Marcia of mom.wife.fitness.LIFE.
Tennis and core strength. Core strength and tennis. The two go hand in hand! What is your core you ask?
Your “core” is made up of your pelvic girdle and trunk, and the deep muscles of your spine and abdomen. When properly trained, these muscles provide the stable base for generating power and force. As an athlete, in order to enhance your performance on the court, start training your core stabilizing muscles as soon as possible.
I don't play tennis, or I should say I have not played in a while and when I did "play" I was not so good! It is a great sport that I am sure I would love to play in the future. You really work your cardiovascular fitness with all the movement and power involved!
Research indicates that by developing a stable base, you can:
· Increase strength
· Increase control and endurance of your extremity muscles (arms and legs)
· Improve posture
· Increase momentum
· Increase racquet head acceleration
Having a strong core is a good thing to have as you can see!
Gaining a strong core is so much more than performing an endless amount of crunches (aka: sit ups). The major core muscles involve the stomach, mid and lower back and hips. Tennis players need to pay special attention to their obliques because of how much torso rotation/twisting is done in the sport of tennis. Having a strong core means so much for your game. It helps alleviate the pressure on the lower back by stabilizing the mid-section of your body. Having strong oblique muscles helps to transfer body weight into ground strokes and serves while maintaining balance. And finally, a strong core base aids in keeping the spine erect and supported during high impact activities such as sprinting and the sudden lateral movements associated with tennis. Here is a short video demonstrating ways to train your core; my 6 year daughter is behind the camera!
Tennis and Strength Training
Tennis players need to strength train for 2 reasons: Injury prevention and performance enhancement. Here are the major muscles and areas all tennis players need to pay close attention to for injury prevention and enhanced performance.
External rotators of the shoulder. - Isometric Internal Rotation
Hip extensors and hip abductors. - Bridge
and Clam Shell
Upper back muscles that stabilize the shoulder blades. - Y, T, I
Core musculature, particularly the lower back muscles. (refer to the CORE exercises again!!)
Doing the above exercises 2-3 times a week will get you on your way to developing a strong core and strength needed to perform at your best. Don't be afraid to add in more exercises such as push ups, squats, lunges, shoulder press and triceps extensions for variety and a well-roundedprogram.
3 sets of 10 depending on your current fitness level should do. Challenge yourself and have fun getting strong! Come on and visit me at my blog: Mom.Wife.Fitness.LIFE. for more exercise tips and information.
I would like to add that I am not a certified personal trainer (yet!). I have been in the exercise field as a certified group exercise instructor for 15 years, but please use these tips at your own discretion.