Tennis season is upon us and after a year where many of us faced shutdowns and very little opportunity to play tennis, 2021 brings hope that there will be a lot more tennis for us to enjoy! With that, we need to be honest with ourselves. How ready is your mind and body for your upcoming leagues, matches and practices?
With so much going on in our lives, many of us have most likely put tennis in the back burner. Now that we are getting ready to hit the courts, there are some many of us that need to get back into tennis shape. I wanted to share with you 5 tips to be able to walk on the court feeling unstoppable! If you want to chat about your goals and see how I can help you, book a discovery meeting with me here.
- Get Moving: Doing cardio on your bike or elliptical is great for your heart and protects your joints from wear and tear. But jumping onto the court with nonimpact cardio exercising as your base will leave your legs (especially your calves) in a world of hurt. To prepare for your court time, try incorporating jump roping and running into your schedule. If you haven’t been exercising, ease into it with some interval jump roping (such as 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off) and brisk walking before adding more time. When you start running, keep your miles under 3 as that will be plenty to get you into tennis shape. For those that want an added challenge, add some sprints into your weekly schedule to not only get you faster but also keep you from getting injured on the court.
- Warm Up and Cool Down Like You Mean It: Rushing on the court is definitely a bad idea, especially when you get older. I know we all are excited to play tennis but try watching a top-level player warm up before they play and you will see they take their warm up seriously. You should too. Do some dynamic stretching such as jogging, jumping jacks, lunges and side shuffles to get your body ready. Everyone has a routine so experiment to see what works best. Stretching after your tennis matches is just as important. Don’t sit down until you have stretched out for at least 5 minutes to ensure you will have the best chance of recover the next day. The old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” ties well with this notion.
- Work Your Tennis Muscles: The agonist and antagonist muscles of tennis are not part of most workout plans. It’s important to consider the muscles that are needed to ensure you stay healthy this tennis season. To do this, use light weights for the shoulders to work your rotator cuff and deltoids but also your upper back muscles. Remember that tennis is a forward motion so pulling exercises will keep you balanced and injury free. Lastly, ensure you have a strong core which not only includes your stomach but also your lower back, glutes and hips. Keep those healthy and you will feel unstoppable on the tennis court!
- Eat Right Using Habits: How is your health? Are you feeling fit on the court? Like you can last hours in a tightly contested match? Is your weight where you want it to be? Instead of focusing on what to change to reach your goals, focus on the habits you have that are unhealthy. If you can start incorporating a small addition to that habit to make it slightly healthy, you are on your way to reaching your health goals. Get a few “wins” and other habits you want to incorporate will be easier but don’t do it all at once!
- Try New Things: One human need we all have is that of growth. It keeps us ticking and tennis can offer that if you let it. Reflect back on last year and consider the 80/20 rule when figuring out what you want to improve this year. Then see what resources you need to get that to happen. Do you need instruction? A hitting partner? New equipment? Figure it out and let the learning begin!
Want to talk with someone who has the expertise to help you with your tennis goals? With a certification in health, fitness, mobility and tennis, my expertise has a rare combination to cover all aspects of a good tennis player. Try a free consolation and even a week of any program to see if it’s a right fit for you. Click here for more information about me and here to book a free discovery meeting with me.
See below for a video that offers specific exercises to improve your racquet head speed.