Resistance training can be extremely beneficial for tennis plays, through improving strength we can both improve performance and mitigate injury. This is why every professional tennis player will have strength training in their routine. We can see this from their athletic physiques that strength training plays a role in their physical development.
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Tennis players need to have strong and robust physiques. No, they do not need to be very large in terms of muscle mass, but the muscle that they do have should have good levels of contractile efficiency (strong for its size) and on top of this they should have very robust core strength and full body stability. All this means that tennis players should be focusing on performing the movement patterns with resistance training (hinge, squat, push, pull, core) on a regular basis with a high level of movement virtuosity. This is the rational behind the exercises provided. These exercises can be put into a programme and when performed at the correct intensity can be used to develop the desired physical attributes.
It can be difficult to build high levels of strength and muscle mass with just resistance bands, the good news for tennis players is that this isn’t required for them to excel in their sport. Resistance bands will provide enough stimulus for tennis players to get the results they desire to improve performance without worrying about putting on to much muscle mass.
A lot of tennis players are not doing resistance training for the joy of it, although some may eventually grow to like it, it is usually done as a means to an end. This can mean that tennis players will be more likely to train at home rather than going directly to a gym. Using resistance bands to train at home can be very effective, however you might want to consider purchasing multiple bands with multiple band tensions. If you only have one level of resistance it can be difficult to effectively work all different movement patters. Our lower bodys tend to be far stronger than upper bodies, so different parts of the body need to be presented with different stimuli in order to be effective in our training.
A huge benefit of training with bands for tennis players is that they are one of the most effective pieces of equipment for building a robust core. In tennis we see high levels of rotation and rotation strength and stability is crucial to building strong and powerful strokes. This means that bands can be extremely effective at improving the core in order to improve performance. This is seen in the half kneeling diagonal chop, this aggressive rotation work is extremely valuable for tennis players.
Performing full body resistance training from once to twice a week for recreational tennis players has the ability to transform your game but also your health. Resistance training has been shown to be one of the most successful interventions for health metrics . I highly recommend that you take steps towards adding this into your week, it is a decision that you will not regret.
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This resource was written by Sean Klein. Sean Richard Klein has thousands of hours of coaching experience and a BSc in Sports Science with Management from Loughborough University. He owns a gym in Bayonne France, CrossFit Essor, which runs group classes and a Personal training studio.