Sure, speed on the court is important. You have to hit the ball at all portions of your side and every spot in between if you want to be competitive but what about hard hitting power? Smacking the ball so fast on a serve it defies the laws of physics is a tremendous feeling and one that can make you feared among your tennis buddies. Or make you go up a notch on your competitive ladder.
Think that lifting weights makes you bulky? Think again. This outdated attitude towards resistance training has been debunked time and time again. Lifting weights can improve all sports performance, from bowling to sprinting to golf and of course tennis. It’s true about golf. Ask Tiger Woods, the greatest in the sport. He started lifting weights to improve his game and when he started winning tourney after tourney, people took notice of his training regimen.
Resistance training improves coordination between various muscle groups and in tennis, if you don’t have synergy between the different parts of your body you won’t go far. Find a local gym or fitness center and if you do not have any experience whatsoever it might be a good idea to get some personal training first. A professional trainer can make sure you are lifting weights safely and also make sure you are in proper alignment by doing a posture assessment in case you have any misalignments in your spine. Then they can design a program suited for you and your tennis goals.
Going to the gym and hitting the weights hard is great but you don’t have to do it this way. You can do stuff at home or the local park. Push-ups are one of the most underrated strength building moves anyone can do. They work the chest, triceps, anterior deltoids (the front of the shoulder) and help develop not only upper body strength but endurance and coordination as well. So drop down and do some push-ups. They seem tough at first because your entire body is moving through space and thus a greater degree of your nervous system is being affected. It’s more like the natural, three dimensional environment you find yourself in while playing tennis too so there’s another benefit to doing resistance training outside at a park.
The convenience of working at home cannot be forgotten. You take time going to the tennis court and perhaps don’t have as much time to go to the gym or the park so finding a way to do it at home is a great way to save time and energy and let’s face it, the easier and more convenient it is, the more likely you are to stick with your power building program.
There are some great home gyms available as well but I still believe in the effectiveness of the push-up. Most home gyms are complicated, even for fitness professionals and we aren’t looking for a total bodybuilding routine here. You want power for your game and while building leg strength is important for your overall thrust and push, the way you hit the ball stems from your racket being the right fit for your hand and skill level, and the ability of your upper body to deliver the necessary force to crack that ball back at your opponent so fast they wont know what hit them.
Do you want that kind of power? Then build your upper body strength. If you decide to go the home gym route, that’s fine, there push-up/pull-up devices that are simple to use. They hang on an open doorway and allow you to do a pull-up, if you can, and also can be placed on the floor so the push-up is easier on your wrists.
It does your tennis game no good if you hurt your wrists trying to build the strength in your arms so make you take your time getting comfortable with the process.