Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tennis Conditioning For High School and College Players

Order of priorty (Five S')

Sound Fundamentals

     Since these qualities are not mutually exclusive you can start working gradually in all departments of your game. Tailor your training to where you need the most work while still developing your strengths to higher levels. This will make you a better player starting today. The title of this post is conditioning so I will focus on strength, speed, and stamina related to the art of tennis.

     Strength training reduces injuries and improves performance if done correctly. I had the opportunity to train under the wing of Pat Etcheberry who is regarded as one of the founders of modern tennis conditioning. His passion and motivation to help players be the best is contageous.
If you follow this program you will have a stronger court presense and the physical skills necessary to play the game at a high level.

1. Start your workout with a warm-up. Do abs first--lower, obliques, and then upper.
    Ride the bike or jog as well if you wish. With any lifting do a few easy ones first.
    When done stretch down after your workout is finished. Work opposites: ab/lower back, bi/tri, quad/ham, chest/ lats.
    on the same day.This gives you maximum benefit. Reduce body fat if you have imbalances. Improve muscle development if you have imbalances. Inhale before you work exhale as you push the weight. 

2. Types of exercises:

    If you are not sure how to do an exercise ask the trainer for assistance or google it to see the form so you know what the heck you are doing.

    Chest (all interchangeable) 

   1 Barbell Bench Press
   1 Dumbell Bench Press
   1 Pushups
   2 Incline and Decline of Bench Presses
   2 Flyes
   3 Incline Flyes
   3 Cable Crossovers
   3 Dips
  Back (Lats)

  1 Lat Pull Downs
  1 Behind the Neck Pull downs
  1 Seated Cable Rows
  1 Pull-Ups
  2  Bent Over Barbell Rows
  2 Bent Over Dumbell Rows
  2 T-Bar Rows
  2  On-Arm Dumbell Rows


1  Barbell Military Press
1  Dumbbell Military Press
1  Push Press Jerks
2  Front Raises
2 Lateral Raises
2 Bent-over lateral raises
2 Cable Lateral raises
3 Standing Flyes
3 Upright rows
4 Barbell Shrugs
4 Dumbbell Shrugs
5 Rotator Cuff Prone Postion
5 Rotator Cuff on side postition


1 Triceps Push Downs
1 Triceps Pull Downs
1 Skull Crushers
1 Triceps Kickbacks
1 Bench Dips
2 Barbell Triceps Curls
2 Dumbbell Triceps Curls
2 One-Arm Triceps Extensions

Biceps/ Forearms Exercises

1 Barbell Curls
1 Dumbbell Curls
1 Preacher Curls
1 Incline Dumbbell Curls
1 Concentration Curls
2 Reverse Barbell Curls
2 Reverse Dumbbell Curls
2 Hammer Curls
3 Behind the Wrist Curls
3 Reverse Wrist Curls

Legs/ Interchangeable

1 Squats
1 Leg Press
1 Dead Lift
1 Leg Extensions
1 Leg Curls
2 Standing Calf Raises
2 Seated Calf Raises
2 Reverse Calf Raises
3 Jump Squats
3 Power Cleans
4 Power Steps
4 Lunges

*****Perfect your technique in the weight room. It's not how much you lift rather how you lift it and why!  You only have to do one exercise from each numbered group.

Muscles need 48 hours to recover from same exercise. Vary your exercises.  Use the X+ method.
When you can add three more reps to each set then go up in weight five pounds. Never MAX out. Estimate your max based on most you can do for 7 reps. Add a few pounds in your mind, that's your max. Maxing is not good for tennis. You need fluidity which is seldom talked about. I would never come close to a max. You should do three sets of each numbered exercise. Remember you should chose one number for that workout as more would be too much.

You need at least three days per week in the gym to make gains. You can go up to six but need more experience for that. Three sets of each exercise in general rule to follow. If you want buff go with four. Allow yourself about one hour for each workout except on the combined body day where you will need closer to one and one half hours.

Safety Tips

Use a spotter/ go with a friend
pick up weights when done
drink water
use good form
breath right
do not drop weights
dress correctly
remember what you're doing/ records

When you're in season two days per week will maintain what you've built.

Stability Ball Exercises (abs) and Medicine Ball exercises (great for trunk rotation and stroke strength and lunges) will develop your core strength and should be incorporated into your strength training Again--google the exercises and the form.

March should look like this--or what ever month you begin your strengthening. As you go into your season you should modify your workouts to fit your playing schedule so that you give yourself time to rebuild muscle. This is called tapering. Short sets with a few reps near the higher end of weight keeps you explosive. This entry did not include your on court practicing which should also follow a taper schedule.

Monday Gym
Wednesday Gym
Friday Gym
Saturday Gym/ Distance Run or Substitute a Full Match
Sunday Rest


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