What are Tennis Strength and Conditioning Training?
The Tennis Strength and Conditioning Training involves a wide range of exercises put together to build a variety of skills (1). The focus of this training is on mind, mobility, strength, endurance, stability. Other aspects of attention are power, agility, speed and performance.
Irrespective of level in the tennis game, strength and conditioning is a great way to transform your body and get huge results. This is because it encompasses so much more than only weight lifting. It also focuses on different tools to enhance your movement, health and physical performance.
Generally, Tennis Strength and Conditioning Programs are designed to improve the performance of tennis players while playing on the court. These programs deal with the challenges peculiar to tennis players. They help with injury prevention. And also in the development of proper mechanics within a player’s tennis performances
Benefits of Strength and Conditioning
The benefits of a good strength and conditioning program changes per individual, based on their goals and abilities. Below are some of the primary reasons to incorporate strength and conditioning programs into your routine.
An essential feature of strength and conditioning training is a full assessment of the player’s movement patterns. So, the player can use the right movement techniques to prevent injuries.
Strength and conditioning drills help to achieve a higher level of proprioception in players. The awareness of movement and position in the body is proprioception. Specific exercises and balance work helps to make proprioception.
Decreased injury as a result of strength and conditioning training also plays a crucial role in improving proprioception.
Tennis strength and conditioning program help to improve your performance. This program helps to maximize your capabilities to improve your performance. This is possible as critical areas of improvement are identified, and your results are also measured accurately.
Performance of players are improved because of the technical, tactical, physical and mental factors which strength and conditioning routine have on them.
Fast Recovery after Injury:
Although one of the principles of strength and conditioning is to reduce injury through better movement, injuries still happen sometimes. When you get injured, strength and conditioning help your muscles to be stronger and more adaptable. Thus, this aids the recovery process.
A strength and conditioning coach helps in the identification of movement patterns that are out of bounds when injured. Also, with strength and conditioning programs, you get to know how to use exercise to condition your muscles back to performance.
According to research, strength training does not only increase the strength of your bones. It also improves bone density. Strength training plays a significant role in slowing bone loss and also builds bone. So, age-related declines in bone mass are offset with strength training.
Activities that put stress on bones helps to enhance the activity of bone-forming cells. Strength training like running or running, which tugs and pushes on bones put stress on the bone. Thus, giving stronger and denser bones.
Strength and conditioning training, like other exercises, helps in the release of serotonin. The hormone serotonin improves mood. Also, seeing the progress that comes with strength and conditioning programs is rewarding. Thus, strength and conditioning can improve your performance at a competitive play. And this enhances your mood.
Strength and conditioning training improves movement mechanics; this results in improved posture. And improved posture provides better body functions, including your respiratory and circulatory systems.
The Martin Method 9 Threads
The Martin Method 9 Thread is a tested and researched system that you can follow for strength and conditioning training. The system is designed according to how a typical tennis player should feel, look and compete. It is a complete conditioning and a comprehensive approach for tennis.
The Martin Method 9 Thread will help tennis players to work on their weaknesses. It will also help them to prevent injuries as well as boost their performance.
Below are the 9 threads:
This is one of the most important among the threads. This is the fundamental part that all other aspects depend on. The bi-lateral tennis strength training program allows players to build total-body strength. The body strength serves as a base for power development, force absorption and endurance. And the stronger the athlete, the less prone to injury they are.
Anti-Rotational and Rotational Control:
In tennis, you have to make many rotational movements. So, it is vital to strengthen and prepare your body to maintain excellent stability and postural control. This thread goal is to enhance your rotational chain of movement.
The focus of most players is power and acceleration. It is shown that being able to absorb force through the correct chain of movement offers tennis players the ability to prevent injuries. It also provides them with better movement preparation as well as the capacity to be more dynamic.
Thus, the force absorption is a vital area to train. This is because it allows your body to adapt and be better prepared for absorbing force when you are on the court.
The more power you have as a tennis player, the better. This is because tennis is a power endurance sport, so, every player desires more power.
Force expression thread thereby works on specific movements for tennis players. Learning and applying these principles in your tennis strength and conditioning programs enables you to be more dynamic and responsive on the court.
What you need to do as a high-end tennis player is to have the ability to push off on one leg dynamically or hit a wide stretched forehand with power.
The focus of unilateral power thread is on specific exercises. It is also on drills that allow you to become more productive and physically confident on the court. This you can do while leaning or loading one side of your body or a specific joint.
