With Wimbledon starting in just over a week (on 3rd July) what better time could there be to pick up your racket and get on the court! Whilst being great for your cardiovascular health and lots of fun, tennis can be very stressful on the body. In Top 5 Tennis Exercises, we look at the most important exercises for great tennis conditioning that will help you step up your performance, keep injury free and allow you to join the Murray Madness!
1. Plyometric lunges
As a tennis player you will find yourself performing various forms of the lunge throughout a match. Strengthening your muscular endurance through your hips and thighs will improve your dynamic balance and coordination when striking the ball. The plyometric lunge involves a high level of intensity and will help to increase your explosive power to improve your efficiency on court. Ensure to keep your back straight, shoulders back and that your front knee doesn’t extend in front of your toes to avoid excessive loading.
The shoulder is one of the most used (and easily injured) areas of the body for tennis players. When supported by the power of solid hip rotation, the arm and shoulders can relax and reduce stress on the upper body. It also increases power and accuracy by lengthening the hitting zone as the entire body drives through the ball. The woodchopper is great for upper body strength and increasing the range of motion for the shoulders and hips. Aim to keep a tight core and allow the back foot to pivot to increase hip rotation and allow the knee to turn.
3. Mountain climbers
In tennis (and many other sports) it is very rare for you to reach your top speed, so to get to that drop shot or wide ball, acceleration is essential. Effective acceleration requires quick reactions, power and efficient footwork. Because of the explosive nature of mountain climbers, this exercise helps develop power in your lower body and helps improve your speed and quickness around the court.
4. BOSU (Both Sides Utilised) Medicine ball squats
Effective balance involves improving vision, body position and centre of gravity, allowing for both improvements in performance and makes tennis more fun! This exercise has multiple benefits as the strength and endurance of specific hip, trunk and thigh muscles play an important role in body balance. Check that your feet are shoulder width apart and that your lower back and core are kept tight throughout.
5. Overhead slams
This exercise is great for developing explosiveness in the upper body and particularly useful for improving the speed of your serve. The emphasis should be on the speed of the action and control of the body. Lean forward with the upper body, bring your arms forcefully in front of your body and focus on quick explosive repetitions to increase plyometric power production.
By incorporating these exercises into your fitness routine, not only will you become stronger on the tennis court but you will relieve stress on your body, allowing you to enjoy everything this great sport has to offer for years to come! Love tennis? Tell us about it below or @ KeepfitKingdom !