Tennis is one of the few sports you can pick up quickly and enjoy at any skill level or age. Unfortunately, it can be tough on your knees and joints, as the range of movement and dynamic nature of the sport requires flexibility and agility from athletes. Thankfully, several simple exercises exist to improve your performance and help you avoid injury.
1. Overhead Slams
Overhead serves and volleys require a tremendous amount of power to be truly effective. To strengthen your triceps, shoulders, and upper body bring an 8-10 pound medicine ball over your head, extending your body to your highest reach, then slam the ball down with explosive energy. Perform 10 reps in each of three sets.
2. Single-Leg Squats
To perform forward drives and more powerful serves, you must strengthen your hips and improve your balance. Single-leg squats accomplish both while also improving your core stability. Sit on a bench at a 90-degree angle and balance carefully, performing three sets of 10 reps. Work with a trainer or partner to ensure you’re staying straight and balanced during the exercise.
Lunges are great ways to improve balance and stability during movement. They work your quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, and calves. For increased difficulty, try faster-paced plyometric lunges that test your fast-twitch response and timing. Lunge forward to a 90-degree angle (don’t let your knee touch the floor) and return to a standing position. Repeat three sets of 10 for each leg.
The burpee is one of the most common and effective conditioning exercises and for good reason – the burpee combines multiple exercises to achieve a full-body workout. Start in an athletic position, dropping slowly to the ground into a pushup, then return to your feet at should-width and perform a frog jump straight up and down, then repeat. Begin with 10 burpees and ramp up as your conditioning improves.
5. Medicine Ball Chops
To improve lateral hip and core movement, medicine ball chops are an ideal exercise. Begin with a 10-pound medicine ball (adjust weight as needed) and bring it up to a 45-degree angle with your harms fully extended. Cross the ball over your body on both sides, left and right, for three sets of 10 reps for each side of your body.
If you’ve been struggling with nagging athletic injuries that have been preventing you from enjoying the activities you love, it might be time to make a change. Schedule a functional movement assessment with Velo Sports Rehab today by giving our office a call at 425-590-9208 or using the contact form.
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