Exercises to improve your tennis skills
Tennis is a demanding and fast paced sport, both impressive to watch and challenging to play. It requires split second reactions, excellent coordination and lightning fast agility, but not all skills are learnt on the court.
Here are five exercises to add to your off-court training to help you become a better tennis player.
- Ladder runs using an agility ladder.
An agility ladder is made from flexible material and placed on the ground for building conditioning, dexterity and eye-to-foot coordination using footwork drills. Try running in and out of the ladder rungs, weaving from side to side or running the ladder backwards without stepping on the rungs.
- Lateral bursts
Stand in the centre of the court and ask a training buddy to hide a tennis ball behind their back. Ask them to randomly reveal the ball in either their left or right hand. The second you see the ball, sprint to that side of the court. This will work on your reaction times and speed.
- Squats, lunges and leg presses
Mix up your training with weight training in the gym concentrating on your lower body strength; the stronger your legs, the faster you will be able to push off the ground to chase the tennis ball.
A strong core is essential to delivering powerful serves. Pilates is an innovative series of exercises developed to improve physical strength, flexibility and core. A few sessions a week will strength your core muscles and help prevent injury.
- Sprint intervals
High intensity burst of action make up a large portion of a tennis match. Sprint training is a great way to prepare your body for bursts of activity and recovery. Just starting out? Sprint for 20 seconds then walk or jog for two minutes. As your fitness levels improves push your intensity of your training with 30 second sprints with 60-second recoveries. Always warm beforehand and cool down to avoid injuries.