Modern tennis is getting more and more physical than ever before. Players got stronger, faster, and more coordinated and these improvements translate into much faster pace of tennis points. It doesn’t matter at which level you actually compete if you want to get better you have to take care of your physical skills.
These days many people try to be fit. When we look outside we can see people at different ages who run, bike or play a soccer. If you go to the gym you will see how many people want to get better and improve something according to their bodies. The goal is not important but the idea is: we start to more appreciate healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, healthy lifestyle for an athlete means something drastically different that the same words for a random person. If you are a tennis player you know what I am talking about. Getting stronger, faster, leaner, more coordinated, quicker and less injured.
When we look at the characteristics of tennis as a sport it has many benefits but there are also some weaknesses. Physical activity, anaerobic form of exercise, stronger bones as well as more effective cardiovascular system are few strong points that we can recommend. On the other hand playing mostly with one hand, running for few hours on hard concrete or using a lot of rotational movements are reasons why we sometimes can ask ourselves why we are doing this to our bodies. As with any sport, if we are aware of requirements and we prepare properly we are going to play this beautiful sport for many more years.
As a professional tennis coach and former tennis player I know how hard it can be to perform regular fitness routine to not only maintain the level but even to increase it. Lack of time and small availability to professional equipment are common reasons why tennis players neglect physical abilities. But I have a great news for you. You can do your fitness routine anywhere you want: at home while watching tv, at hotel after the morning match or on the court right after practice session is done. All you need is portable equipment and motivation to get better. I bet you have motivation because you read this article so let’s move to equipment.
For a tennis player it is important to have small and light equipment. I understand that because tennis bag is not really big and we have to put there a lot of stuff. That is why I chose 5 products that you should buy and use on regular basis anywhere you want:
- Jump rope
One of the best tools for any athlete. You can use it for different reasons. If you want to work on coordination you can mix different footwork patterns while jumping. If you want to warm up there is no better exercise than intense jumping. If your goal is to improve aerobic capacity do practice with jump rope. One tool – many benefits.
- Foam roller
A must have for any serious athlete. This is definitely the latest fashion in athletic world. Foam roller gives you a possibility to self-massage anywhere you want. It helps your muscles recover so you can play another great match the next day. And remember – you pay once but you have massage forever.
Suspension trainer wasn’t designed just for tennis players but this group will definitely benefit a lot from using it. TRX allows to strengthen your body without external loads – all you are fighting against is your body. Exercises are designed to work with most muscle groups at the same time so you get more in less time. And let’s not forget that you have to squeeze your abs for the entire exercise to maintain proper posture so you will definitely love your new look during the summer!
- Resistance bands
Serve in tennis puts a lot of pressure on your shoulder. Without proper fitness routine sooner or later you will have to take a longer break to heal your damaged area. You can easily prevent this negative scenario by using resistance bands. Top players use bands not only during fitness sessions but also before every practice because they want to be 100% healthy when it really counts. Learn from the best.
One of the most common tennis injuries is called tennis elbow. Nobody likes it. It hurts enormously and it makes you stop tennis for a significant time. To avoid this injury you have to take care of fluid technique and proper physical preparation. Gripmaster is the tool for you. By using it you strengthen hand and forearm muscles so vibrations from the racquet don’t go straight into your elbow.
Marcin Bieniek is a professional tennis coach and founder of instructional website http://tennisisland.us. Marcin has been working with USTA, top 50 ITF and WTA/ATP players. Author of tennis book “Tenisowy Olimp” and frequent contributor to TennisPro and TenisKlub magazines. He was a speaker at International Coaching Tennis Symposium 2016 at Hilton Head Island, USA.