Jackie Wright: Getting in shape for tennis
June 25, 2010
For the past two weeks we have featured a three-golf-drill circuit program to help you prepare for and improve your golf game. For the next two weeks, we will highlight a three-tennis-drill circuit program to elevate your tennis game this year.
Hitting a tennis ball is a complex, compound movement which requires the engagement of several muscle groups. And, training for the serve is different than training for the forehand, backhand, overhead smash or volley. Consequently, the design of this three-tennis-drill circuit will not be comprehensive, but will address some of the major motions required of the body during a tennis match.
Dynamic Back Lunge/Rotation with a Medicine Ball – This drill targets the spinal rotators, as well as the quadriceps/hamstrings/gluteus maximus and abductor/adductor muscles along with the core and shoulder stabilizers. (Equipment suggested – 6-10 pound medicine ball.)
• Begin standing with the legs approximately shoulder distance apart, shoulders rotated back/down, rib cage lifted, the navel pulled toward the spine, the knees relaxed and the body weight predominately in the heels.
• Hold the medicine ball in both hands at waist-height directly in front of the body.
• Step back with the right leg into a back lunge position with the legs staggered, as though you are standing on two separate railroad tracks, keeping the right heel lifted.
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• The left knee should remain directly over the left heel at no more than 90 degrees of knee flexion and the right (back) knee should track directly under the right hip joint.
• As you step back with the right foot, rotate the torso from the waistline with the medicine ball to the right side of the torso just alongside the right hip.
• The head, neck and torso rotate simultaneously; therefore, avoid leading with the head/neck.
• Follow the ball with your eyes.
• The knees and lumbar spine remain stable.
• Avoid torsion at the knee joint and lumbar spine.
• Then, return to the beginning position.
• Perform this drill with smooth, fluid, slow, and controlled motion. Think of two slow counts back and two counts to return. Once it is mastered, you may want to pick up the tempo, but remain in control at all times.
• Avoid swinging the medicine ball by stabilizing the shoulder joint throughout.
• Perform two-three sets of 8-12 repetitions of this drill, on each side, two to three times per week.
Next week, we will focus upon two more tennis preparation drills and then combine all three drills for the three-tennis-drill circuit program.
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness, LLC located in Grand Lake, Colorado. She can be reached at her website at http://www.neversummerfitness.com, her email at NSFGL@comcast.net and her blog at http://www.skyhidailynews.com