Thursday, August 13, 2015

Basic Exercises for Tennis Players, By Peter Ambrose

During the weekend, I love to unwind by playing tennis at the local country club. While it is certainly a recreational activity, nobody likes to lose on the court. In order to improve your game and stay in peak condition, it is necessary to participate in some type of sport-specific workout or training program. Tennis requires a combination of speed, agility, and power, which means that a variety of training techniques should be employed. Because players exert bursts of energy over a prolonged period during the match, both aerobic and anaerobic activities must be integrated into a training regimen. Below are some of the best ways to achieve this combined approach:

Plyometrics: Through a combination of speed and resistance, plyometric training is ideal for developing the force needed for serves and forehands. Common examples of plyometric exercises include box jumps, bounding, and hopping. Upper body training can be accomplished by throwing medicine balls in different ways, such as slamming the ball into the ground, throwing it out from your chest, or heaving it straight up in the air.

Interval Training: Ideal for building endurance strength while preparing for the intensity of individual points, the athlete pushes to an anaerobic level for a short period, and then recovers while remaining in an aerobic state, repeating the cycle. The exercise develops cardiovascular capacity while maintaining Type II, or fast twitch, muscle fibers. Sprinting the straights and jogging the curves on a typical track is a common example of interval training.

Agility Training: Lateral quickness is essential for tennis success. One of the best ways to develop this type of speed is by training with the agility ladder, which is a tool that looks like a single row of hopscotch squares. Athletes go through the ladder with a variety of foot sequences to improve coordination and quickness. Running through various cone drills also vastly improves footwork.

About the Author: Off the court, Peter Ambrose serves the Northern Virginia Complex of Merrill Lynch as a Director.