If you need to be specific about footwear or you are injured/trying to prevent any tennis injury, it is always recommend to seek professional advice from your local Podiatrist before attempting to purchase your new tennis shoes. This can prevent wasted money, frustration and unnecessary travel to and from the shoe store. However there are some general pieces of advice or rules you may follow if you have no problems. These are simple:
1) Ensure the shoe has a firm heel counter. This is the bit at the back of the shoe where your heel sits. The top of it can be cushioned and soft but the part that connects to the shoe should be firm enough that you cant push it or bend it. It should be made of a firm plastic.
2) If you are running/walking only ensure the shoe bends at the toe level of the shoe. To do this pick the shoe up and bend it in your hands. It should bend where your toes bend. Also try to bend it in the middle – walking/running shoes should not bend through the midsection,...
Shoe choice is extremely important as it can play a significant role in not only performance during activity, but it also reduces the risk of injury whilst performing.
The most common thing heard is that a shoe is simply a shoe. The Dunlop Volley is just as good as the expensive athletic shoe – this quite frankly just isn’t true. All shoes are “specific” to activities. Neither should players play tennis in running shoes, nor do they run in tennis shoes. The shoe itself must be sports specific. The day of the “cross trainer” is simply over, if in fact it ever had its day in the first place!
What sport do I need the shoe for?
Possibly the single most important question you need to answer when buying a shoe. The force which goes through your lower limb when playing different activities changes – in saying this it is only logical that the shoe translating that force to the ground should also change. For example: RUNNING is a...
The most common question we get asked as tennis strength and conditioners is, "When can my daughter or son, start tennis strength training and what strength training should we do?"
One of the biggest misconceptions people make is to train young tennis players like they would an adult.
Tennis training for kids should be totally different than for adults.
This can be dangerous and often leads to tennis injuries. Players under the age of 16 should steer away from weights and heavy loading. Alternatively, they should use body weight exercises, resistance bands and medicine balls (5-10% of their body weight).
At ‘Martin Method Tennis Fitness’ we recommend all young players aged 16 and under start out by performing these 6 fundamental movement patterns- Lunge, Squat, Bend, Pull, Push and Rotation. When young players can consistently complete all the 6 movement patterns, with good form, only then should their tennis program progress.
Performing these basic fundamental...
When you look at the physicality of tennis, it is demanding in a lot of ways. Having to be able to stay on court for hours requires physical endurance. Performing dynamic movements time after time draws on your power and staying in control of your body for prolonged periods comes down to strength. The majority of the pros on tour have extremely strong legs and they carry the bulk of their muscle mass through their lower extremities. Their upper bodies are lean and strong but compared proportionally to their lower bodies they have a lot less muscle mass. You don't want to carry too much access weight around on court, it will hinder movement, burn up energy and cause you to fatigue quicker. So it is important to get the balance right. When building your best tennis body it is important to remember what the goal is, "strength gains, stability and ideal body weight" if you can achieve these three things, you will not only feel good and move well, you will also look great! Building your...
How important it is to periodize your training for tennis?
Periodization is simply, structuring on and off-court tennis training into phases or blocks of time.
The basic phases include:
• Preparation (general and specific)
• Competition (pre-competition and competition)
• Transition (offseason)
Each phase focuses on different aspects of tennis fitness and tennis conditioning (cardio endurance, strength, power, tennis speed, agility, and recuperation) in conjunction with on-court work, specific for the phase.
Here is a brief explanation of each phase.
Preparation (General and Specific)
General: High training volume/ low intensity. Focus is on endurance and strength. Training can be general and non-tennis specific at the start of the phase (cross-training) a good time to work on tennis technique. Ratio 30:70.on court : off-court training Phase length: 4-6 weeks.
Specific: Low volume/High intensity. Focus on more specific tennis training variables (anaerobic...
Power is one of the most important aspects of being a successful tennis player. At any level being able to continuously, move dynamically for extended periods of time will ultimately lead to good results. Nadal is a classic example of this, he manages to maintain his power and dynamic movements over hours of tennis. Tennis is a power endurance sport. Which means you need to be able to jump, dynamically change direction and positions, rotate with speed and accelerate the arm through a range of motion. All this happens naturally for most players, however there are many ways to improve certain aspects of your tennis power, that will lead to better court movement, more control and better intensity at the end of matches and practice.
Give this specific tennis power endurance program a go for 1 month (twice a week) and I am sure you will feel the difference. The aim is to do these tennis exercises at 100% intensity with good posture and form, so work at your level. Always remember...
Champion athletes in any sport all have one thing in common… consistent results. To be successful and have longevity in a sport means you have to have many wins over time. Quite often I will ask my tennis players, “What makes a tennis champion” The answers will vary from training for tennis, dynamic tennis footwork, a massive forehand or serve, mental toughness and so on. All those answers make up a good player… but do they keep a champion at the top for months on end?
Most players will have experienced being up 4/1 in a set against someone who is ranked higher than them. How many times have you heard the lower ranked player, or the underdog put themselves in that position where they “could, should have, and almost” won. But they lost…..e
What makes a tennis champion isn’t just grabbing a set here and there (that’s of course a great start ). It is the ability to maintain form and endure rallies, games, sets, matches, and then...
In order to improve your tennis performance, it is important to physically work hard, but it is just as important to rest and recover hard! Vigorous, prolonged tennis exercise breaks down muscle tissue, fatigues the nervous system and overall places the body under stress. It is during the rest and recovery period that the body gets the positive physical and emotional gains (cardiovascular, strength, mentally, etc.).
If there is an overload of tennis training volume and intensity (level of energy used) with inadequate recovery time between sessions, a player will start to develop, physical, behavioral and emotional issues. This scenario can be classified as a condition called Overtraining. Overtraining or burnout is a common problem for many athletes of all ages in many sports. It is often seen in young tennis players. Possibly due to the fact that they find it harder to communicate how they are feeling and they are not as in tune with their bodies as adults.
Working with the right...
Roger Federer never looks like he is moving very fast, yet he’s always in the right position. People say he glides on the court. He’s incredibly efficient player. Not everyone has Roger’s sense of anticipation, so tennis footwork drills and strength tennis exercises; are a good way to help develop foot speed, leg strength and increase efficiency around the court.
Try performing these foot speed drills and leg strength tennis exercises, a couple of times a week. You can even incorporate some of these drills before practice or playing. Who knows you might even impress your coach or hitting partner with some dynamic foot work.
With all foot speed drills ensure you’re in a ‘ready stance position’, up on the balls of your feet, heels off the ground and that each step you are light on your feet, the least amount of contact with the ground means faster movement.
Watch this video for tennis exercises to move like Federer
Agility training is a key component for all successful tennis players. Agility is the ability to rapidly change direction, whilst losing minimal tennis speed, balance, or body control. It is normal that some players are more agile and naturally faster than others.
However it is proven that players can improve agility, the key is the right type of tennis training, doing tennis exercises. Your neuromuscular system, which controls your ability to accelerate, decelerate, quickly change direction, and move efficiently, is highly trainable. If you train the way you play and do it with purpose and structure you are guaranteed to improve your tennis fitness and agility.
These 2 Tennis Fitness Agility drills are some of our favourites. Watch this video now