Have you ever wondered what the best exercises for tennis players are? Or what training is going to give you the best results?
Well, today is your lucky day! Because at Tennis Fitness we ask ourselves these questions constantly, it is how we stay motivated to bring our tennis community our best work and educate you on how to train for tennis.
Today I want to share a purpose-built training system that we developed specifically for tennis players. For tennis kids through to tennis pros. Out of this training system, I want to share 9 exercises for tennis players who have had great results for 10’s or 1000 players. Are they the best tennis exercises in the world? I don’t know, that comes down to how they are performed and personal preference, all I know is they have worked really well for us for over 20 years.
When you look at the game of tennis and the physical demands placed on our bodies, it blows me away how diverse training ideally should be. To play good tennis you need to be fit, strong, flexible, have power, and good stamina, but that seems general right?
A few years ago, we thought about how the ideal player should; Look, Feel and Perform, we pushed a bit deeper. We asked ourselves “what are the ideal characteristics of a tennis player”
Once we picked apart all the needed physical attributes, we worked out there are 9 areas players needed to focus on. We ended up calling these 9 areas “The Martin Method 9 Threads”
If a player can be not only physically adequate in these 9 threads but also excel in them, they will become the best tennis physical version of themselves – A Robust Beast! ROAR haha
So, you might be asking what are these threads and what are some examples of them? Well, don’t worry I am going to share that with you right now!
The Martin Method 9 Threads
1 - Bilateral strength
2 - Anti-Rotation & rotational control
3 - Force absorption
4 - Force expression
5 - Unilateral power
6 - Repeated power
7 - Multi-directional speed
8 - High aerobic capacity
9 - Full body flexibility
We find these 9 threads so important we incorporate them into all of our online tennis fitness programs. So, without even realizing it, when you follow one of our programs you are following a system that has been researched, practiced, and has succeeded with its results! You don’t need to know all the jargon and science behind your workouts, you leave that to us, and you just focus on getting fitter, stronger, more powerful, and winning more! We have you covered!
Here is some brief information on our 9 threads and most importantly some video examples of each thread. (you could even use these 9 exercises for tennis players as a tennis workout)
9 Best Exercises for Tennis Players
1. BI-LATERAL STRENGTH
We consider this thread the most important thread of the lot. Strength is king. Strength training is where we build the platform that everything else relies on. Following the Bilateral strength programs will allow athletes to build total-body strength that can be used as a base for power development, endurance, and force absorption. The stronger the athlete the more robust the athlete!
2. ANTI-ROTATIONAL AND ROTATIONAL CONTROL
Almost every time we hit a serve or shot on the court there is an element of torso rotation and with that comes a flow-on effect through what we call the kinetic chain (transferring load through multiple joints/movements). When our bodies are strong and stable through rotation movement and also at end range, we have a better capacity to hit better shots with more power and accuracy, and most importantly we have better protection for the lower back and shoulder girdle.
PLATE AND CABLE ROTATION
3. FORCE ABSORPTION
The majority of players focus their training on power and acceleration. But we know through over 20 years of experience training players that having the ability to absorb force (stop, brake, slow down quickly) correctly is just as important if not more important than force expression (power). When your body is physically equipped to absorb force you will be in a better position to move and hit shots from. There will also be a lot less wear and tear on your joints.
SINGLE-LEG BASE LAND
4. FORCE EXPRESSION
Every player wants more power, right? The more of it the better. This thread works on tennis-specific movements and muscle groups that impact power output. If you are not training it the right way, you won’t get the gains.
SINGLE-ARM MEDICINE BALL CHEST THROW
5. UNILATERAL POWER
Having the ability to dynamically push off on one leg or hit a wide stretched forehand with power is what unilateral power is all about. Our unilateral power thread focuses on specific exercises and drills that will enable you to become more efficient pushing out in multiple directions (serving, moving laterally, pushing up vertically, forward and backward movement).
SINGLE-LEG LATERAL BOUNDS
6. REPEATED POWER
Tennis is characterized as a power endurance sport. Having the ability to perform repeated dynamic movements. Training this thread will help physically prepare your body for continuous bouts of power movements and shots.
SINGLE-LEG MEDICINE BALL ROTATION HIP DRIVE
7. MULTI DIRECTIONAL SPEED
There are no set movement patterns on the court, we go where the ball goes. Nothing is planned, we need to physically react to each shot that comes back. If you cannot keep up with the play, you lose. If you are too slow around court it makes it hard to play well. Having good multi-directional speed is often the difference between being in control or being on the defensive. Our training techniques in this thread are super effective at improving court movement and reaction.
8. HIGH AEROBIC CAPACITY
This thread is often overlooked by many players these days. Gone are the days of running on the treadmill 1 hour, we now take a more specific approach. We focus this thread on tennis-specific variables that relate to players lasting longer on the court, having better concentration, and more consistent energy levels. We have worked out what players need and how to build them up to achieve it.
9. FULL BODY FLEXIBILITY
This thread is aimed at mobilizing joints and lengthening muscles throughout the body. Player's bodies can hold a lot of tension due to the stop-start nature of the game, we are also absorbing a lot of loads and also breaking down muscle tissue through the dynamic processes that occur for hours on end. What is important to do is manage the level of flexibility and mobility and keep them within healthy ranges. This is vital to do to prevent injuries and boost performance by being physically prepared.
Ok, so there you have it. Our 9 threads, their benefits, and examples of what they are. We truly hope you take this information on board and incorporate some of this into your training structure. Remember you can follow one of our online tennis fitness programs and take the guesswork out of your training.
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