With Wimbledon in full swing, the grand slam provides the perfect motivation for people to put on their tennis clothing, wear the John McEnroe style headband and take to the court in order to have fun and get fit.
Playing tennis is one of the best high intensity sports workouts as you will constantly be on the moving, changing levels from high to low, burning plenty of calories and getting in much better shape.
Although playing against an opponent is the best way to enjoy playing tennis and getting better shape, there are a number of exercises you can do on your own to improve not only your fitness, but your overall tennis game.
Place a miniband around your ankles and hold a therma-band in your hands. Spread your legs so that they are slightly apart. Leave your elbows at the sides and rotate your arms. Hold this position and move your feet a few steps in different directions. This will help improve both your upper body and lower body strength, helping you on the court.
Move towards a bench and stand in front of it so that you are facing away from the bench. Place one of your feet on to the bench behind you so that you are standing on one leg with the other one at a 90 degree angle. Bend your standing leg so that you are in the squatting position. Hold this for a second and then move back up. Repeat this process a 10 times and then switch legs. This will help greatly improve the strength in your thighs, helping movement and the power of your shots.
For an added workout you could hold dumbbells when doing the squats. They don’t have to be too heavy as the repetition of the squats will help improve the muscles in your biceps, shoulders and lower back.
Whether it’s sitting down on standing up, cable rows are something which a lot of people do when working out at the gym. Although standard cable rows will help improve upper body strength that will benefit you on the tennis court, you could alter the exercise slightly to make it more focussed on the benefits you need to play tennis. Rather than standing directly in front or behind the cables and pulling them back, stand side-ways on to the cables. Grab the cable with your hand that is furthest away from the cable. So if your left hand is closest to the cable, grab it with your right. Pull the cable across your body with your hand. Repeat this a number of times and then switch to the other hand. This will help greatly improve your rotator cuff strength, helping the power of your serve and smash.
Medicine Ball Slams
Improving your core is vitally important not only to benefit all aspects of your tennis game, but to greatly improve your balance, helping you move around the court and get to shots easier. Get a non-bouncing medicine ball and hold it above your head. Stand to the right and then rotate 90 degrees and slam the ball down on to the ground as hard as you can. As you slam the ball you want to bend your knees for a great impact. Then simply pick the ball up and repeat the process 10 times on each side.
Before attempting this exercise make sure you have properly stretched and warmed up your muscles. Attempting this exercise without first working out could cause you to damage a muscle as the movement is a rather violent action.
It may sound pretty simple, but running is something that is really going to benefit every single aspect of your game and obviously greatly improve your cardio levels. When you exercise, your heart beats faster, pumping more blood and oxygen around your body at a quicker rate, increasing the performance and definition of your muscles. Running allows you to get in better shape, without greatly increasing your muscle density, which may impact your ability to move around the tennis court efficiently.
If you have just started playing tennis, you don’t want to go out and run a few mile as it is going to tire you out, build up a lot of lactic acid and make it difficult for you to actually be able to play tennis. When you first start playing tennis you should go for runs but not too far, burning some calories and using it as a warm up for a game of tennis. Then as your fitness levels increase, you can go for longer runs as your physique will have improved.
This article was written by John Johnston. John is part of the marketing team for Workwear Express, one of the leading suppliers of workwear and leisurewear.