4 Targeted Strength Training Workouts for Tennis Players

Tennis requires agility, speed, strength and stamina to both attack and repel your opponent. If you want to improve your game and perform at a higher level, then you should be target training various muscle groups. Such training tactics will help to improve foot speed, increase leg power, solidify trunk and abs, and strengthen arms and shoulders.

The following four workouts each target a specific muscle group that is key to performing well in a tennis match. Choose 3 or 4 exercises per group and complete 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps per exercise. Each workout will take approximately 45 minutes to an hour to complete and should be carried out one day per week. You can easily fit all four workouts into a weekly exercise routine and still allow for sufficient rest. Certain exercises should be changed after 6 to 8 weeks to keep your body from adjusting to them.

Target Workout #1 – Upper Extremities

Muscles in the wrists, forearms, shoulders and chest should be strengthened in order to increase the power of the serve and ground strokes. When the wrists take a pounding throughout a tennis match by absorbing strong shots as well as creating spin on the ball. Special attention should be given to strengthening the muscles surrounding the wrists. Incorporate these exercises:

  • Wrist pronation/extension
  • Wrist ulnar/radial flexion
  • Wrist flexion/extension

The shoulder and elbow are also vital to the game and are prone to injury. Therefore, strength training for the muscles encasing these joints can be achieved by utilizing these target exercises:

  • Bench press
  • Push press
  • Incline press (using a barbell)
  • Front and back pulldown
  • Pec dec
  • Dumbbell row
  • Seated row
  • Prone flye
  • Pullover
  • Pullover and press

Target Workout #2 – Legs

Your legs provide the driving force in tennis to chase balls and give power to your attack shots. In order to get a fast and strong push-off for implementing such moves, you should strengthen the legs via the following exercises:

  • Leg press
  • Back squat
  • Bench step-up
  • Facedown leg curl
  • Seated calf raise
  • Machine calf raise

Target Workout #3 – Foot Speed

Foot speed is another essential element on the tennis court. How quickly you can get to the right position or or chase down a shot can mean the difference between winning and losing. The following exercises build muscles in the legs that improve response time and reaction:

  • Single leg push-off
  • Jump and reach
  • Jump to box
  • Side jump over barrier
  • Side-to-side box shuffle
  • 30-60-90 box drill
  • Hexagon drill
  • Split squat jump
  • Lateral cone hops
  • Lateral movement depth jump

Target Workout #4 – Abs and Trunk

A strong trunk core and abs are also necessary when faced with the rigors of bends, lunges and reaches which come with the game. To prevent hip and spinal injury and provide explosive power for all the challenges presented in a tennis match, the trunk should be targeted for strengthening by applying the following exercises:

  • Hip press-up
  • Hip roll
  • Hip rotation
  • Russian twist
  • Back extension
  • Sit-ups with raised legs
  • Side sit-up
  • Knee pull-in
  • Glute-ham raise

Bicycling Exercises for the abs will also assist with core strength and protection. Acquire stronger abs by doing these:

  • Pullover toss
  • Kneeling side throw
  • Drop pass

By strengthening your trunk and abs, legs and upper body, you will better avoid injury and perform with more power and agility on the tennis court.

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