We can think of plenty of ways why training off the court will have a huge impact on it. But here are four to get you started…
Injury Prevention: Training off the court and in the gym can make sure you stay on the court longer. The science is there to say that if you’re able to strengthen your body in the gym away from the tennis court, you massively reduce your chances of getting injured. Not only will you improve your muscle strength, but also your tendons and muscles around your joints, which are likely to cause you issues if you aren’t strong enough. Tennis is a high impact sport with lots of twists and turns that take its tole on the body. Ensuring your body is strong enough to withstand that is vital if you want to play for a long time!
Movement, agility and speed around the court: Aside from injury prevention, strength and power training in the gym will help you move faster around the court. Your change of direction will get quicker, meaning you’re able to reach those previously impossible returns. Improved acceleration across the court starts with improved strength and power developed in the gym. It’s an unfortunate myth that lifting weights and getting stronger in the gym will slow you down. Quite the opposite! If you train correctly, not only will you get stronger and reduce your chances of getting injured, but it’ll improve your movement around the court.
Stamina within games: We’ve all been there, two sets into a match, our technical game is there, but our fitness is holding us back. If all you do is play tennis and expect to improve your cardiovascular fitness, sadly, that’s not enough. If you’re looking to improve your stamina on the court, it’s important to train off it. Longer, steady training is excellent for improving your endurance, such as a long run or a cycle. But if you want to take your tennis to the next level, try adding more specific interval drills into your sessions. Shorter, high-intensity bursts mimic what it’s like to play a point in tennis.
Power – Power comes in two forms in tennis – through force expression, players can generate initial power or acceleration to create that first-step quickness. They can also use it to create dynamic, high tempo groundstrokes and serves. If we can transfer more force into the ball with less effort, you’ll be able to generate powerful strokes whilst maintaining control of the ball. Improving power in the lower body is extremely important if we want to move fast quickly to get behind the ball and transfer that energy into our shots. Power can be developed through building a base level of strength and then harnessed with explosive exercises, such as jumps and slams. If you develop your power off the court, you’ll soon notice the additional speed you’ll be able to generate on your ground-strokers, serves and your movement in general.
If you’re looking to really take your tennis to the next level, then it’s important you take part in structured training off the court. Have a chat with our experts and see how we can help you.