Tennis can be a demanding sport which requires a unique form of fitness. The game requires short bursts of speed and power by running to and hitting the ball, which can strain joints and ligaments. These particular needs and problems mean that tennis players must train differently than other athletes. Here are some fitness tips for tennis players.
Train your entire body
The sport of tennis leads to a crazy amount of strain on the player’s dominant arm as they swing the racket, as well as the knee and ankle joints. It is important to train each area of the body, including arms, chest, back, legs, and core, to counteract the sport’s potential adverse effects. Just because your right arm is the one swinging the racket doesn’t mean you should ignore the left one and vice versa. Making sure you work out every area of your body is critical in preparing it for the stress your body will endure on the court.
Mimic what will happen on the court
Your workout should prepare you for the next match by imitating court conditions. One of the best examples of this is cardio. It may be tempting to go out and jog miles to prepare yourself, and although this form of cardio can help improve your endurance, it is not conducive to tennis. Tennis uses short bursts of sprinting to reach the ball quickly, so prioritize interval training instead. Interval training involves short periods of rest combined with periods of full effort. However, do not count out jogging to help overall fitness and endurance.
Another condition to prepare for on the court is hitting the ball as hard as possible every single time after you reach it. The best way to prepare is to perform explosive exercises, such as power cleans, snatches, and kettlebell swings. These movements emphasize moving the weight from spot to the next as fast as possible. Advancing in these exercises will help improve how hard you can hit the ball. However, these exercises can also be dangerous of performed incorrectly so make sure your form is perfect before you start adding weight, and performing other types of exercises can help improve overall strength and endurance which are also important.
Don’t train individual muscles
Many workout routines will have people work on isolated muscles, but this will not be as beneficial to tennis players. Tennis players need to train their muscles to move the right way as they run forward, backward, and every other direction in between. Performing compound exercises, which bring in multiple different muscles, will help improve coordination so that your body moves efficiently on its way to the ball.
Remember to rest
This may be the most important on this list. The rest period is when your body recovers and builds all of the muscle from your workout. A proper recovery time will help you reach the best results possible while avoiding injuries from overworking your body. As stated before, tennis can be brutal on ligaments and joints so be sure to give them time to rest in between training sessions.