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Home   News   Off-court exercises to keep you in game-day shape

Off-court exercises to keep you in game-day shape

Sep 30, 2015
written by: Heather Marrin
written by: Heather Marrin
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Tennis training isn’t all about time spent on the court.  Pros spend hours in the gym keeping their bodies fit and ready for play.  If you’re looking to advance your game to the next level, it may be beneficial to add a few more exercises to your weekly routine.  Wondering where to start? We were too, so we sat down with Certified Personal Trainer Jerome Marrin and picked his training brain about what off-court exercises would help us improve our game.

Q: So, I’m looking to improve my game! Where should my focus be?

A: There are several exercises that can help improve one’s game.  I find many I talk to tend to focus on arms and shoulders.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, for both can take a beating during matches.  However, the power for many shots is generated from the ground up, therefore a focus on legs and core is key.

Q: Really, my legs? Why? 

A: Often times during a match you may find yourself off balance, and strengthening your legs independently will increase your stability.

Q: Okay, legs it is. Now what? 

A: Try a one legged squat or lunge.  Alternatively, you can combine a few muscle groups and perform a one-legged cable row using a weighted cable or resistance band. Keeping the back straight and your core engaged as you press up from the floor, pull the cable back.  This will not only increase leg strength and stability, but also improve abdominal strength.


Q: I’m feeling strong and balanced, but what about improving my speed? 

A: In order to get to that drop shot, you are going to have to increase your explosive power.  Have a medicine ball? Excellent, you’re ready! Hold it in front of you, squat down, and then jump.  Exploding up with your legs then pushing the medicine ball up in the air.  You can either let the ball drop or catch it, just avoid letting it hit you in the head.  It is a medicine ball, they can cause a little damage.


Q: Drop shot, check! How about increasing the power of my serve? 

Generate even more power by working with overhead medicine ball slams.  If you’re angry, this one will help.  Standing with the ball above your head and your arms extended, slam the ball to the ground with enough force that your feet almost come off the ground. This will help improve the power of your serve.  Just note, this exercise is best done with a ball filled with sand and not air.  If you happen to have an air filled medicine ball, watch your face.  When you slam that ball down, it will bounce much higher than expected.


Q: I’m tired, are we done yet? 

A: We have come this far, let’s not let go of this medicine ball. Last exercise is a perpendicular throw.  This is going to help with the twisting force of your core which is paramount to building power for all of your shots.  Standing with your feet perpendicular to a wall and holding the ball with two hands out in front of you, you are going to twist and throw the ball towards the wall.  Again, and I can’t stress this enough, and a sand filled ball is recommended.  If it is an air filled ball, look out!  It will come back.


Feeling fierce? Perfect! Now, what are you waiting for? Hit the court!