While professional athletes sure make it look easy on whatever court they play on, competing in individual sports, such as tennis, demands more power, speed, and coordination than you could ever imagine. Strength and conditioning coach, Tim Hartwig, explains that a single point already requires close to nine directional changes on average. It simply reflects how tennis players are always on their toes and their reflexes on point. In hindsight, regardless of gender and rank, a pro tour player’s limbs, shoulders, and back should constantly be strong and agile enough to react in certain ways.
The beginning is almost always the hardest, especially if you don’t know where to start. This is why a lot of parents are already introducing their kids to sports at a young age. When it comes to tennis players, for instance, it’s no surprise that most professionals began holding a racket by the time they were already able to walk. According to his biography, Rafael Nadal set off his remarkable, future Hall of Fame journey as early as age three. To reinforce this practice, Play Your Court states how “tennis is a great sport for children because it gives them an outlet at a very young age to learn life lessons that extend far beyond the tennis court.” Part of these so-called life lessons is about understanding the values of hard work, patience, and dedication – no matter where you are in life and/or whatever age group you belong. So if you’re a budding athlete who is looking to reach that next level of your chosen sport, try this fitness routine designed by Tim Hartwig himself to improve your overall strength and agility.
Crossover Barbell Step Ups – 12 reps
Place a barbell on your back, maintain an upright spinal position then step your outside leg up onto an elevated bench. This exercise strengthens your glutes, helping you move better laterally.
Pallof Press – 12 reps
Begin in an athletic stance with your feet placed hip width apart and your knees slightly bent. Proper form is important to stabilize your upper body during forehand and backhand swings.
Rotational Lunges – 12 reps each leg
This is just like a regular lunge, but you have to have your arms forward – preferably with a medicine ball – then rotate toward the extended leg. This is to benefit your hips and knees while performing dynamic movements on the court.
Scapular Push Ups – 12 reps
While in a forearm plank position, draw your belly button to your spine and keep your glutes tight, before lowering your upper body towards the floor and extending it back up. When done right, it does wonders for your shoulders.
Kettlebell Goblet Squat – 12 reps
Kettlebell goblet squats work better with resistance bands, so the key here is to wrap one around your midsection – keeping it tight and challenged – while holding the weight with the bottom facing up. This movement develops your lower body, which is vital for a stronger, more forceful serve.
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