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Becoming a better tennis player requires developing fine-tuned groundstrokes, perfecting volley mechanics and adding serve power. But cardiovascular and resistance training are also pivotal components of maximizing player potential on the tennis court. A total tennis training program that includes an appropriated balance of on-court practice and general training will increase a player’s ability to consistently perform at a high level.
Championship-caliber tennis players showcase supreme athleticism, core body strength, endurance, fast reaction time, flexibility and overhead strength. Practicing the body movements associated with tennis is important in order to efficiently maximize energy output on the court, although such movements can also be enhanced in the gym. Tennis is referred to as a dominant-side sport. This means muscle imbalances are created from players favoring one side of their body more than another. These imbalances can be corrected through utilizing a balanced weightlifting approach. Correcting such imbalances will increase a player’s longevity and also help fend off injuries.
Sport-specific training is the best method of increasing muscular endurance to reach maximum athletic potential. Tennis crushes the joints and tendons in the knees and hips, making it important for players to use functional training methods in order to consistently perform their best. Simulating complex body movements on the court while using resistance bands in the gym is an effective training tactic that can help players increase functional mobility. Other useful exercise activities, like cycling and jogging, can also help improve strength in joints and tendons.
The high-intensity cardio output that tennis demands shouldn’t correspond to high-octane cardiovascular training. The most effective forms of cardio training include short bursts of speed, such as fast-action shuffle steps and sprints. The objective of these types of cardio activities is to improve endurance and increase reaction time. Weightlifting for power is the most crucial aspect of tennis training. Adding an appropriate amount of muscle mass will fuel stronger groundstrokes, serves and volleys. It’s important for players not to overemphasize powerlifting efforts, though, because bulkiness can decrease speed burst ability and slow reaction time on the court.
The physical strain of weightlifting has serious potential to increase a tennis player’s chance of contracting injury, such as shoulder impingement, rotator cuff tears and tennis elbow. Injury risk increases when proper technique and training protocol are not used throughout all phases of development. Overtraining isn’t a signifier of dedication, rather, it’s a serious problem that could prove detrimental to an athlete’s career. A complete tennis-training program should include a balance of on-court practice, weightlifting and stretching. Activities such as yoga can be implemented to help increase flexibility and overall mobility. The key element of success is ultimately to design a balanced approach to achieving sport-specific goals.
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