Starting Strength for Tennis?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Gasgoat, Aug 14, 2017.

  1. Gasgoat

    Gasgoat New User

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    I'm a high school tennis player for a competitive high school and I've been looking for every advantage I can add to my game of the court. Recently, I started following the starting strength program (which consists of compound lifting exercises like squats, deadlifts, OHP, etc). Then I read an interview with Alexander Zverev (http://www.spiegel.de/international/alexander-zverev-wimbledon-interview-a-1156983.html) where Zverev said that doing too much for your upper body is bad for your stroke, I was wondering if this was true and if weight lifting for upper body could really affect your strokes and how it could.
     
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  2. Sirius Black

    Sirius Black Guest

    Yeah, it will affect your game. It will give you more power and make you less susceptible to injury.

    As long as you're not training and eating like a bodybuilder (and "supplementing" like one *cough cough* steroids) you won't get too "bulky."

    That program is pretty much all compound movements, which are functional as they engage more than one muscle group at once. Also work on flexibility and mobility concurrently, and you should be fine.

    Also be sure not to neglect the exercises that you may think look stupid -- namely resistance band work and things like prone YTWs for shoulder health, along with other "prehab" exercises.

    The only way I see it becoming a hindrance is if you're too sore to play, but sorenesss should subside once you get acclimated to the program.

    The user T1000 is a good source for questions like this.
     
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  3. Gasgoat

    Gasgoat New User

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    The only possible hindrance I thought of was tightness but I couldn't see why Alex was so against it so I guess I'll keep working out, I also heard Agassi was into bench pressing and he didn't seem to have been negatively affected by it
     
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  4. Tuskarr

    Tuskarr Semi-Pro

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    Squats, deadlifts (and eventually cleans) will definitely help your tennis game. You'll only get as big as you eat so it's easy to regulate.

    Starting strength doesn't emphasize the upper body too much. You'll be fine, don't over think it. Lifting will help your game much more than what you're doing now (which is probably nothing)
     
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  5. Sirius Black

    Sirius Black Guest

    Zverev is probably referring to specifically training for mass, like a bodybuilder. Whereas someone looking to get big biceps would just do bicep curls, you'd probably be doing something more functional -- like a pull up.
     
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  6. Gasgoat

    Gasgoat New User

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    Getting kicked in the ass by superchamps everyday isn't nothing...
     
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  7. Tuskarr

    Tuskarr Semi-Pro

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    I was referring to physical exercise off the court.

    I was a super champ in high school but never did any weight lifting. I started doing barbell lifts and my tennis game has improved significantly. My legs have much more power now. I push off quicker and get to balls that would have previously been winners. My legs have more endurance which helps me maintain serve velocity throughout a weekend tournament.

    Don't over think it. You probably won't eat enough to get so big that the muscle mass negatively impact your movement.
     
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  8. ChaelAZ

    ChaelAZ Professional

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    ITF Strength and Conditioning for Players

    Sorry, edit to add this is for general information on why and what conditioning balance is seen as the most important for players. Lots of great information in there.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
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  9. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I think strength training can only help your tennis. Ivan Lendl, Andre Agassi, and Andy Murray all put a lot of emphasis on strength training. I think the more relevant question is what kind of physical activity will help YOUR game and will be the best use of your time. Some people need to develop other physical traits and would be better off with other activities. However, if you feel that physical strength will help your game, and you find Starting Strength to be an interesting program, then go for it!

    BTW, I love Mark Rippetoe's videos. The guy is very entertaining and likable in a unique way, and I have the book also. Starting Strength is really what the name implies. It's a program for novices. At some point you'll want to learn more and add to your training program, but it's a great way to start.
     
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  10. Notirouswithag

    Notirouswithag Rookie

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    strength training can help boost your performance on teh court and deliver more power in your shots.

    Since your still in HS I put my kids I train on a regiment of something like this:

    - off season in the fall/winter: more strength training( heavier[but not too] weight work) paired with a lower rep(4-6), medium rep(6-8) system to encourage muscle strength paired with plyometrics.

    the weight focuses on more compound movements like benchpress, deadlift, squats, lunges to help build a stable muscular base while focusing on improving core strength. Mix this in with plyometric functional training(explosive movements, medicine ball work for trunk & rotation stabillity/ movement)

    Once they get halfway to winter then I have them go lighter on the weights, and move onto a slightly higher rep scheme to boost muscle hypertrophy while still maintaining strength( 6-8/8-12/12-15 reps) and then star to add in more HIIT cardio 1-2x week if depending on how often their practicing a week

    also forgot to mention: inbetween I have them using resistance bands, light DB's(~5IB) to build solid shoulder and rotator cuff stability and muscle.

    One popular exercise I have them do is take a light DB and have them mimic their serve motion slowly to emphasize extension/engagement and to strengthen their rotator cuff while engaging all the muscles. This helps them boost their serve while keeping their shoulders strong
     
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  11. Sysyphus

    Sysyphus G.O.A.T.

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    Starting Strength is a nice way to get the basic lifts up to standard. Deads and squats are great for sports. I don't think e.g., benching has much carryover to tennis, but doubt it'll hurt either unless you overdo it/use poor form and get shoulder problems.

    Eventually some more tennis-specific exercises could be added. A lot of players (and athletes in general) like to do cleans to work on explosiveness. Some plyometrics are good for tennis. Core work and rotational strength. And as Sirius Black sez, prehab is a great idea, especially for the shoulders. Doesn't have to take much time, but can potentially save you a lot of nuisance.
     
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  12. Bluefan75

    Bluefan75 Semi-Pro

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    I'm not sure I'm in the right forum. 10 replies so far and not one saying "stay away, do bosu ball this, bodyweight that."

    Brings a tear to my eye...
     
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  13. Gasgoat

    Gasgoat New User

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    Well staying away from weightlifting should be the go to advice as I've gained 60 pounds of muscle mass this week and can no longer run as fast as before but my serve bounces over the back fence of the courts I play on now
     
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  14. Bluefan75

    Bluefan75 Semi-Pro

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    You're in high school, and gained 60 pounds this year? There's a shock. I've never heard of a teenager putting on a ton of weight quickly.

    It's aerobics classes only for you, son. Not until you're back to 110 pounds should you look at other things.
     
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  15. MisterP

    MisterP Professional

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    I would continue doing what you're doing, being careful not to over train (yeah, I'm talking to you, idiot who spends "3-hours at the gym") . And make sure you're doing something like yoga a couple of times a week. It increases flexibility, but it also improves strength and coordination. I don't think you can overstate the importance of balance in your training routine.
     
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  16. MethodTennis

    MethodTennis Hall of Fame

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    Just be sensible more strength is very rarely a weakness. Once you can squat 2x body weight and bench press 1.5x body weight maybe its worth thinking about the sports specifics and how it impacts your tennis
     
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  17. Bluefan75

    Bluefan75 Semi-Pro

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    Ding Ding ding. It's amazing how you start talking about weights and everyone assumes you're talking about 600# squats, etc. No, once you get to the levels you mention(and frankly, a decent athlete shouldn't have much trouble), then you look at what you should do. Its the 3rd body weight worth of squats that is hard, and may not be the optimal use of the time. But getting that base is so important. Like Rippetoe likes to say, "Strength is expensive to acquire, and thus, sticks around a long time." Ever notice how you lose your conditioning real fast? But you can gain it back real fast? Weights take time, but once you get yourself a base like mentioned above, you have it for quite a long time.
     
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