Get ready for tennis, Grand County |

Get ready for tennis, Grand County

Since tennis season is right around the corner, now is a great time to prepare your body to handle the physical rigors of this sport. All sports-conditioning training programs include cardiovascular, strength and endurance training, sport-specific and flexibility training. Therefore, below are three exercises which will address two of these training components helping you to hit the court running.

Cardiovascular Endurance Exercise – Aerobic and anaerobic systems

– Running, fitness walking, cycling, and swimming are all excellent forms of aerobic exercise. Perform aerobic exercise three to five days per week, for 20-60 minutes working within your target heart rate zone.

– Add sprint intervals to any of the aerobic activities listed above to also focus upon your anaerobic system one to three times per week. The key is to challenge yourself by performing several short 10-120 second sprint intervals at submaximal to maximal exertion levels. Then, allow the body to actively recover, long enough to restore rhythmic breathing. Strive to repeat each sprint interval at the same or higher level of intensity and quality of performance. *

* Intensive interval training may not be appropriate for unfit individuals or those with certain physical limitations. Therefore, check with your physician first.

Muscular Strength Exercise ” Lower Body ” Reverse Lunges (works the quadriceps, gluteal and hamstring muscles as well as the core)

– Begin standing with the legs hip distance apart, the eyes fixed forward, the shoulders rotated back and down, the rib cage lifted and the navel pulled toward the spine.

– Keeping the majority of the body weight on the left foot, step backward with the right leg, staggering the legs apart and keeping the right heel elevated.

– Lower the body down toward the floor forming 90 degree angles at both knee joints and keeping the left knee over the left heel.

– Then, lift the body up so that both legs are fully extended keeping the knees “soft”.

– As soon as the legs are extended fully, draw your legs together by driving through the heel of the left foot pulling the right leg to the beginning position. Then, repeat with the other leg.

– Perform this exercise two to three sets of slow 8-12 repetitions, two to three times a week.

Muscular Strength Exercise ” Upper Body ” Shoulder Extension (works the rear deltoid, trapezius and core)

– Using resistive tubing with handles, wrap the tubing around an immovable object such as a secure stair railing.

– Holding a handle in each hand stand far enough away from where you have the tubing secured to create tension in the tubing and a direct line of pull.

– Stagger the right leg in front of the left with the legs hip distance apart, eyes fixed forward, shoulders, hips, knees and toes all pointed forward and the navel pulled toward the spine.

– Keeping the arms straight with the elbow “soft”, extend both arms from the shoulder joint until both arms are just behind the back leg.

– Then, return the arms to the beginning position and repeat. Make sure that the wrists remain in neutral throughout and that there is no movement in the elbow joints.

– Perform this exercise two to three sets of slow 8-12 repetitions, two to three times per week.

Next week, sport-specific and flexibility tennis training tips.

” Jackie Wright can be reached at her e-mail address:

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