Hit The Gym To Up Your Game!
Of course, to get better at a sport, practice is best. Sometimes, however, it might be helpful to your game if you work out particular muscles. Creating a workout routine outside of the court could be almost as useful to your game as playing the sport itself. We only say “almost” because working out at the gym cannot replace the valuable time you get honing your tennis skills while you are on court. Working out at the gym, however, does provide many benefits to those who are playing competitively, or just want to get better. It will help to: maintain muscle balance in your body, create more power in your shots, and decrease your chance for injuries.
Should you decide to create a gym routine, we have a few tips:
- When planning, select one exercise for each muscle group in your routine
- Of these, select 1-2 multi joint movements such as shoulders, and legs
- Be sure to plan with a variety of different exercises for each muscle group throughout the week. If the plan is too bland and predictable, your body will become used to it and you will have little or very slow progress.
- Start with the larger muscles before you start working out the smaller ones
- Start with 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps and work your way up to 5 sets but do not go above
- First start with your own body weight before adding weights
- Once you get into weights, start with something that fatigues your muscles after 12-15 reps
- If you feel fatigued after 8 reps, reduce the amount of weights
- If you feel 15 reps is easy, add more weights
- Of course, add more weight as your strength increases
- Add more weight as your strength level increases
- When you first start out, take as much time as you need to rest between sets, as you get stronger though, you should not rest for more than 90 seconds
- Work out 3 days a week with a day of rest between each session
To help you plan your work out, we’ve gathered up exercises from several sources and categorized them. For demonstrations, please reference the indicated web links below.
Knee to Hug Forward Lunge
Hip Dynamic Flex
Lunge and Twist
Knee to Chest Walk
Straight Leg March
Upper and lower back muscles:
Cable Pull Downs
Dumbbell Bent-Over Rows
Back Extension Machine
Front and Lateral Raises
Shoulder Presses with a Barbell or Dumbbells
External Shoulder Rotation
90-90 External Shoulder Rotation
Ys, Ts, Ws, and Ls (demonstrated by http://www.coreperformance.com/daily/play-better/7-exercises-every-tennis-player-should-know.html )
Prone Horizontal Abduction
Overhead Slams (with the medicine ball)
Medicine Ball Perpendicular Throws
Dumbbell wrist flexions
Lower Body (Legs and Hips):
Five-way Dumbbell Lunge
Barbell Straight-leg Deadlifts
Standing Calf Raises
Some of these exercises are for a combination of large muscles. Mardy Fish demonstrates the following exercises for you in http://www.mensfitness.com/training/pro-tips/tennis-workout .
Lateral band walks with External Rotation (legs and rotator cuff)
Single Leg Balance with External Rotation (core, legs, arm and shoulder)
Bench Split Squats (legs)
Rotational Cable Rows (core, chest, arms)
Split Stance to Curl-to-Press (legs, arms, shoulders)
1 Arm 1 Leg Cable Row (leg, core, arm, shoulder)
Please be sure to use proper technique (meaning do not get lazy or take short-cuts whilst doing these exercises), and check with your health care provider before beginning if you’ve been away from fitness programs for a while or if you have any chronic health issues.
For demonstrations and more information, please feel free to visit these articles: