Strength Training for Tennis Players: 5 Ways to Build Strength

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Strength Training for Tennis Players: 5 Ways to Build Strength | Strength training has a direct effect on a tennis player’s game. Strengthening your upper body, core, hamstrings, and hips can improve your ground strokes, serves, and coordination. Strength training also boosts your power, helps with quick direction changes, and reduces your risk of injuries like tennis elbow. Click for 5 of the best exercises for tennis players for a well-rounded workout routine!

Tennis is an intense sport that requires strength, coordination, and endurance. While cardio and power workouts are important, strength training is crucial for tennis players. Not only does it improve your muscle strength, strength training also boosts your power, helps with quick direction changes, and reduces your risk of injury. It’s an essential part of a well-rounded workout. If you’re wondering what all the hype is over strength training for tennis players, we have you covered.

Strength Training for Tennis Players

What Is Strength Training?

Strength training, also known as weight or resistance training, is when you use your bodyweight or tools, such as dumbbells or resistance bands to build muscle mass, strength, and endurance. It’s a key part of an overall fitness routine, and is especially important for tennis players.

Doing resistance training regularly strengthens your bones, builds lean muscle and decreases body fat, and helps with weight management. You’ll notice improved physical performance, movement control, cognitive abilities, and self esteem. Resistance training also improves your muscle flexibility, joint mobility, and balance. It reduces your risk of injury and falls, and improves heart health and your overall health.

Why Is It Important for Tennis Players?

Building overall body strength is crucial for tennis players. Strength training has a direct effect on a tennis player’s game. First of all, it improves your strength, which is essential for a good player. The upper body, core, hamstrings, and hips are all involved in ground strokes and serves. And you can improve your power and coordination by performing exercises that use the same motions of a stroke/serve. For example, an overhead medicine ball slam uses the same motion of the serve and overhead smash.

Strength training also helps you with the quick changes of direction that happen during tennis matches. It also improves your strength and power, both of which are necessary in tennis. A powerful serve is one of the best skills you can have. To hit the ball harder, strengthening the muscles of the core is essential, which you can do with strength training.

Strength training also helps to prevent injury. Tennis is demanding, unilateral, and repetitive, which can increase injury risk if the body isn’t strengthened in the right way. While focus is often placed on the biceps and triceps, make sure to include muscles of the rotator cuff and mid-back, as well as the forearms in your training. And since ankle sprains are so common in tennis, it’s crucial to do exercises that strengthen the ankle.

How Often Should You Strength Train?

It’s generally recommended to aim for two to three days per week of strength training. It’s not necessary to lift weights everyday, in fact, if you do, you increase your risk of overuse injuries. You may be able to do bodyweight exercises like yoga or Pilates daily (they’re great for building a base of strength and proper form). But if you want to challenge your muscles so they grow stronger, lifting weights is your best bet.

5 Best Strength Training Exercises for Tennis Players

1. Medicine Ball Slam
This is one of the most effective strength training exercises for tennis players as it engages the core muscles, enhances power, and mimics the motion of the serve and overhead smash. It also strengthens the rotator cuff, which reduces the risk of tennis elbow.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the med ball at chest level. With power, raise the ball overhead, fully extending your arms and engaging your core. Forcefully slam the ball to the ground in front of you, using your entire body. Catch the rebound and repeat the exercise for one minute. As you get more advanced, you can increase the amount of slams you do per minute.

2. Goblet Squats
Goblet squats are an incredible lower body exercise. In addition to targeting the glutes, quads, and hamstrings, they also incorporate the core. This is a well-rounded exercise that specifically benefits tennis players.

Hold a medicine ball or dumbbell close to your chest with both hands, standing with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. As you start the squat, bend your knees and push your hips back, keeping your chest up and core engaged. Lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground, maintaining a neutral spine. Drive through your heels to return to starting position. Do three to five sets of five to 20 reps.

3. Single Arm Rows
Strengthening the upper back and posterior shoulder is crucial for tennis players due to the large amount of stress placed on this area due to racket follow-through. Isolating one side of the body allows for more targeted stimulation of a particular muscle, and will engage your core more than a bilateral row. And since tennis really focuses on one side of your body, you can allow your weaker side to catch up in strength and symmetry.

You can use a workout bench for this exercise or simply do it from a lunge position. Hold the dumbbell in one hand and tighten your core by squeezing your belly button in towards your spine. Lean slightly forward, resting your free hand on the bench or your bent thigh. Lower the dumbbell toward the floor until you have full extension at the elbow. Begin lifting the weight toward your torso by driving your elbow to the ceiling. Squeeze your shoulder blade in toward the centre of your back. Be sure to maintain good posture in your spine, shoulders, and hips. Repeat on the other side.

4. Resistance Band Monster Walk
This exercise will strengthen your muscles, as well as engage your core, glutes, quads, and hamstrings.

Place a resistance band just above your knees. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and squat down, staying low the entire time. Step out in front of you as far as you can with your right foot, and follow with your left foot to get back to starting position, continue repeating this. You can also combine this with stepping backward. Remember to never come up from the squat, keep your core engaged, and keep your head level the entire time.

5. Lunge with a Twist
This exercise improves lower body strength and endurance. The rotation is essential for improving rapid lateral movements. It also engages the core, which leads to better balance and stability.

Hold a medicine ball or dumbbell in front of your chest, standing with your feet hip-width apart. Take a step forward with your right leg, rotating your torso to the right and keeping the weight at the centre of your chest. Lower your body into a lunge position until your front knee is bent at a 90 degree angle. Push through your front heel to return to starting position and repeat on the opposite side.

If you’re a tennis player, incorporate these strength training moves into your workouts to build strength and coordination.

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Strength Training for Tennis Players: 5 Ways to Build Strength | Strength training has a direct effect on a tennis player’s game. Strengthening your upper body, core, hamstrings, and hips can improve your ground strokes, serves, and coordination. Strength training also boosts your power, helps with quick direction changes, and reduces your risk of injuries like tennis elbow. Click for 5 of the best exercises for tennis players for a well-rounded workout routine!

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