Culture & Lifestyle / Get Tennis Ready With The Best Body Training!

Get Tennis Ready With The Best Body Training!

Culture & Lifestyle Jul 06, 2013


Wimbledon is over but now is the time to get into your own tennis tracks and share the spotlight. Fans and occasional viewers think of American stars Venus and Serena Williams or Andy Roddick; Spain's Rafael Nadal; Novak Djokovic from Serbia; Switzerland’s Roger Federer and of course Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova.  All of the worlds highest ranked players who got invited to this year’s men’s singles Wimbledon Grand slam.

A lot of the time it has to do with the resources one is afforded to succeed at such a high level. Playing the game one loves all day every day, with the best coaches available will allow for optimal success. Training for tennis and succeeding in a sport requires many of the same skills succeeding at any other professional sport would take; it takes time, dedication, determination and developing the skills you’re taught rather quickly.

A lot of people who want to play tennis probably realize that it’s going to take some being in shape to actually play the game somewhat well, but a lot of people don’t understand the level of commitment or discipline it takes to stay playing at a consistent level for longer periods.

The Muscle Game:

Tennis is a very fast switch muscle game, you go hard for 15-40 seconds during a point then cool down once a player gets a point, this is where recovery takes place. That’s why when training for tennis, you should keep in mind that you want to be light on your feet, meaning you don’t want to be flat footed and stuck to the ground, you want to be able to move side to side as quickly as possible which requires being alert, fast and agile while keeping recovery time to an absolute minimum. Though you get a solid 30 seconds after each point to recover, running side to side for 40 seconds straight takes a lot out of a person, so being able to recover fast so that the next point can be played like your first point of the match is ideal.

Intensity Interval Training:

Best way to trim the fat and recover quickly is high intensity interval training (HIIT). Running a steady pace for an entire workout will help you burn more calories after the workout, but using HIIT will allow for more fat to be burnt and calories to be lost during the workout. It’s all about recognizing what sport you’re playing and what that sport requires you to do while playing it. In tennis it’s mostly high intensity for short periods of time.

Core Training:

Training the core is also essential for tennis. The core is the fundamental most important part of the body, as it is the muscle that makes all of muscles function better. Core training for tennis will improve your stability, balance and speed of your trunk rotation which is huge in tennis as the core is being used every shot. The body is being torque while hitting a tennis ball and a strong core will make the shot better and faster.

Leg Training: 

Leg training and agility training are also very beneficial for playing successful tennis. The stronger your legs are the more power you will have in them to generate speed and lateral movement. Leg strength will obviously occur from simply moving around on the tennis court but if you’re trying to get maximal strength on your shots and hit top notch speed, that’s when you would like to add weight training into your routine. In tennis unlike a sport like football, a big bulky leg isn’t necessarily going to transition nicely to improving your tennis game, as you want to remain light, strong and fast. Agility training can be accomplished by doing footwork drills like going in and out of a training ladder, or doing explosive jumps or bunny hops which you can make harder by using a weighted medicine ball as your form improves.

Endurance:

Like I mentioned above, endurance plays a major role in tennis. Although a point occurs in short intervals, an entire tennis game can last anywhere between an hour to multiple hours. The best way to improve your endurance is running long distances, but of course this will be switched in and out with HIIT as both types of endurance are required. Dieting is the last piece of the puzzle for training for tennis and is probably the most important. Training for any sport takes fuel, and the type of fuel you put in your body is just as important as the training you are doing. Take it easy on the carbs such as white bread and try finding cleaner carb alternatives: brown rice over white rice- whole wheat bread over white bread- sweet potato over regular potato. Your diet will have to be switched up depending on when your training, how often your training, and how close to competition you are but always keep your diet in mind.

Pre-Match Eating:

Tennis players need to pay special attention to their pre-match meals and beverage choices, as these foods and fluids may need to last for hours during tournament and multiple match play. Teach players to select pre-match meals and snacks that are familiar to them and known to settle hunger. High in carbohydrates to supply energy for muscle reserves, moderate in protein and low in fat.  Eat food that can be quickly digested and not too high in fiber or fat. 

Be Hydrated: 

Limit/avoid caffeinated beverages (iced teas, coffee, colas) especially right before and after match play. These may cause additional fluid loss as urine. The night before, fill and chill squeeze bottles or sports jugs and bring to each practice or match. Each player should have a minimum of 2 liters available courtside. Consume enough fluids throughout the day so urine is a light or pale yellow color before starting a match. 

Hopefully with these training tools, players all around the globe will be able to succeed at the highest level.

Image Credits: www.optimumtennis.net. istockphoto
Source: optimumtennis.net, active.com, and ca.askmen.com

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