Should Players Perform Tennis Strength TrainingMay 27, 2020
The global Health and Fitness industry moves and changes at such a rapid rate, it can feel overwhelming for people to keep up. Having been in the industry for 20 years, we have seen lots of things come and go and the good news is, the bad things are the ones that go. Fads and gimmicks fade almost as fast as they come and in the tennis industry, it is no different.
One thing that has always been at the forefront of any successful tennis physical performance plan is “Tennis Strength Training”.
Research shows strength training gives athletes more benefits across the board than any other training discipline.
Here are some benefits of tennis strength training;
- Build a Good Foundation - You wouldn’t build a house on bad foundations. Strength is the foundation for; Injury prevention, Speed, Power, Endurance, Flexibility/Mobility. Building the strength foundation allows the body to become more adaptable, robust, and protected.
- Increase Power - Strength x Speed = Power. Without the strength, you won’t get much improvement in power output.
- Injury Prevention – Having strong resilient bodies, means you are less likely to injure yourself. Not only lessening the likelihood of a muscle tear but also decreasing the risk of a tendon or joint issues.
- Metabolism – A positive side effect of strength training is the strengthening and development of lean muscle tissue. These muscle fibers require energy to recover and maintain their functionality. This process leads to an increase in metabolic rate (the rate at which we burn energy)
- Hormonal response – When you work against resistance your body calls on help from the endocrine system to release an extra hormone to help facilitate the task at hand. This process sees the body secrete more of these “Happy Hormones” than usual.
- Confidence – The combination of hormone release, increase in metabolism, and the change in body shape, which is associated with strength training, can lead to an increase in confidence. When you feel good and look good, it is hard too not to feel confident.
- Recovery – Having a stronger resilient body means your body will bounce back at a fast rate. Less damage = Faster recovery
- Manage/Improve Heart Health – Resistance training has been proven to lead to an increase in heart health and improved circulation. Depending on how you structure your tennis strength training, you have a dramatic positive effect on your “Endurance”
- Hold Posture Better on Court – Holding good athletic posture on the court is an issue for a lot of players, getting stronger will allow you to hold a better posture for longer whilst on the court.
- Bone Health – Regular resistance training leads to an increase in bone density. The denser the bone, the stronger the bone.
By following a tennis strength program, athletes of any age are setting themselves up for gains in every aspect of their physical state. In short nothing bad will come from getting your body stronger, so why not do it!
A lot of parents, coaches, and young players have these issues;
Not knowing what to do, think that tennis strength training means lifting heavy weights, believe it will stunt growth, are doing the wrong things (potentially causing more harm than good).
For young athletes (from 8 years old) it is imperative to have them learning and implementing fundamental strength patterns at least once per week.
These patterns should include; Lunge, Squat, Bend, Rotation, Push, and Pull.
The instruction/programming should be carried out by a qualified tennis trainer or if following an online tennis strength program, it should be created by someone who knows what they are doing.
The tennis strength exercises prescribed and loads lifted (Bodyweight, Medicine ball, Barbell, Dumbbell, Cable, or Kettle Bell) should reflect the young athlete's physical and mental maturity, combined with their training experience (training age).
One of the worse things you can do is train a young athlete like and adult. It is not a one size fits all approach. All young athletes need to go through a period of “getting the basics right”
Learning how to move correctly. Adding variety into the training is important also, this will encourage athletes to want to learn and develop new training skills.
We are here to help educate and support the greater tennis community.
If you do not have someone to help guide you, your child, or the player you work with along their strength training journey, please let us help you.
We offer a range of online programs - From senior to junior tennis strength programs, that are designed to help players of all levels reach their strong best self!
Please check out our Free level 1 Introductory Strength Development Program here - https://www.tennisfitness.com/junior