How to Train for Tennis Power – Part 2

Let’s recap on Train for Tennis Power Part 1.

We have found the most successful ways to train athletes, is to implement EFFECTIVE PROGRESSIONS.

With every program we design, we ask the all-important questions;

“Why are we doing this exercise and what are we trying to achieve”

In Train for Tennis Power Part 1, we talked about the common problems we have found players doing when training for tennis power. Now we are going to give you a solution for these problems. (If you didn’t read Train for Tennis Power Part 1 Click Here)

To get it right you need to consider a few important steps –

Step 1 – Build strength
Firstly, one of the biggest mistakes is not having a good strength foundation. Focus on building strength through the major muscles groups prior to performing any power orientated exercises. This is especially important for young athletes. If a young player cannot squat under body weight, how can you expect them to do anything dynamically with good form! They won’t have the capacity to absorb force under a good bio mechanical chain of movement.

Step 2 – Learn how to absorb force

Force absorption is when a player lands or absorbs force. Most players focus on power and acceleration. Research shows us that having the ability to absorb force through the correct chain of movement, gives athletes the ability to have better movement preparation, prevent injuries and have the capacity to be more dynamic. This is a vital area to train, to allow the body to adapt and be better prepared for absorbing force when on court.

Base Landing

Step 3 – Force expression

Force expression is when a player produces force e.g. takes off for a drop shot hits a serve or jumps.
Force expression is generating initial power or acceleration, creating that first step quickness and generating dynamic groundstrokes. It’s important to remember if you are unable to force absorb, you will be limiting your ability to express force.

Counter movement vertical jump

Step 4 – Force absorption into force expression

Once you have established good form with both force absorption and force expression, we then can progress to a combination of both force absorption into force expression. An example of this is when you hit a wide forehand/backhand and need to decelerate (force absorb), make a shot and then accelerate (force express) out of the shot.

Lateral jump with a return

Step 5 – Uni- lateral Power

Once you have established a good solid dynamic power structure we move into uni- lateral power. This where we see a lot of athletes go wrong. Trying to get players to perform unilateral power without establishing a solid bi lateral power base.
Unilateral power is when a player focuses on specific exercises and drills that are only single arm or single leg exercises.
Implementing uni-lateral power in your program, enables the player to become more effective and physically confident on court, whilst leaning or loading one side of the body or a specific joint. Having the ability to dynamically push off on one leg or hit a wide stretched forehand with power is what you need to do as a high-end athlete.
Because tennis is a unilateral sport it is very important that we train this area. We find if your power program is only performing bilateral exercises, your dominant arm will tend to take more of the load (in some cases 60% load dominant side – 40% load non-dominant side e.g in a bench press), causing problems long term. If this is the case it is inevitable that the dominate side gets stronger and the less dominate side becomes weaker.

Power step ups into A stance
Power step ups into A stance

Hopefully you have more of an understanding of how to train for power.

We are here to help, check out our programs and see how you can learn and become a better tennis athlete –
click here.

Take home message is to ensure you always progress your Power Program correctly, don’t rush ahead without building a good foundation and establishing good form. Otherwise your power program could actually be doing more harm than good.


For additional help, get in touch with us….. This is what we do… It’s our passion!

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