Exercises for explosive movement?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Can't think of a name, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. Can't think of a name

    Can't think of a name Rookie

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    Anyone know any good exercises/drills to improve the explosiveness of those first few steps after the split step? Its not really like sprinting where you have to maintain a high speed for a duration.. but more like how that sprinter gets up to speed as quickly as possible. Suggestions?
     
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  2. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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  3. Can't think of a name

    Can't think of a name Rookie

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  4. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Note: You might try the Health & Fitness forum for more on this subject.

    How old are you? If you are in your early/mid teens, you do not want to overdo the plyometrics. I have heard this from several expert sources on the subject. Skipping/jumping rope a lot is fine tho'. It is considered a low-level plyometric exercise that can provide superb benefits for tennis footwork and conditioning.

    The primary reason that elite sprinters move so fast in a short time is that they have a high % of fast-twitch muscles in their legs. For the most part, it is something that you are born with. OTOH, marathon runners have a high % of slow-twitch (endurance) muscles. The best you can do it to work with what you've got. Plyometric exercises primarily works the fast-twitch muscle fibers.

    Another way that sprinters get a very quick start is by being off-balance for their first few steps -- the are actually "falling" for their initial steps. You can do the same with your tennis footwork. Drop steps, gravity steps, and mogul moves are some of these off-balance footwork patterns.

    Another way to get your self a bit off-balance for a quicker start is to modify your split-step timing slightly. If you land your split-step as your opponent makes contact, you will need to land on the balls of both feet. However, if you are just a split-second later with your split-step, you are more likely to land on one foot. This can possibly result in a slightly quicker start. Make certain, however, that you do not execute the split-step too late -- it can cost you precious time getting too the ball.
     
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  5. junbumkim

    junbumkim Professional

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    Short sprints, plyometric exercises, squats, kangaroom jumps, etc.
    When you sprint or do suicides, try to time yourself and focus on that first step.

    People are born with different proprotions of fast and slow twitch muscles, but you can definitely improve with exercise and training.
     
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  6. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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  7. Can't think of a name

    Can't think of a name Rookie

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    thanks for the info
     
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  8. Murrayalmagrofan

    Murrayalmagrofan Semi-Pro

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    Great info. Thanks!
     
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  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Not sure about pulling weights.
    For sure, I"ve seen some top 5.0's start their stopwatch at center baseline, move to right baseline, back to center baseline, then up to center service line, and back to center baseline and stop the watch.
    Split step at every stop, racket in hand to simulate tennis.
    Quickness might be inherited, but you can greatly improve your footwork for starting and getting there and back.
     
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  10. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Sprinting will help, but as you've correctly noted, you don't need to go very far to get the benefits for tennis. Just go from a slip-step into a full out sprint for 10 yards. I'd advise practicing this going in different directions.

    Jez Green had Murray lifting weights, throwing medicine balls combined with footwork, and even running 100 meter intervals for speed endurance. Some of this training is available on the tube.
     
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  11. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    posturally speaking, you wanna be able to tilt your pelvis backward and lean the upperbody forward when accelerating forward. this is good for shuffling sideway as well. to get good at this the pelvis should be able to move well so stretch pelvis a lot. good pelvis control=good balance=move fast.
     
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  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    In other words, do you start drills facing the net, but moving mostly sideways along the baseline. You want to simulute tennis related movements, not track movements.
     
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  13. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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  14. Dimcorner

    Dimcorner Professional

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  15. Kam2010

    Kam2010 Rookie

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    Watched the last video and does it actually help?

    I just think reactions/explosiveness comes naturally like reflexes..

    The quicker your aware of the situation or whatever quicker your body will adapt and move to it//
    But I don't know to be honest..
     
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  16. sansaephanh

    sansaephanh Professional

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    You obviously havent seen me play ;-)
     
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  17. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Workouts need a specific purpose.
    Short shuttle runs, usually around 4 yards, tapping the goal line with your feet, holding a tennis racket, start out facing NEITHER goal line.
    You don't need quick feet. You need quick MOVEMENT to the side and back.
     
