Tennis is a difficult sport to master.
While the Nadals and Federers of this world may make it look like a walk in the park, a close game of tennis can push the body to extreme levels of exertion.
For club players, the step up in fitness can make a major difference in tennis performance. Tennis is a sport that relies on short, sharp sprints and also constant changes in technique. Focusing just on your racket technique will not allow you to move to the next level.
Ok so With that in mind, I have written up an article on some simple exercises and agility drills that you can include in your training regime to improve your speed and also agility on court.
1. Pogo jumps
This is a great exercise to introduce at the beginning of a workout. The exercise involves jumping vertically, springing up using just your ankles. When you are in the air, pull your toes up towards you.
2. The plyometric lunge
This is used to increase your explosive power. It involves taking the normal lunge exercise to a higher level of intensity and yes this is very challenging. Doing this will not only increase your power but it will also develop muscular endurance through your hips and thighs and also help to improve your overall bodily control and coordination.
3. The star jump
This jump will help you develop power through your torso and also improve your vertical jump. It is a perfect exercise for hitting those high shots when you get stuck close to the net. When you do this exercise try to spend as little time in contact with the ground as possible
4. Lateral movement.
Starting at the service line, make three rapid lateral steps and then touch your hand to the ground on the final step.Repeat this to the left. Repeat this drill between 10-20 times.Gradually reduce the amount of steps and work primarily on speed. Increase the amount of steps to focus more on endurance and fitness.
5. Backwards / Forwards
Beginning on the baseline, sprint as fast as you can to the net and then shuffle backwards. Carry out these sprints at a maximum intensity 10 times and then rest for 2-3 minutes before starting the drill again.
Now before you go running off with renewed enthusiasm …….
6. Before You Begin
It is important to consider that, as with all training, you should take adequate time to develop a strong core level of fitness and an overall strength before beginning.
Medium to long runs will start to develop the kind of fitness and endurance you need in a competitive tennis match. If you are cannot complete 5-10k runs with relative ease it is very unlikely that you have got the fitness to keep you going through a tough three-set match.
You will also need to have a firm base in strength training so that your body is conditioned enough to be able to handle the demands of a rapid direction change, jumping and short sprints, then we have serving and returning the ball at high speed.
Hope this helps!