Strength Training

Strength Training

How to build muscle and power

Strength training for tennis is very important and often overlooked. A great player builds his strength to be able to hit the ball with more power and pace. In addition, this player develops ball control with movements that help coordinate muscles and joints. Strength training helps prevent injury to build muscles and joints instead of putting extreme pressure on them, especially the wrists, shoulders and elbows, immediately in play.

According to Optimum Tennis, “Stronger muscles around the joints ensure greater stability and resilience against the high impact that is involved with hitting the ball as well as the constant start and stop motions on the court.” However, it is critical that you perform each exercise with good form so as to not cause injury.

Strength training for specific body parts:

Shoulder:

  • Shoulder presses
  • Lateral raises
  • Forward raises
  • Blackburns
  • Prone “Y” raise
  • Horizontal external rotations
  • External rotations with knee support
  • Internal rotations

Elbow:

  • Bicep curls
  • Tricep kick-backs
  • Tricep extensions

Wrist:

  • Weighted wrist curls
  • Wrist extensions
  • Grips
  • Wrist clicker band

Upper Body

  • Bench press
  • Push ups
  • Single arm dumbbell rolls
  • Resistance bands
  • Lateral pulldowns
  • Overhead slams (medicine ball)
  • Side wall throws (medicine ball)
  • Towel row
  • Push-up isometric hold

Core Exercises

  • Front plank
  • Side plank
  • Seated twist
  • Side plank hip touch
  • V-ups
  • SL glute bridge
  • Wall sit
  • Straight leg sit-up
  • Reverse crunch
  • Side plank + leg lift
  • 6 inch leg hold

Lower Body

  • Squats (dumbbell)
  • Leg press
  • Isometric
  • 3-way lunge complex
  • Knee extensions
  • Hamstring curl
  • Calf raises
  • RDL
  • Squat jumps
  • Split squat isometric hold
  • Split squat jumps
  • Deficit reverse lunge

A sample 3-day weekly workout plan is outlined below. Every two weeks, increase the weight and repetitions to build muscle. Each workout should take about 30-45 minutes. Be sure to stretch before and after and complete mobility exercises to put everything in your tennis game together. Stay in a good routine. Keeping a regular sleep schedule, meal schedule, and workout schedule will help stabilize the mind and body.

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A great way to warmup before a weight workout is to perform mobility exercises. I have outlined example warmup exercises below.

In-place mobility:

  • Knee side/side
  • Cross over hip rotator
  • Straight leg hamstring
  • Slow mountain climbers
  • Side lying windmills
  • Arm circles (forward/backward)
  • Trunk twists (standing/bent over)
  • SL extension
  • Seated 90/90 stretch

Dynamic:

  • Walking quad stretch
  • Knee hug + elbow instep
  • Alternating side lunges
  • Quad + RDL
  • Drop step lunges
  • Push-up inchworms
  • Reverse lunch with reach
  • Straight leg kicks
  • Walking hip stretch

Movement Prep:

  • 2 In/Out
  • Alternate Hopscotch
  • Icky Shuffle
  • Lateral push-up walks
  • Seated SL hip circles
  • Mini band lower body clamshell
  • Upper body T-spine windmills
  • Kneeling hip flexor stretches

Please leave a comment if you have any questions!

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