Strength Training For Tennis
Tennis players have to be more and more explosive and powerful on the court to keep up with their opponents. The intensity of the practice and matches keep growing and the players open themselves more and more to overuse injuries. Following a specific strength training will help them to become more powerful and explosive but it is also very important to prevent injuries.
Strength training can be started pretty young and it will include exercises with body weight and elastic band. Light strength training can be started at the age of 12 if the player practices over 6 hours a week.
Weight training routines for tennis players should include a total body work and depending of the level this should be done several times a week. After their puberty tennis players could follow a weight training program 3 times a week and at least twice a week. A good strength training program should be divided in different cycles, each of them will lat 4 to 6 weeks.
Tennis players need to be powerful, explosive, strong but they also need to be able to repeat different shots at a high intensity for sometimes hours during a match or practice session. This is called muscular endurance and it is very important for tennis players. Finally but not least strength training is extremely important to prevent injuries. A good weight program should allow players to work on those different areas.
Beginners or at the beginning of the season the strength program should focus more on the anatomical adaptations and on the muscular endurance. This kind be done by circuit training with at least 10 exercises that work on the full body.The player should do at least 20 reps of each exercise and should not take more than 30 seconds rest before going to the next one. Once all the circuit is done once, they should do one more set.
After around 4 weeks the program should focus on the hypertrophy of the muscles and this will be done with less reps, 8 to 12, more weights and 2 to 3 sets per exercise. Again do not forget to work upper and lower body. This should be done for at least 4 weeks.
After this cycle, more weights can be used and 6 reps max should be done per exercise but 3 to 6 sets should be done, with at least 2 minutes rest between each set. For injury prevention exercises as shoulders, wrists or triceps exercises there is no need of going to heavy.
The next cycle should focus a lot more on the explosive power. Exercises should be changed, a lot of jumps or plyometrics and also medicine ball throws should be implemented. Regular weight exercises should still be done with 6 to 10 reps and trying to be explosive during the pushing or pulling phase.
Strength training for tennis players is pretty complex and all of this should be worked in the right way. Following a fitness program for tennis can be really helpful to know how many reps and sets and also what kind of exercises to use in each cycle. It is also very important to work the core strength in all those cycles and this should be done with upper abs exercises (crunches kind), lower abs (leg lifts kind) and obliques exercises (torso twists kind).
Strength training will really help tennis player to become more efficient and to prevent injuries, it should be done regularly at least 2 a week for players who are playing almost everyday. It should also be started for young players, once a week with body weight and elastic bands in order to prepare their body for more weight lifting later.