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WARM UP

Lower-Body Tennis Exercises

Research conducted on elite tennis players shows that lower-body strength is


the same on both the left and right sides. Therefore, lower-body training for
tennis players should focus on both legs to ensure balanced strength unless
one leg has been injured or is underdeveloped structurally. These are some
exercises which can be done in a classroom or if there is a gym available.
 Leg Press
 Front Squat
 Partial Squat
 Lunge
 Tennis-Specific Lunge
 Calf Raise
 Multihip Machine
 Monster Walk
 Elastic Band Kick
 Hamstring Curl
 Romanian Deadlift
WARM UP

Partial Squat
Improve the strength of the quadriceps and hips.

1. Begin by standing with the feet shoulder-width apart, looking straight


ahead. You can hold a dumbbell in each hand or hold a medicine ball
in both hands behind your head and neck to provide resistance. Or
you can loop a piece of elastic tubing or an athletic band under both
feet, then wrap it in each hand or bring it up over the back of the
shoulders to provide resistance as you progress through the partial
squat.

2. Bend the knees and flex the hips to


descend slowly, keeping an upright
posture. Avoid bending forward at the
waist. As your knees bend, make sure
they do not buckle inward and that
each knee is aligned over the second
toe of each foot.

3. Bend to 60 to 90 degrees of knee


flexion in a controlled fashion, then
pause at the low position for 1 to 2
seconds before returning to the start
position.

4. Perform multiple sets of 8 to 15


repetitions.

If you have difficulty with your posture in this exercise, stand with your back
against a wall and an exercise ball placed in the small of your back. Perform
the partial squat exercise leaning against the ball as you descend and
ascend.
WARM UP

Tennis Specific Lunge


Improve lower-body strength.

1. Stand with your feet parallel and shoulder-width apart. Start by


performing the lunge using only your body weight. For greater
resistance, grasp a dumbbell in each hand or hold a medicine ball
behind your head and neck with both hands.

2. Keeping an upright posture, perform these tennis-specific lunging


movements:
3. Lunge forward (Lunge 1), and return to your starting position.

4. To perform a 45-degree forward lunge, position your right foot forward


and on a 45-degree angle (Lunge 2), then return to your starting
position.

5. To perform a 45-degree backward lunge, position your right foot


backward and on a 45-degree angle (Lunge 3), then return to your
starting position.

6. To closely mimic on-court movement patterns, perform a crossover


step for more tennis specificity (Lunge 4).

7. Performing each of the four movements on both the right and left leg is
considered one repetition.

8. Complete multiple sets of 4 to 6 repetitions (4-6 on left and right legs),


alternating right- and left-leg sequences.
WARM UP

Monster Walk
Strengthen the hips and core.

1. Stand with your feet slightly closer than shoulder-width apart in an


athletic stance. Loop an elastic band around your ankles. (Note: The
band should not be so heavy that it limits your ability to move and take
steps. A light band will go a long way in providing resistance as you
exercise, and you can always progress to a heavier band if you feel
the band is too easy.)

2. Take a lateral step with one foot while keeping tension on the band.
Do not stare at the ground; keep your head up and maintain an
upright posture.

3. Bring the other leg toward the one you initially stepped with, planting
the foot while maintaining tension in the band. Your goal is to maintain
a shoulder-width hip position throughout the steps.
4. Repeat for 10 to 15 steps in one direction and then change directions
and perform 10-15 repetitions on the opposite direction. Perform this
movement slow and controlled.”
WARM UP

Forearm and Wrist Tennis Workouts

Strengthen the muscles that stabilize the wrist during tennis.


Radial

1. Stand with your arms at your sides, and with one hand grasp a dumbbell on
only one end (similar to a hammer). The weighted end should be in front of
the thumb.
2. With the wrist in a neutral position and the palm toward the thigh, slowly cock
the wrist to raise and lower the weighted end through a comfortable range of
motion (figure 8.15a). All the movement should occur at the wrist with no
elbow or shoulder joint movement; the arc of movement will be small.
3. Perform for 10-15 repetitions and switch hands and perform the same
movement on the opposing hand. Perform this movement for multiple sets.

