exercises for gym to help tennis?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by SeekHeart, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. SeekHeart

    SeekHeart Rookie

    Mar 30, 2008
    I was wondering what are some good ways to workout in the gym to be better fit for tennis. Mainly I want to get more waist and shoulder rotation as well as developing a faster wrist action on serves.

    Thanks for the input ^.^
  2. TheIrrefutableOne

    TheIrrefutableOne New User

    Jan 14, 2011
    wrist curls

    lateral raises.... vital if you hit a spin serve
  3. SeekHeart

    SeekHeart Rookie

    Mar 30, 2008
    how do you do each? example with pics please :)
  4. RyKnocks

    RyKnocks Semi-Pro

    Jul 11, 2011
    Research the "Throwers Ten" exercises.
  5. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

    Oct 4, 2004
    To me, it is all about getting your legs conditioned to take lots of little steps and to move with bent knees during matches (if you start tiring and moving with straight legs, you start reaching the waist and spraying shots). Toward these goals, I find what helps is Jumping rope and doing lunges:

  6. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

    Jun 18, 2004
    Horse stance in kung-fu or "sit out" (where you bend like you are sitting in a chair with no chair below you). Make those quads burn.
  7. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

    Jun 10, 2010
    Whatever you do, include rotator cuff strengthening exercises. Sooner or later, you'll be glad you did.
  8. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

    Feb 13, 2009
    "Waist rotation" as you call it, is rotation of the core around the legs.

    By far, the single best gym exercise to strengthen the core muscles, [and so very importantly, their connection to the legs] is the squat. Doing squats with increasing weights will actually increase the strength of these muscles.

    But mere increases in strength won't immediately translate into harder groundstrokes and serves. That will come with practice to develop muscle memory for the stronger muscles to fire quicker doing coordinated movements. So on your groundstrokes, out of open or semi-open stances be sure to fully coil and quickly uncoil to power your shots. On the serve, be sure to both coil and develop a full "bow" position as you go into your trophy position, and then uncoil and unbow as rapidly as possible after your big leg push off.

    Many find that throwing a medicine ball sideways helps mimic the explosive leg/core/arm sequence that are involved in groundstrokes. http://www.essentialtennis.com/video/2011/05/tennis-fitness-medicine-ball-workout/

    If you look at the Health and Fitness section of Talk Tennis you will see way to many who have suffered from torn rotator cuffs and labrums. Don't be one of these. Do the thrower's ten exercises http://www.eteamz.com/palyvolleyball/files/throwerstenexercises.pdf

    There have been many threads on the wrist action on serves, and most will agree that almost all the wrist action is a "passive" ulnar deviation that results from holding the racquet with radial deviation until the momentum of swinging the racquet up releases the wrist in the powerful "pronation" movement ["pronation" being the tennis term of swinging up at the ball with the side of the racquet and turning the head of the racquet into the ball at the last second with an external motion at the shoulder]. Work on this "pronation" move at the tennis courts with this exercise: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iONY6fcqZGg

    Since the serve is the culmination of involving the muscles of the legs, core and arm in a smoothly coordinated kinetic chain, do a full body strengthening program such as the following: http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/tennis-weight-training.html
    Then practice, practice, practice to coordinate that strength into a serve where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

    And certainly don't forget that it is the fast, wiry guys like Djoker and Rafa that usually beat the stronger but slower guys like Soderling and Isner. So make plenty of room in your training for sprints, HIIT and agility drills.
    High Intensity Interval Training: http://www.intervaltraining.net/hiit.html
    USTA agility drills: http://assets.usta.com/assets/1/USTA_Import/USTA/dps/doc_437_269.pdf

    Good luck!
  9. Xizel

    Xizel Professional

    Feb 13, 2011
    Start out with this, then you can start doing whatever else you want. Don't do them in the future as corrective exercises, do them now as preventive. This is much worse than tennis elbow IMO. If you play a heavy topspin game with hard serves and poly strings, this is required.

    I'm from a powerlifting background and charliefederer hits the target here. The training order should go from maximal strength to power (fast bar speed to reach maximal strength in the least amount of time) to applying the attained power to sport-specific movements, then just keeping the training up for maintenance purposes.
  10. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Legend

    Aug 12, 2004
    I'd recommend a pre-made workout if your are going to the gym. I'd caution against 'making up' your own workout without sufficent experience. You wouldn't want a novice accountant doing your taxes or a guy who didn't got to law school handling your case.. Likewise I think one of the bigger mistakes people make is coming up with their own workouts. Not to say you won't have 'any' success - but it can be greatly slowed..

    This is a very popular one - used by many athletes and quite 'adjustable'. He even has a section on speedwork - something any tennis player should probably think about..


    No doubt there are other workouts - maybe some more tennis friendly. But it makes alot of sense for rec athletes to try to increase general athleticism and strength as this is often more 'bang for the buck' friendly then trying to get more sport specific.

    The more sport specific you get - the more important it is you have a higher base fitness level and the more time you need to spend.

    There are lots of different workouts though made by various strength coaches that are freely available. The key difference is you want a workout that is going to increase your strength and athleticism - and not just a body building routine. Bodybuilders can get excellent results with machines - athletes not so much..

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