Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series.
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 endurance, muscular strength/endurance training, power, sport-specific and flexibility training. Therefore, below are examples of the cardiovascular endurance and muscular training components allowing you to hit the court running. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
Cardiovascular Endurance Exercise – Aerobic (i.e. Free Fatty Acid Oxidation) and Anaerobic Glycolytic/ATP-Phosphagen 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 (i.e. HIIT) sprint intervals to any of the aerobic activities listed above to also focus upon your anaerobic systems one to three times per week. The key is to challenge yourself by performing several short 40-180 second sprint intervals at submaximal exertion levels and 10-30 second sprint intervals at maximal exertion levels followed by adequate active recovery intervals. Strive to repeat each sprint interval at the same or higher level of intensity and quality of performance.
Muscular Strength Training Exercise –Lower Body -Reverse Lunges (works the quadriceps, gluteal and hamstring muscles as well as the nose to toes core)
-Begin standing with the legs hip distance apart, the eyes fixed forward, the shoulders rotated back and down, rib cage lifted, navel pulled toward the spine, and the pelvic floor muscles engaged.
-Shoulders/hips/knees/toes all facing the same direction.
-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 tracking over the left heel (i.e. tibia perpendicular to the floor).
-Then, press the body up so that both legs are fully extended at the knee joint but not locked.
-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 two/three sets of 8-12 slow repetitions, two to three times a week on non-consecutive days.
Muscular Strength Exercise – Upper Body – Shoulder Extension (works the rear deltoids, lats and nose to toes core)
-Using moderate/heavy gauge resistive tubing with handles, anchor the tubing around an immovable object such as a secure ballet barre.
-Holding a handle in each hand with the palms facing the wall behind you, stand far enough away from the anchor point so the tubing is taut and you have established a direct line of pull.
-Stagger the right leg in front of the left with the legs hip distance apart, hinge approximately 10-15 degrees from hip joint, front knee flexed slightly, shoulders/hips/knees toes all facing the same direction, navel pulled toward the spine, and the pelvic floor muscles engaged.
-Keeping the arms extended at the elbow joints, extend both arms from the shoulder joint until both are just behind the trailing leg.
-Then, return the arms to the beginning position and repeat.
-Perform two-three sets of 8-12 slow repetitions, two to three times per week on non-consecutive days.
Next week, sport-specific, power and flexibility tennis training tips.
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Mountain Life Fitness, LLC located in Granby. She may be reached at her website at http://www.mtnlifefitness.com or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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