Useful Fitness Training Tips and Drills for All Tennis Players
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If you’ve ever watched tennis pros play, you have seen how the sport requires strength, power and coordination. Achieving this level of fitness does not happen overnight, and professionals (as in any sport), train for several hours a day to perform at their very best.
While you may not have your eyes set on playing Wimbledon, even recreational tennis requires fitness, strength and skill. With some tennis-specific conditioning, you can train your body to move more quickly and with power.
Tennis requires short bursts of movements. You must be able to move quickly from side to side and front to back. So, playing tennis is a lot like interval training, according to Corey Noel, Cooper Fitness Center Tennis Pro. In tennis, you might play a point for 15 or 20 seconds and then have a quick break before playing the next point. “There’s no sense in training to run longer distances, when you won’t run that in tennis,” Noel said.
What is the best way to condition your body for the game of tennis? Here are a few tennis conditioning suggestions from Noel, including a demonstration of various footwork drills:
- Focus on interval training. Whether you’re on the bike, elliptical or even the treadmill, make sure to work in plenty of interval training. During an interval training workout, you will work at high intensity for 20 to 30 seconds, followed by a 10 to 20 second “recovery” at a lower intensity.
- Work your feet. Footwork drills that incorporate side-to-side movement and quickness are important in tennis because much of the sport is played with lateral movements.
- Jump. Plyometric (jumping) exercises such as burpees and squat jumps help build the bursts of power needed in tennis. There is a misconception that tennis is about upper body strength when core strength and lower body strength are most important to play the sport. Plyometrics will increase strength in the core and legs.
- Lift light weights. Strength training is important for tennis players, but be sure you are doing low weight/high rep strength training workouts rather than high weight/low rep workouts. Low weight workouts will strengthen your muscles without limiting flexibility. Lifting heavy loads, however, can make muscles bulky, short and less flexible.
It is never too early or too late to learn the game - tennis is a lifelong sport for people of all ages. To learn to play tennis, improve your game or simply get a good workout, Cooper Fitness Center offers adult and youth tennis programs open to the public. Adults can choose from Beginner, Advanced Beginner, Aerobic Tennis or Practice and Play sessions.
- Beginner clinics focus on basics of the tennis stroke and understanding lines and positions on the court.
- Advanced beginner clinics focus on stroke refinement and movement.
- Aerobic Tennis is a high-energy class that combines tennis with a cardio workout, delivering a full-body, calorie-burning workout.
- Practice and Play incorporates fast-paced drills, cardio and challenging matches.
For more information on adult and youth tennis clinics taught by Cooper Fitness Center Tennis Pros, click here or call Hallie Lane at 972.233.4832, ext. 3211.
Article provided by Cooper Aerobics Marketing and Communications.