Looking to maintain and improve your fitness whilst at home?
Bodyweight exercises are a simple, effective way to improve balance, mobility, flexibility, and strength without gym machines or equipment. There are also pieces of equipment that can help you develop your fitness, strength, and conditioning from home.
Below are a variety of examples to help you get started. We recommend you consult a Tennis Specific expert in this area if you are keen to follow the tennis pathway into performance.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. “Those who stand still get left behind” – Mark Twain
The goal of these exercises are to teach athletes how to effectively absorb force and change direction.
In tennis we need to be able to efficiently move forward/backward and laterally, these exercises will help improve balance, stability and coordination.
Try out 3 sets of each exercise.
Mini Hurdles provide speed training that focuses on acceleration and first step quickness.
If you don’t have any hurdles, use water bottles, shoes or anything you can find.
Try 3 x 3 sets with 1 min rest between sets.
Footwork – Ladder Drills
By working through progressively difficult foot patterns on the ladder, increasing speed as you go, you cement those neurological connections between the brain and your feet. Every great rep, as well as every mistake, brings you closer to supreme control. When you can control EXACTLY where your foot will land, with how much force, for how long and in what direction it will move next, you have drastically improved your potential for economy of movement.
Here are some great variations
It may be just a rope, but the fact is, how you use this basic tool can help a great deal in developing your fitness and footwork.
20 min of skipping, 45 seconds on and 15 sec off.
See if you can master the ‘double unders’!
Check out the video for some variations.
Tennis is a game of constant movement. Even when a ball is close to you, the right footwork can help you balance correctly for the right shot. This might prove more important for shots that might not be one of your strengths, as well. It should be stated that this doesn’t necessarily even refer to speed, as much as productivity in terms of footwork.
Have a go at some of these activities
Change of Direction
There is no doubt that the ability to change direction (COD) is an important part of successful performance in sport games. In “non-contact” games such as tennis, COD skill helps to win “difficult balls,” which demand multiple running from one side of the court to another.
Check out these variations at home
Try 3 x 3 sets with 1 min rest between sets.
Andy Murray post training exercises.
Developing your body for elite tennis is an ongoing process that needs to be planned and monitored. Tennis has no real off-season, so as a result, players must continue to develop their physical strength, flexibility, mobility, agility, balance, and core during competition play.
So what can we learn from the Pro’s?
Watch this great video of Andy Murray working with his fitness coach Jez Green on deceleration and stabilization exercises after a practice session during the BNP Paribas Open.
Tennis training without a tennis ball
The increase in speed in the modern game has placed extra importance on the physical side of the game. Djokovic, Federer, Murray, and Nadal have taken the men’s game to new levels, particularly in the area of court speed and movement. Effective and efficient movement patterns, combined with a balanced, flexible, strong, and mobile body is essential. So let’s have a look at a couple of examples of what the pro’s do without the tennis ball.
Andy Murray, key things to look at;
- Concentration on movement patterns both out to the ball and in recovery
- A wide base at all times, using a cross over movements
- The use of resistance bands
- Return of serve movement patterns a focus (forward into split step, outside leg moving first to the ball)
- Quick reaction movement after the landing position on the serve
- Forward movement into the volley – staying low, using the balancing split step and having a recovery focus
With the importance of the serve and return, much of the focus is given to the shots directly after these two keys.
Body Weight Workout
Bodyweight exercises are a simple, effective way to improve balance, mobility, flexibility, and strength without gym machines or equipment. Here is an example of one of three Bodyweight Strength Programs to get you started. You can view the other two as well as the tables with the exercises, the number of repetitions and sets listed.
Work out with a former Vida player and now world class runner
Many who were part of Vida Tennis in the early 2000 nds would remember a hard-working teenager by the name of Vlad Ixel. The Ukrainian born boy had moved from Israel to Perth and then to Melbourne in the early years of his life. He arrived at Vida Tennis as a very raw, hard-working junior tennis player, with great athletic ability. He climbed the junior ranks very quickly and was soon playing Nationals in his age groups before he and his family moved back to Perth.
Shoulder Mobility for Tennis
Improve your performance, reduce your change of injury.
The range of movement in your shoulder will have a direct relationship with the fluency and speed of your serve and many other shots in tennis. Tight shoulders lead to tight backs and necks, which will affect performance, possible injury, and lower enjoyment of the sport.
The following video gives you some exercises to get you started.
Core Strength for Tennis
Core strength is vital for tennis players to produce more effective and efficient shot-making and balance movement patterns.
Core stability is a misunderstood term. Typically, the core is associated with abdominal muscle groups, and stability is associated with isometric or static strength. However, in actuality, the core consists of the abdominal muscle groups (transverse abdomens, internal obliques, external obliques, rectus abdomens), hip abductors/ adductors, hip flexors, the pelvic floor, and lumbar spine. In addition, it is lumbar spine that is primarily responsible for posture and stability providing the strength needed for stability especially utilized in dynamic sports such as tennis. For this reason, all the key core muscle areas, not just your abdominal’s, must be trained for better shot production and reduction of injury.
Hip Mobility for Tennis
Hip Mobility in tennis is crucial in improving performance in both shot production and movement. Tennis is a sport that places a lot of strain on a developing body and it is important for junior players to start their development early. But hip mobility doesn’t just affect tennis players, it will affect all people in everyday life. There is a lot of talk about the importance of flexibility, being tennis is a very dynamic sport, mobility is essential.