While we all love to improve our tennis game, there are times when the process slows down or becomes stagnant completely. But if you improve your fitness, you will see huge improvements in your game, especially if you focus on your core.
Your core transfers the forces from the ground up to your arm and, ultimately, to your racket. If your core is weak, you lose a lot of power, and you risk overuse injuries.
- Forearm Plank:
Get down on the ground on your elbows and toes, with your body completely straight. Have your elbows directly below your shoulders and hands in line with the elbows. Hold the plank for 1 minute without dropping your hips. The sign of your strong core is if you can hold the plank for 2 minutes or more with good form. Another variation of the plank is supporting yourself on your hands instead of the elbows.
- Plank with arm and leg lift:
Get down on the ground on your hands and toes, keep the body straight, don’t let your belly or hip sink. Slowly lift your left arm and right leg at the same time, keeping them straight and parallel to the ground. Hold the top position for 1 to 2 seconds, then switch sides. Repeat 20 times.
- Plank with a Hip twist:
Get into plank position on the forearms. Twist your hips to the left and gently touch the ground. Make sure both your elbows remain on the ground at all times. Return to the middle position. Twist to the other times. Repeat 20 times.
- Side Plank for Obliques and Hips:
Get down on the ground on your left side. Stack your feet on each other and support yourself on your left hand, with the shoulder above the hand. Lift the hips up so they are in one line with your hands and shoulders like a plank. Raise your right arm vertically toward the sky. This will stretch your chest and add more difficulty. Make sure to keep shoulders so there’s room in your neck. Hold the plank for 1 minute for each side.
Lie on your back with straight legs and hands supporting your head. Lift your feet slightly off the ground and keep them in the air during the entire set. Bend the left leg and bring the knee towards your chest, while crunching and twisting your upper body to bring your right elbow towards your left knee. Touch them together while extending your right leg forward close to the ground (but not touching). Hold the contraction for one second. Then switch sides to touch the right knee and left elbow. Perform the movement slowly and controlled. Always push the lower back into the ground. Start with 20 repetitions, and work yourself up to 100.
- Reverse Crunch:
Lie on your back, bend your legs, and bring your knees to your chest. Try to keep your feet close to your glutes during the exercise. Lift your hips off the ground and bring your knees to the chest. Your back should be rounded. Reverse the movement and slowly return to the starting position. Make sure not to swing with your legs to the movement. Repeat 15-20 times.
- Windshield Wiper:
Lie on the ground on your back, spread your arms to the sides in a T position, pushing your palms to the ground. Lift your legs straight up toward the sky. Keep the 90-degree angle with your hips at all times and your knees straight.
Let the legs slowly drop to the right side until you slowly reach the game. The legs should be parallel with your arms. Don’t relax completely, just slowly touch the ground and reverse the movement without kicking, but using your core. Your feet should stay together and both shoulders and arms on the ground at all the time. Perform up to 20 repetitions. Bend your knees slightly for an easier variation.
Post culled from Lawn Tennis