Tennis is a power endurance sport. So having the ability to perform dynamic movements for long hours is what the game is about.
Repeated power thread helps to prepare the body for the amount of power output that is needed throughout practice and matches.
A critical attribute to have as a tennis player is the ability to take off or speed up. To decelerate or brake to slow down. Also, the ability to transition or change direction is a critical attribute for all tennis players. Some players do this more naturally than others. Yet, all players can adapt and improve how they move on the court.
Multi-Directional Speed thread will enhance your movement on the court.
High Aerobic Capacity:
High aerobic capacity is essential to have for a tennis player. It is vital because it helps you recover between points. It also helps you to maintain the right concentration and gives you the stamina to last a long match.
Thus, incorporating these tennis conditioning drills will help you improve in this area. And also, boost your all-round performance.
The flexibility thread aims at mobilizing your joints. It also aims to elongate your muscles throughout the body.
Healthy tennis players must have the least tension throughout their bodies, especially in areas they use most times. This thread targets those areas and sets an excellent platform for a long and mobile tennis player.
As seen above, the Martin Method 9 threads involves particular areas that all tennis players need to target when performing any Tennis Strength and Conditioning Programs.
You need to follow these threads to save time. Also, to boost your physical capabilities and recover the best you can.
Strength and Conditioning Drills
Below are some of the top movement drills that help to improve player’s speed, quickness and agility. It is most suitable that you perform these drill with a racket.
close and drop:
This drills works on your forward and backward movement. It reinforces closing in when at the net.
To set up this drill, the coach needs to kneel at the net facing the player on the same side of the service line. Two cones are set up on the other side of the net as targets for the drop shots.
To do this, the coach alternates tossing balls to left and right sides. This forces the player to sprint up and hit a drop shot. After each shot, the player backpedals as fast as possible to the starting position. The starting position is the centre of the service line. After 25 seconds, the next player jumps into position. This offers the first player the chance to recover.
This drill teaches players the amount of reach they have at the net while taking only one step in each direction. This drill works on proper body rotation while alternating hitting the volleys.
To set up this drill, the coach feeds balls from opposite side service line to the player at the net.
This drill involves the player to alternately hit a high forehand volley followed by a low backhand volley. After a short rest, you will reverse the sequence to a high backhand and a low forehand volley.
The purpose of this drill is to work on hitting different shots as the player advances to the net to close out the point. This exercise replicates common patterns of play.
To set up, the coach feeds balls rapidly from the opposite side baseline.
To do this drill, the player shuffles along the baseline. Then, he sprints forward to the centre service line, split steps and afterwards, hits a forehand volley. After this, follows a backhand volley while closing into the net. The final shot in the sequence is overhead while backing up.
2 Coaches Drill:
This drill aims to improve the lateral movement of players. It also teaches players to cut the ball off at an angle. This exercise emphasizes balance on the split step and an explosive first step toward the ball.
To set up, the player stands in the ready position in the center of the baseline. One coach or a coach and a player stand in each doubles alley three feet inside the baseline with three balls in his/her hand.
To do this exercise, the player shuffles along the baseline, one coach shouts either forehand and drops the ball from shoulder height. Or the coach shouts backhand, and the other coach drops the ball. The player recovers near the centre of the baseline after hitting the groundstroke. The coaches can vary their position in the alley from the baseline to the service line.
Forehand Only Drill:
The goal of this drill is to improve player’s lateral movement along the baseline. It is an excellent exercise that works on the inside-out and inside-in forehands.
To set up this drill, the player stands in the ready position in the center of the baseline. And the coach feeds balls from the other side of the net.
To perform this drill, the coach runs player from side to side, but the player is only allowed to hit forehands. The coach could choose inside-out or inside-in targets. That is, down-the-line forehands hit from the backhand corner.
The inclusion of strength and conditioning exercises in a tennis training program is a good approach. This is because strength and conditioning exercises provide a strong foundation in developing the necessary skills you need to enjoy the tennis game.
Incorporating tennis strength and conditioning programs into your routine will help to improve your performance. That is, it improves your mobility, stability, speed, power, strength, agility and endurance.
Also, strength and conditioning programs often come with regimens that strengthen body parts that are prone to injury in the tennis game. Thus, another goal of this program is to reduce tennis players’ injuries.
Incorporating the principles and drills of strength and conditioning given above in your training, will improve how you live, move and perform in the tennis game.