5 Training Tips for Better Fitness

Many people seem to have forgotten that the main objective of every tennis training program you do should be to improve your performance on the court.

That is ultimately where you want your fitness to be a deciding factor, isn't it?

You only need to look at the top pros to see that fitness is becoming more of a factor in their success and failure rates, where high-level matches of four hours plus are now commonplace.

Tennis fitness doesn't stop with the ATP and WTA tours, because the same thing applies at the club level.

If you can get your fitness right, this becomes another weapon at your disposal and can be just as important as your forehand or backhand.

After all, what use is a great forehand if you are too weak or too tired to get into position and play it after half an hour?

If your sport is power lifting, then training to lift heavy weights would be your goal. But because your sport is tennis, you need to improve your ability on the court.

I've seen many players over the years who may have the top bench press, but have yet to post a win in a meaningful match!

Here are the five secret tennis training "powers" to ensure your tennis success.

Ground-Based Training - Train in a Standing Position

The majority of your training should take place on your feet. While there are exceptions to this rule, you always lose something when you go from a standing position to seated or lying.

Instead of sitting down trying to perform the shoulder press, stand up and do them in a semi-squat position.

Train With Your Body Weight and Free Weights

This is silly that I have to bring this one up, but I still see so many tennis training programs out there that include leg extensions and leg curls.

Any machine limits your range of motion and controls the movement and, therefore, has no place in the training of tennis players.

They may have some limited use for beginners, but you need to learn to stabilize and control your body in all three planes of motion simultaneously to become an effective tennis player.

Machines prevent you from doing this.

When you use your body weight and/or free weights, i.e. dumbells, you teach your body how to do this, which increases the transfer rate of your training to the courts.

Instead of leg extensions and curls, use squats and lunges as the basis for your leg training.

Use Multiple Joints

Single joint strength, i.e. bicep curls, develops pointless strength and is just a throw back to outdated and irrelevant body building training methods.

If your strength doesn't transfer to the court then what's the point of having it (remember your overall aim!!)?

Here is a quote from nearly 100 years ago: "How can anyone expect to possess co-ordination in active work when his muscles have never worked together in groups?" – Earle Liederman 1924.

Nearly a century ago and people still do it today.

From the two previous powers you can see how much better the squat and lunge are as they engage the ankle, knee and hip joints as well as being ground-based exercises.

The leg extension and curl are seated and only engage the knee joint!

Train With Explosion

Some people feel that explosiveness is dangerous. But let me dispel this myth for you.

If you want quick racket speed and the ability to hit with power, then training explosively (which mimics this) becomes a must because it replicates what happens on court.

Start using medicine balls as they allow you to make moves in an explosive manner that mimics many tennis movements.

Train Movements, Not Muscle Groups

Isolating muscle groups for your training (outside of rehabilitation) should have no place in your training program.

You need to think about how you move and perform on the court in order to get the most effective, integrated tennis training program.

Throwing a weighted object around becomes a great way to train for a bigger/faster serve as long as the weight is not too heavy as to alter your technique.

If you start following these five secret "powers," you will not only grow stronger and faster, but you will also start to see the biggest benefits where you need them most -- on the court!

To maximize your tennis potential, visit TennisInfoProducts.com for your total tennis fitness solution

Active logoSee more tennis tips or find tennis lessons near you


Paul Gold is a former international-level cricketer and a Lawn Tennis Association licensed coach. He holds a Master's degree in Sports Science and Speed Agility Quickness (SAQ) trainer accreditation. For more information on how to improve your level of tennis fitness visit Tennis-Training-Central.com .

Discuss This Article