can only use one arm, it forces each arm to work on its own while making your abdomen tighten to stay balanced. Just like the bent over row, begin with 8 to 12 repetitions. As you gain strength increase weight while decreasing the number of repetitions. Maximize this movement with 6 to 8 reps performed in 3 to 4 sets.
These are just a few great exercises you can use today to super charge your tennis game! If you would like to set up a tennis strength and conditioning program, call me at 912-602-5732 and we can get you set up for your exclusively private training session at Live Oak Fitness!