Tennis is a unique sport in that it encompasses many different facets of training. Strength, power, endurance, speed, flexibility, and balance are aspects that I address when I am writing up a program and training a player. I like to have variety in the workouts to keep the athlete’s mind fresh for the training and to train the whole body.
In order to perform at the player’s potential, they need to be light and strong. The more weight that you are carrying on the court, the more you have to work. Swinging a racket and sprinting to balls will raise your heart rate. If lactic acid builds up, the player will become slower and the tennis strokes will lose control.
Because many matches are played in the summer time, low body fat and a good respiratory system are important. Very often, players will have to play two matches in one day or a match a day for a whole week. These factors make recovery important and VO2 max needs to increase.
The most important shot in tennis is the serve and like baseball, a tennis player has to have good shoulder mobility and a strong rotator cuff. If a player can increase his upper body strength in the “pushing” and “pulling” departments, the groundstrokes can become more powerful and volleys will have more control.
Lastly, tennis puts very high stress on the joints of the body. The pounding, jumping, twisting, and bending on hard courts can take it’s toll on the player and the training needs to be designed to respect this. I love using the bike, treadmill, swiss balls, medicine balls, and dumbbells to train the player in very safe, simple, and effective manner.
Week 1, Day 1
Upright Stationary Bike – Base Ride: 20 min
Heart Rate: 40% of Max
- Elevated Pushup: 15 x 2
- Swiss Ball Med Ball Twist: 10 x 2
- Dumbbell Overhead Press: 12 x 2
- Medicine Ball Throw Kneeling Rotational Wall: 14 x 2
- Overhead External Rotation Band: 20 x 2