Successful tennis players incorporate stretching and exercise in their training programs. Stretching helps reduce injuries and improves flexibility, range of motion and balance. Tennis specific exercises focus on strengthening and training different muscle groups. With a regular routine, you can improve your on-court performance and movement.
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Leg Stretch and Exercise
Stretch your hamstring and calf muscles with resistance bands. Sit on the floor, wrap a resistance band around the ball of your right foot and grasp the ends of the band. Lie back on the floor, keep your left leg straight and raise your right leg as you pull on the band. Push your heel up to stretch the calf muscles. Hold for 30 seconds, lower your leg and repeat with the left leg.
Lunges with hand weights work the lower body. Hold a 5-pound weight in each hand, take a step forward with your right leg and lower your body until your right knee is in a 90-degree angle. Keep your hands by your side and your knee straight over the toe of your right foot. Stand, take a step with your left foot and repeat. Take 10 to 15 steps per leg.
Shoulder Stretch and Exercise
Stretch your shoulder muscles by taking your right arm and wrapping it around the front of your body at chin height. Hold your right elbow with your left hand and pull your arm toward your body. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, relax and repeat with the opposite arm.
Exercise your shoulders by doing lateral rows with a resistance band. Stand on the middle of the band with your feet shoulder-width apart. Firmly grasp the ends of the band. With your palms facing your body, hold your arms by your sides and raise your arms until they are shoulder high. Slowly lower your arms to the starting position and repeat 10 to 15 times. Rest and repeat.
Forearm Stretch and Exercise
Stretch your forearm muscles by holding your left arm straight out in front of your body, shoulder high, with your palm facing forward. With your right hand, pull back on the fingers of your left hand. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat with the right arm. Now, bend your wrist down. Pull the fingers back with your right hand. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat with the right arm.
Exercise your forearm muscles using small hand weights. Rest your right forearm on a table with your wrist at the edge of the table. Hold the weight with your palm down. Raise your hand up, hold for five seconds and then lower your hand below the level of the table. Repeat the movement 15 times and then switch arms. Now, turn your right arm over, bring your hand up, hold for five seconds and then lower your hand below the level of the table. Repeat the movement 15 times and repeat with the left arm.
Core Muscle Stretch and Exercise
Stand and stretch your core muscles. With your feet shoulder-width apart, lift your arms straight over your head and overlap your hands. Slowly bend at your waist to the right, hold this position for 10 seconds, reverse you movement and then bend to the left for 10 seconds. Return to the starting position, bend backward for a 10-second stretch and then forward for 10 seconds. Repeat five times.
Strengthen your core muscles with a plank exercise. Start by lying face down on the floor. Raise and balance your body on your toes, elbows and forearms. Keep your body straight from your head to your feet. Hold this position for 30 seconds, relax for a minute and then repeat five times.