Tennis is a great game. It involves agility, hand-eye coordination, cardiovascular ability, and muscular strength. Much like golf, in the recent years more and more athletes have turned to weight training to add new dimensions to sports that aren’t often known for having a heavy background in weight training.
People who play tennis utilize their entire body. The legs, arms, shoulder, chest, and back are involved in the constant running and various swings you make. As such, when training in the gym you need a program that works all of the muscles. Luckily we have a program tailored just for that.
Start with Rotator Cuffs
The rotator cuffs are extremely important to tennis players. So they should be worked first in every workout. Specific rotator cuff work is vital to any sport that involves a lot of shoulder movement.
Resistance Movements – You can use a resistance band to train the rotator cuffs rather easily. The motion is very simple. Bend your arm at the elbow to form a 90 degree angle with the elbow pressed into the side and the hand directly in front of you. One motion is to rotate your hand at the elbow until it touches your opposite arm. The other motion is to rotate the opposite direction as far as possible. Instead of using a resistance band you can also hold a light dumbbell in your hand. You should perform 2 sets of 20 reps for both motions on both arms.
Make sure to perform 10 to 15 minutes of low impact cardiovascular activity like walking, jogging of stair climbing to increase the heart-rate and warm the body and muscles up.
The Advanced Tennis Workout
- Leg Press – 3 sets of 6 to 10 reps
- Dumbbell Set-Up – 2 sets of 8 to 12 reps
- Walking Lunges – 2 sets of 20 reps (take continual steps until you have done 20 reps with each leg)
- Standing Calf Raises – 2 sets of 8 to 12 reps
- Seated Calf Raises – 2 sets of 8 to 12 reps
- Dumbbell Incline Press – 3 sets of 6 to 10 reps
- Machine Rows – 2 sets of 8 to 12 reps
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press – 2 sets of 8 to 12 reps
- Dips – 2 sets of 8 to 12 reps
- Lat Pulldowns – 3 sets of 6 to 10 reps
- Dumbbell Preacher Curls – 2 sets of 8 to 12 reps
- Lower Back Machine – 2 sets of 15 to 20 reps
- Jackknife Crunches – 2 sets of 25 to 30 reps
- Alternating Kick Toe-Touches – 2 sets of 25 to 30 reps
- Twisting Bicycle Crunches – 2 sets of 25 to 30 reps
Reps should be done in a slow, controlled pace with a focus on feeling each muscle contraction and controlling the weight for the entire range of motion. Form is more critical to the weight lifted so check the ego and work the muscles.
After all sets are done make sure to stretch the entire body completely to increase general flexibility and hasten recovery.
As this is a full body workout it can be performed two to three times per week. It should be done with consideration to tennis matches and training as your body will need adequate time to recover from both. It is recommended that you start at twice a week and then determine if your body has the capability to handle an additional session before adding it in.