Ulnar

1. Stand with your arms at your sides and with one hand grasp a dumbbell on
only one end (similar to a hammer). The weighted end should be behind your
little finger.

1. With the wrist in a neutral position and palm facing your thigh, slowly cock the
wrist to raise and lower the weighted end through a comfortable range of
motion (figure 8.15b). All the movement should occur at the wrist with no
elbow or shoulder joint movement; the arc of movement will be small.
2. Perform for 10-15 repetitions and switch hands and perform the same
movement on the opposing hand. Perform this movement for multiple sets.
WARM UP

Pronation and Supination

Strengthen the forearm pronators and supinators.

Forearm Pronation

1. Sit in a chair with one elbow flexed and the forearm resting on a table or your
knee. Let the wrist and hand hang over the edge.
2. Use a dumbbell with a weight at only one end (similar to a hammer). The
weight is on the thumb side to start. Begin the exercise with the palm upward
so that the handle is horizontal (figure 8.16a). Slowly raise the weighted end
by rotating your forearm and wrist until the handle is vertical.
3. Pause for 1 second, then return to the starting position.
4. Perform for 10-15 repetitions and switch hands and perform the same
movement on the opposing hand. Perform this movement for multiple sets.

Forearm Supination

1. Sit in a chair with one elbow flexed and the forearm resting on a table or your
knee. Let the wrist and hand hang over the edge.
2. Use a dumbbell with a weight at only one end (similar to a hammer). The
weight should be on the thumb side to start. Begin the exercise with the palm
down (figure 8.16b). Slowly raise the weighted end by rotating your forearm
and wrist until the handle is vertical.
3. Pause for 1 second, then return to the starting position.
4. Perform for 10-15
repetitions and
switch hands and
perform the same
movement on the
opposing hand.
Perform this
movement for
multiple sets.
WARM UP

1. Hungry Crocodile
This is a volley drill for younger students. Line the kids up by the net to show
them the volley movement. The kids are lined up by the net and can receive
the ball from the coach at any moment.
They have to concentrate, which is a great skill in tennis in itself. If they miss a
feed, they lose a limb to the crocodile.
First, they aren’t allowed to use their non-hitting hand. Then they ‘lose a leg’
and have to go down on one knee and so on.
With each shot they
make, they ‘regain’ a
limb. The last person
not to be ‘eaten’
entirely by the
crocodile wins!

2. Count
Dracula
Have the kids stand in
pairs either side of the
service line. They count
every time they hit the
ball back and forth.
In the voice of Count
Dracula, to make it more fun.
This simple repetition gets them used to hitting the ball without the frustration
of beginners of hitting the net.

3. Running the Lines


This can be a warm-up or a drill to increase cardiovascular fitness. You don’t
need any gear. Just the lines of the court, and the legs of your students!
Have them run non-stop from one far line to the other end, repeatedly for 5,
10 or even 15 minutes. These short sprints really improve their speed on the
court.
You’ll tailor time and intensity by age-group and fitness level.

4. Target Practice
Form a pyramid of tennis balls in a set area of the court. Feed tennis balls and
have the kids try to hit the target, knocking down the tennis balls.
WARM UP

They get great joy out of a bit of destruction, and you’ll be teaching ball skills
in the process.

5. Dribblers
Have the kids each take their racquet and a tennis ball. Space them apart
along the service line to avoid any accidental injuries.
Then have them dribble with racquet and tennis ball, moving to the net for
older players. Younger kids can stay at the service line. You can also call for
changes in speed up and back to increase difficulty.

6. Hit and Catch


With older kids, split them into pairs. One student serves using only their hands.
Their pair has to hit it with the racquet, and the other is to catch the ball with
the hands, like baseball but without a mitt.
This gets the racquet student seeing the importance of targeting where they
are hitting the ball. It improves hand-eye coordination of their pair. Go for 20
minutes and then swap over.