If you ever find yourself wandering around a professional tennis tournament, chances are you will probably see a couple things; plyometric ladders, jump ropes, resistance bands, dynamic warm up routines, and post workout static stretching routines. Today I would like to offer you a general overview of the aforementioned routines.
Dynamic warm ups and pre-hab exercises are very important when it comes to reducing the risk of injury and enhancing performance.
Dynamic warm-up –
The above link is a solid set of dynamic warm-up exercises that you can do before you begin playing every day. (The only reason I picked this link is because it has videos that show you how to do the stretches properly.
Resistance bands are also very important in preventing shoulder injuries as well as increasing the range and flexibility of your arm. This can help you to increase the accuracy, and power of your serve. I personally used to do these shoulder band exercises every day. Here are just a few that YOU can do every day in under 5 minutes. Another common band exercise not listed in the photo to the right would be to lift your arm at a 90-degree angle so that your tricep is parallel to the ground and pull facing forwards, and then pull facing backwards. Your goal should be 2 or 3 sets of 15 – 20 reps for each exercise. If you cannot complete this than the band is too heavy.
2. Don’t forget about the ankles and the hips!
Post-workout – you will want to develop a routine of static stretches. Here are a couple that you can do.
Plyometric Ladder Drills – (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67XP-AekUoA ) Here is a great demonstration of footwork drills. I chose this video because I like how they explain beginner, intermediate and advanced variations. If you are attempting these drills for the first time, you will quickly notice that the rhythm takes practice and you will slowly gain speed over time. In other words, strive for quality and not speed at first.
Jumping Rope – This is pretty self-explanatory. However, standard two legged jumps, one legged jumps, and double jumps are highly recommended. Jumping rope is good for when you are at tennis tournaments, and you have already done your warm-up routine. It is a great way to stay “warm.” Additionally, you will want to incorporate this into your agility footwork routine.
Conclusion: Recreational players simply do not engage in dynamic warm-ups, pre-habilitation exercises and footwork drills enough. I would say that about 20 – 30% of players have a routine they follow religiously every time the go on the court, whether it be practice or a competitive match. I can guarantee that if you DO incorporate just a few of these routines into your training regime, your tennis game will improve and you will start winning more matches.
- Carlos Bermudez Tennis