7 Core Exercises Every Tennis Player Should Do
Your core transfers the forces from the ground up to your arm and, ultimately, to your racket. If your core is weak, you lose a lot of power, and you risk overuse injuries.
Forearm Plank1 of 8
Strong supporting muscles around the spine will decrease the risk of lower-back pain or injury. One of the simplest methods to test and improve your core strength is the plank.
Get down on the ground on your elbows and toes, with your body completely straight. Have your elbows directly below your shoulders and hands inline with the elbows. Hold the plank for 1 minute without dropping your hips. The sign of a strong core is if you can hold the plank for 2 minutes or more with good form. Another variation of plank is supporting yourself on your hands instead of the elbows.
Plank with Arm and Leg Lift2 of 8
Get down on the ground on your hands and toes, shoulders aligned over the hands. Keep the body straight. Don't let your belly or hips sink. Slowly lift your left arm and right leg at the same time, keeping them straight and parallel to the ground. Hold the top position for 1to 2 seconds, then switch sides. Repeat 20 times.
Plank with Hip Twists3 of 8
This plank with hip twists adds an important element for tennis players: rotational power and strength.
Get into plank position on the forearms. Twist your hips to the left and gently touch the ground. Make sure both your elbows remain on the ground at all times. Return to the middle position. Twist to the other side. Repeat 20 times.?
Side Plank for Obliques and Hips4 of 8
Think of how many times you bend and twist during your normal day and how many times you coil and uncoil on the tennis court. The muscles responsible for this motion are the obliques, which are located on the sides of your core.
Get down on the ground on your left side. Stack your feet on each other and support yourself on your left hand, with the shoulder above the hand. Lift the hips up so they are in one line with your feet and shoulders like a plank.. Raise your right arm vertically toward the sky. This will stretch your chest and add more difficulty. Make sure to keep shoulders down so there's room in your neck. Hold the plank for 1 minute on each side.?
To add difficulty, lift the top leg. Keep the knee straight and lead with the heel. Hold the top contraction for one second before you slowly return to the start position. Repeat 15 to 20 times.
Bicycle5 of 8
Lie on your back with straight legs and hands supporting your head. Lift your feet slightly off the ground and keep them in the air during the entire set. Bend the left leg and bring the knee toward your chest, while crunching and twisting your upper body to bring your right elbow toward your left knee. Touch them together, while extending your right leg forward, close to the ground (but not touching). Hold the contraction for one second. Then switch sides to touch the right knee and left elbow. Perform the movement slowly and controlled. Always push the lower back into the ground. Start with 20 repetitions, and work yourself up to 100.
Reverse Crunch6 of 8
Lie on your back, bend your legs, and bring your knees to your chest. Try to keep your feet close to your glutes during the entire exercise. Lift your hips off the ground and bring the knees to your chest. Your back should be rounded. Reverse the movement and slowly return to the starting position. Make sure not to swing with your legs to help the movement. Repeat 15 to 20 times.
Windshield Wiper7 of 8
This is a great core exercise for every tennis player, as it strengthens the obliques, abs and hip flexors, and at the same time, it stretches the lower back, IT-band and chest.
Lie on the ground on your back, spread your arms to the sides in a T position, pushing your palms to the ground. Lift your legs straight up toward the sky. Keep the 90-degree angle in your hips at all times and your knees straight.?
Let the legs slowly drop to the right side until you reach the ground. The legs should be parallel with your arms. Don't relax completely, just gently touch the ground and reverse the movement without kicking, but using your core. Your feet should stay together and both shoulders and arms on the ground at all times. Perform up to 20 repetitions. Bend your knees slightly for an easier variation.