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Lower Body Injuries in Tennis (Part 1)

 

I want to highlight an issue we often see in tennis players. Being aware of this and addressing it is something that has the capacity to prevent many tennis injuries for players.

Whenever we assess a player’s tennis mobility and flexibility we always start from the ground up (big toe flexion, foot alignment, ankle joint range, calf complex flexibility, etc.).

We have found with tennis players, they tend to get locked up or jammed in their ankle joints, their calf complex (plantaris, soleus, and gastrocnemius muscle) and the tibialis anterior (runs alongside your shin bone). Muscles shorten and joint mobility becomes restricted.

It is common to see players with poor ankle mobility in the leg they land on during the service motion.

To understand the importance of ankle mobility lets to take a step back and look at the body joint-by-joint. The body can be seen as an alternating stack of stable and mobile joints.

The ankle joint being the lowest to the ground, the ankle joint is a...

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How to Train a Tennis Player?

Nathan and Giselle operate their world-renowned Tennis Fitness brand and have trained five world number one players over the life of the business.

Through the journey of creating Tennis Fitness, they both developed a passion for the sport after learning the ins and outs of the game. “Being a tennis trainer, I think tennis is the pinnacle of sport because it is so complex in many ways,” Giselle explained.

Nathan and Giselle have built a breadth of experience working with athletes such as Lleyton Hewitt, Sam Stosur, Martin Navratilova, Jennifer Capriati, Svetlana Kuznetsova, and Monica Seles. The lessons learned have inspired them to create their own ‘Martin Method’ brand to achieve success with players of all levels.

According to Nathan, the success they have experienced has come from a unique focus on the mental resilience involved with high-level training. “As much as we use the physical aspect, you also start to realize how important training is to...

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5 Steps to an Effective Tennis Warm Up

Among all your match day routines, there is nothing that is more important than an effective pre-match tennis warm up. It not only prepares your body for competition but also reduces the risk of tennis injury and it helps get you mentally ready for competition too.

The obstacle for some players is an understanding of what works best. As tennis fitness trainers, we are constantly hearing from players: I am not sure what to do for a tennis warm up before I play.

The good news is that it doesn't need to be complicated to be structured.

Here are 5 steps to achieve an effective tennis warm up, which should take you around 10-15 minutes to complete.

Perfect Timing- Allocate 10-15 minutes to complete your tennis warm up and then allow that same period of time for a breather before you step on the court.

1. CARDIO

3-5 minutes of either skipping or running (forward, backward and lateral) is the perfect way to start your tennis warm up. Remember the aim is to boost your heart rate...

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Why You Need A Tennis Periodised Plan?

Can you imagine something as silly as doing the same thing all the time and expecting the result to be different! Silly silly silly…..

I have found myself doing this in the past with my training, strapped for time I would go to what I’d always done, what I was comfortable doing, did it work? Yeah sort of, could have I done better? Heck yeah!

I’ve long regarded having a “Periodised Tennis Training Plan” just as important as the actual tennis exercises within the plan. Here is some information on why I think that way.

Our bodies have extremely complexed components and systems. We are also highly adaptable. Which means if we are exposed to stimulus, resistance or repetition our bodies over time will adapt as needed to perform what needs to be done, get it?

Whether it is the neuromuscular system, nervous system, cardio vascular system or a combination of them, the body is highly adaptable!

The body is also highly prone to burnout, over-use injuries, boredom....

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The Toughest Grand Slam

I have long regarded the French open as the toughest grand slam to win. But to win it 10 times takes a Herculean effort.

We were fortunate enough to work over in one of the best Tennis Academies in Spain. During this time we were able to watch Rafa practice. You could see then he was a very special breed. His work ethic and focus to his training was amazing, even as a 14 year old.

Having spent years on the tour, we have been lucky enough to watch him evolve, we have seen his game progress and admire the risks and changes he made. He has become a lot more aggressive, changed his serve.... he has worked on becoming a more complete player. The one thing that hasn't changed, is his intensity he works at and the attitude he possesses. He has had the same people around him for a long time. Uncle Tony has coached him from the age of 3 and it wasn't too long ago that people told him he needed to make changes, I think we could all agree, we are glad he hasn't.

It was great to see him...

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Benefits Of Adding Variety in Tennis Training

When it comes to tennis exercise and preparing your body to play your best tennis, it is important to do the right things at the right time. That includes resting and changing what you do, even if you feel your current routine works. Tennis training variety is often overlooked.

Some people prefer consistency, so do the same things all the time then often wonder why they are not improving. Others jump from tennis program to another without allowing the body time to adapt.

Whatever your "training personality", it is vital for long-term development (at any age) and performance to phase the tennis training you do. Often known as periodisation, phase training is as important as your actual tennis exercises. This is how it works ...

PREPARATION

General: High training volume and low intensity. Focus is on endurance and strength. Your tennis training can be general and non-tennis specific at the start (cross-training). This is a good time to work on tennis training techniques. 

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Fitness Testing for Tennis

When we talk about tennis training milestones, tennis fitness testing helps in finding out what physical milestones are important for each tennis player and what milestones are going to motivate them the most. Everyone has different goals, strengths and weaknesses. Working towards something that you would consider a milestone is what it is all about, that’s how you keep yourself moving forward and motivated. Things like finishing off a three-set match feeling strong, getting to balls you never dreamt of, hitting the ball with more power and control, remaining injury free for the calendar year, playing 10 tournaments in a row etc. the list could go on and on. Set some targets and put a plan in place to achieve them.

Here are some tennis exercises to help you improve your physical condition and get you one step closer to reaching your milestones. They will get you stronger, quicker and more powerful, most importantly you can do them, again and again, to see how much you have...

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Nadal Exposed!!! Ways to Increase Your Tennis Power on Court

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...

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Tennis Training Volume – What is the Right Amount?

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...

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2 Secrets to Federer’s Tennis Footwork

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

 

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