I'm interested in tennis-specific fitness programs...

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Surecatch, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. Surecatch

    Surecatch Semi-Pro

    Aug 22, 2005
    Can anyone share theirs and what they do? I have been doing a lot of weightlifting and cardio in an effort to slim down, which will put me in position to have better footwork, which I feel I'm lacking in at my age and weight. But while I'm doing that, I'd like to incorporate a regular program that is centered around tennis-specific strength and balance exercises. The problem is, I'm having trouble finding good information on the internet.

    I'd greatly appreciate your sharing with me on what you do, how you work out in this way, and what training tools you use, like resistance bands etc. I've watched Nadal's training vids' and I find bits of information in them I can use, but I'd like to have something to look at that is more complete.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

    Feb 17, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Reference and a few exercises that improved my conditioning.

    Complete Conditioning for Tennis, E. Roetert, T. Ellenbecker

    An excellent book that presents lots of well-chosen tennis conditioning exercises. Discusses also what to do and why to reduce the risk of injuries.

    Some exercises often missed in other programs and that I'd recommend(most in the above reference)-

    1) Exercises to strengthen rotator cuffs such as external rotations with bands.

    2) Exercises to strengthen the gluteus medius such as 'clamshells', 'fire hydrants' and 'monster walks' with resistance bands.

    3) Special stretches for your shoulder.

    4) Learn the two muscles in the calves and how to stretch each one using different stretches - bent knee for Soleus & straight knee for both Gastrocnemius and Soleus. Details in other threads on Achilles injuries & plantar fasciitis.

    5) Stretch the rectus femorus using the regular quad stretch with the hip in extension (extension - line between the trunk and upper has the leg back). Here is the reason and some special stretches for those with tight/short rectus femorus.


    Warning: Hip flexor stretches can put stress on the lower back.

    You are lucky to be in good shape. Read over some of the injury threads as they are full of conditioning exercises for prevention. Also begin studying posture as it relates to performance and injury risk.

    If you are interested in some more reference books let me know.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
  3. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

    Feb 13, 2009
    A pretty quick read is to check out Sports Fitness Advisor, Tennis training section http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/tennis-training.html

    There is an emphasis on the broad spectrum of fitness needed to be in your best shape to prevent injury and to play your best tennis.

    The above site and all tennis fitness books recommend first improving general fitness and strength, and then moving on to more specific tennis fitness. Specific tennis fitness will mean high speed changes in direction, starts and stops, hitting and recovering back to the center of the court with proper footwork.

    As Chas mentions above, and is emphasized on Sports Fitness Advisor, a year round program to work on the rotator cuff, elbow and forearm is important. The thrower's ten exercises are probably the best group to do: http://www.muhlenberg.edu/pdf/main/athletics/athletic_training/throwers10.pdf

    An initial period of longer distance running can be done, but tennis is largely an anaerobic sport, so High Intensity Interval Training is important.
    HIIT - High Intensity Interval Training http://www.intervaltraining.net/hiit.html

    But much of your HIIT can be done on court, either in non-stop hitting sessions with a like mined partner, in doing agility drills at top speed in HIIT-like fashion http://assets.usta.com/assets/1/USTA_Import/USTA/dps/doc_437_269.pdf
    or even intense sessions on the wall:
    Practise Wall Training http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNiXrgAtjxc (notice the player comes out of every hit into a split step, and his feet never stop moving).

    The most complete reference for tennis training I have seen is Tennis Training by Kovacs, Chandler and Chandler.
    If you want specific fitness regimes to cycle through, the best is Power Tennis Training by Donald Chu.

    There is no"holy grail" in tennis training though. What prevents most of us from being in the absolutely best gym shape is that tennis also requires a lot of time to improve and maintain our tennis skills. The fatigue from hitting sessions, serve practice and match play makes it difficult to maintain strength gains or doing as much HIIT/running as we would like. But as emphasized in all the references above, there needs also to be time for recovery, so we don't end up with overuse injuries. Trying to find that balance can occupy an entire lifetime.
  4. superfittennis

    superfittennis New User

    Dec 5, 2011

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