What is Strength?
The key to muscle strength is contraction. It happens in the muscles at a fiber level and is the engine that allows our bodies to move.
It’s what allows tennis champions to engage in powerful play from the baseline and launch the ball at speeds well over 125 mph. In short, contraction is a complicated system of nerve impulses and biochemical reactions that takes place inside the muscle cells.
Strength in the Modern Tennis Match
Today’s tennis players are faster and stronger than ever before. The speed of the modern game means they have to sprint, change direction, stop, hit the ball accurately and continue the rally – sometimes for hours on end.
Because of this increase in demand for explosive power on the court, more focus is now being put on overall leg strength. First, start with a dedicated warm-up routine and then add the following exercises to your strength training program.
Increasing Leg Strength
Here are a few exercises you can do to increase your leg strength:
1. Reinforced Squat
While standing with your feet on a balance board, bend your legs fully while holding two heavy dumbbells at your sides. Carry out between 3 and 5 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions and use dumbbells weighing approximately 20-30% of your body weight.
2. Forward Bends
While standing with your legs together, take a big step forwards while bending your knees, and, with a forceful downward thrusting action with the same leg, return to the starting position. These bends can be carried out holding two dumbbells weighing approximately 15-20% of your body weight. Carry out 3 sets of between 10 and 12 bends for each leg.
While standing with your back to the net and your legs apart across the tramlines, hop forward with both legs until you reach the baseline. Repeat the distance from the net to the baseline between 3 and 5 times.
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