IVGID Tip: Spring training for tennis enthusiasts
EDITOR’S NOTE: “Tip of the week” is a periodic feature running in the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza, in partnership with the Incline Village General Improvement District, providing locals with various tips pertaining to the recreation opportunities and services the district provides.
Spring is here and for tennis players it’s time to start getting into shape to walk on the court feeling physically prepared.
Tennis uses a variety of movements that tax so many different parts of the body, making it essential to include strength, endurance, and flexibility exercises into your pre-season training.
Here are some tips to make sure you are ready to hit the courts with confidence in your game:
Boost your cardiovascular fitness: Try to maintain a good base of cardiovascular fitness by exercising three or more times a week either in the gym or outside. Running and cycling are great for endurance and swimming will also help your total body endurance. Lift weights a few times each week, while concentrating on your legs, shoulders, upper back, and of course your core.
Increase agility and endurance: Skip rope for 10-15 minutes. Professional tennis players typically describe rope skipping as a key ingredient to their off-court training. Touring professionals take 10-12 little steps between every routine shot. If this sounds easy, then try it. Skipping rope is a good exercise to train your feet and legs to bounce quickly. Also do some short wind sprints where you are forced to change directions. Both of these drills will help with your footwork and overall short distance speed.
Work on flexibility: You need to know your own body. Expect that as you age, you will need to become all the more diligent with your flexibility training. Try to find time everyday to do some stretching, and especially concentrate on the areas that feel tight.
There is no substitute for hitting the tennis ball and it is certainly more enjoyable than grinding away in the gym. Can you hit inside at a local gymnasium? How about the Incline Recreation Center?
If not, at least swing your racquet, especially after lifting weights, to maintain your stroke patterns and to develop your muscle memory.
This tip was provided by Indra Winquest, Assistant Parks & Recreation Director for IVGID.