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  18. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    tennis specific movement would be move fast, swing, recover, move fast again to next random position, swing, etc. the pelvis balance should be different between swinging and moving quickly (accelerate or deccelerate). this is not track stuff but basic coordination stuff. highly coordinated player will do this without knowing. by increasing the range of motion of pelvis and control of its balance anyone can improve coordination. but be warned stretching muscles around pelvis is an art on its own. not easy but I'm just saying that is the proper way to really improve quickness.
     
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  19. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    If you're focusing on being in position for more balls, there are some non-physical things that can make you seem a lot quicker as well.

    Stuff like court positioning, playing the right shot to give yourself time to get in position, anticipation, noticing shot patterns, etc.
     
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  20. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    Wow those are awesome exercises.
     
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  21. 10s talk

    10s talk Semi-Pro

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    racket race

    it is a kids game/drill where partners stand the racket straight up (vertical) with the handle up. the partners stand 4 or 5 ft apart, and let go of the racket, each person tries to catch the racket before it hits the ground.

    It can be done at longer distances, and it requires several explosive steps to catch the racket.
     
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  22. Dimcorner

    Dimcorner Professional

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    I think these types of drills make you very light on your feet and help you be able to change directions very fast. I had to couple this with some distance running (about 5k or so) and some interval sprints when I was training to build up recovery and stamina.
     
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  23. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Just a word of caution.

    Plyometrics place a lot of strain on the body.

    If you have the time, building a base of strength can better prepare your tendons, ligaments and joints to withstand the jarrring effects of plyometrics plus playing tennis:

    "Unlike many sports, tennis demands several different types of strength... in particular muscular endurance and explosive power. And before these can be developed to optimal levels, the athlete needs to first develop good foundational and maximum strength.

    If you try and train for every type of strength at once you'll end up with very little of anything - except fatigue!

    So the best method is to focus on one type of strength in each separate phase. That way, you can easily maintain your gains during the competitive season.

    Phase 1 - Foundational Tennis Strength Training
    The objective of this 6 week phase is to build a solid base on which you build more intense, more tennis-specific fitness later.
    Like all competitive sports, tennis places uneven demands on the body. You swing with one arm and one side of the body. Certain muscle groups are overworked while others are neglected.

    Infamous over-use injuries like tennis elbow and damage to the rotator cuff muscles are less likely to occur in a balanced physique.

    So our goal during this first phase is to prepare the ligaments, tendons and connective tissue for more strenuous activity to follow.

    Phase 2 - Maximum Tennis Strength Training
    Now that you have a solid and well-rounded base of strength, you can move on to more intense sessions.

    The objective of this 6 week phase is to build high levels of maximum strength. What exactly is maximum strength?

    It's simply the amount of force you can apply in one single, voluntary contraction.

    Why is maximum strength important to tennis players?

    On it's own it isn't. But power, which can be a defining factor in the game, is a product of speed AND strength.

    The more maximum strength you have the greater your potential for power.


    Phase 3 - Convert to Power & Strength Endurance

    On its own maximal strength is not much use for the tennis player. Unless you can apply a high proportion of that strength quickly (explosive power) and over a prolonged period (muscular endurance), you won't see a great deal of improvement on the court.

    It's during this phase that more and more tennis-specific exercises are incorporated... exercises that mirror the movement patterns of the game as closely as possible.

    To develop explosive power, it's crucial that exercises are performed explosively. As a result, the resistances must be reduced. Lifting heavy weights near one rep max, won't allow the neural adaptations to take place that occur with quick, dynamic movement."
    - http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/tennis-strength-training.html

    You may want to check out the above link for a specific work out program that will take you through the preliminary phases up to a plyometric program.
     
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  24. Connors Fan

    Connors Fan Rookie

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    Burpees. Just do them, throw in some pull ups and call it a day. You will hit every muscle, can do it in your living room. Buy an iron gym (door frame pull bar) and you can hit all the muscle groups. The speed you are talking about is from strength, and bupees will give that too you.
     
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  25. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    Followup: I've been doing some of these exercise for about 2-1/2 weeks now (around 4 ti/wk) and there are really improving my speed and footwork. I've also added a couple exercises where I'm jumping up onto a platform and back down, too. But overall these have added noticeably to my foot speed and quickness.

    Thanks Dimcorner.
     
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  26. ShoeShiner

    ShoeShiner Rookie

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