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Preparing for Play:
Strength and Stamina Training for Tennis

Tennis demands a lot from your body. In order to be successful, a player must not only be fit and strong, but understand the benefits of nutrition and endurance training to push their abilities to the next level.

Eugenie Bouchard and Milos Raonic - Tennis Ball Image

Like many sports, tennis involves a lot of stop-and-go movements. While intense bouts of energy are required, they are often followed by periods of rest. Incorporating strength and stamina training which replicates the needs of the court is one of the best ways to ensure you’re optimising your training. To do this, you need to develop an ability to sustain and recover from intense stints in activity.

This article has been designed to show you how to do this, from the basics of warming up to the best training and fitness regimes to getting you into peak playing condition.

Warm-up
Always warm up before carrying out any game or training. A solid 15 minutes consisting of stretching movements which mimic natural play on the court is a great way to limber up and prepare for any drills. Excellent examples include side-to-side shuffling, walking lunges and arm circles.

Ensure that you have the correct sportswear to benefit both the warm up, and the heat of play too. Supportive tennis shoes are the best way to avoid any ankle strain or foot injury. Millet Sports offer a great range, so if you don’t have any, invest now or you’ll pay for it in swollen ankles and blistered feet.

Drills
Incorporating certain drills into your routine is essential for building stamina. For example, running short distances at intensities higher than those demanded on the court will produce training adaptations greatly suited to your game. Therefore, look to build master volleyer, 20 ball suicide and alley rally drills into your daily routine.

Lift
Perform strength-training exercises three to four times per week to build muscular endurance. But remember to allow your muscles to repair themselves and wait a full 24-hours before picking up the weights again. Ensure you target the muscle groups of your upper and lower body for a full workout and build the resistance over time, so strength is gradually increased.

Run
Running is beneficial to tennis in many ways. Not only can it improve your ability to fluidly move about the court, but it can strengthen your aptitude for intense bouts followed by rest without suffering fatigue on the court. Running can also help with your footwork, staying light on your toes to allow for supple movements and posture that assures you are primed for anything.

Cool-down
Finally, allow your muscles to gradually relax by implementing a gentle cool-down. Holding stretches and a doing a gentle jog, combined with relaxed breathing, is the best way to do so.



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