Why Tennis Fitness?
When we think of tennis, do we automatically think about the fitness of high-performance professional players? The likes of Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic or Serena Williams? Do we as club players who might mainly play doubles, think of Jamie Murray & Bruno Soares? The current No.1 doubles pairing in the world. Or do we think about our own tennis background or current standard?
All of the above players have teams which will include at least one or more tennis coaches (in the case of Murray that’s Ivan Lendl & Jamie Delgado). Then they will have one, maybe even two fitness trainers (Matt Little is one of Team Murray’s), after that depending on how successful a player is they might have a physio, doctor and possibly a mental coach.
Now in recent years a lot, quite rightly so has been made of the top player’s physical fitness over the rest of the upcoming field. Whether that be their endurance and lasting long matches, long rallies or just multiple gruelling matches. It is the flexibility (Djokovic springs to mind) in which they are able to get out to a wide ball, and almost with an elasticity can generate power or just the fact they can play week in, week out at such a high level without seemingly getting injured.
This all comes down their fitness and physical preparedness, which isn’t and shouldn’t just be reserved for the elite players in a given sport. What if though you as mini, junior or senior players could also work on your fitness without having the backroom team?
The following are physical components that prove how fitness drives performance in tennis at all ages & levels:
Core strength is one the most crucial aspect of tennis fitness. For a powerful and precise swing, the core muscles of the abdomen, hips, lower back and butt need to be taut and strong so that the player can maintain his posture while rotating his upper body to strike the ball. Building a stronger core has proven to improve the performance of tennis players and reduces the risk of back strain and injuries. Resistance & strength training with stretch bands, dumbbell presses, lateral squats, lunges and deadlifts are some of the exercises that help strengthen core muscles.
A strong and powerful lower body is the real powerhouse of a skilled player. Not only does it allow you to generate the power for the shot, but also having the strength to push of to a ball or when recovering is just as key.
Reduced body fat
Reduction of body fat and gaining muscle mass allows the player to swing more freely. A leaner frame also eases stress on the muscles and decreases exhaustion while moving around the court. A high-protein diet, comprising lean meats, fish and eggs, is unfailingly followed by top players as part of their rigorous routine.
Flexibility and mobility
Both are essential for synchronising movements. A good player must be nimble and mobile in their hips, otherwise, he or she could be susceptible to pulled hamstring/glute or lower back strain. Focusing primarily on the lower body will improve flexibility and mobility.
Balance and stability
Without balance and stability training a player can often lose balance while swinging, causing injury. You can generate power through loading the lower body but without that stability, the player will struggle to translate all of that power into the shot.
Endurance and mental preparation
These are vital for maintaining concentration during a match. Especially with the highs & lows that can come from rally to rally, losing focus is easy if you aren’t mentally as well as physically fit.
At Game Plan Sports we offer a comprehensive tennis fitness packages to help you blow past any physical limitations that may be holding you back from playing your best game! Get in contact now to fulfil your potential. OR why not checkout our pre and post session packages with our warm-ups and cooldowns, as well as shoulder mobility. Getting you ready to perform at your peak potential.