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Earn Your Carbs: Making Tennis a Workout

November 25, 2018

I have found that a number of the clients I teach tennis for struggle with keeping in shape.  With such a hectic schedule, they either have time to play tennis or workout a few times a week.  Although tennis can provide a great workout, there are some ways to making the time on the court even more productive for your health.  In fact, I am giving the players I teach an option of working on their game while getting a good work out doing it.  This seems to be more useful as they can test their technique with live ball hitting rather than just feeding.  It also makes it fun for me to push the player like a personal trainer would in the gym.  Let’s take a look at some ways to make a good workout on the tennis court. 

 

Finding a wall to hit against is one of the best ways to get an intense workout while swinging the racquet.  You can move yourself as much as you want while hitting any type of shot you want to work on.  The amount of time you have to react to the ball coming off the wall will is a lot faster than on the tennis court so you should feel more prepared when you play your next match.  The best thing is the wall will never get tired so you can go as long as you wish :)  

 

Moving forward and back is essential to a good tennis game.  That is why I like playing these doubles drills with a practice partner.  In one of the games, the drill doesn’t end until someone wins three points in a row at the net so there is no time to get too emotional while in the mists of playing this game.  This allows for you to work on your mental game just as much as your movement and conditioning. 

 

If you have a partner to work with, practice feeding balls to each other like shown in this video.  It will help with the intensity of each hit but also on your recovery. 

 

Trying to do drills to improve your footwork like this one or this one on the ball machine can also strengthen your cardio.  Find the right pace that gets you out of your comfort zone but still successful in hitting around 75% of your shots.  

 

Although I do not have a video for this next drill, I’ll do my best to describe it.  Have one player at the net stationed on either the deuce or ad box.  The other player is at the baseline and has to cover the entire court.  Simply keep a rally going between the baseliner and the volleyer while the volleyer is trying to hit the ball in different areas of the court to make the baseline player work on getting to each ball.  

 

Lastly, find ways of adding lunges and planks to hitting.  For example, if you are picking up balls, try to lunge to each ball, making sure your knee does not go past your toes.  Have a jump rope near by and after you are done with a drill get on the jump rope to push yourself even more.  

 

 

Back To Carbs

As a health coach, I like to offer some advice to players that seem to be struggling with their energy or weight.  Although a universal diet cannot work for an individual, there are some main ideas that anyone can use to guide them to getting the most out of the food they eat.  Here are a few tips.

  • Keep your blood sugar down.  Foods that increase your blood sugar will also increase insulin.  This hormone is very good at getting you to gain weight. 

  • Avoid drinking your calories.  Unless you are doing a sugar free smoothie, there really is not a reason to be drinking sugary drinks.  Even when exercising you do not need Gatorade.  Stick with water.

  • Avoid carbs unless you’re training.  Carbohydrates are easy for your body to break down for energy so if you are going to be exercising then you should definitely consider that.  If you are not exercising, avoid carbs.  FYI, some have found great success in the ketosis diet that restricts carbs. 

  • Eat a lot of vegetables.  Not only are they low in calories and high in nutrients, they also have a lot of fiber as well.  According to the book How Not To Die, 97% of Americans are not reaching the recommended fiber intake.  There are a lot of health benefits to adding a lot of fiber in your diet.

 

 

Having trouble with the lob?  Check out this video!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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