Plyometric Training to Improve Agility for the Tennis Player
by Lauren Freitas, DPT
The tennis game requires speed, agility and power. Players must be able to accelerate rapidly, stop on a dime and change direction quickly. No player will ever run longer than 40 feet without having to either stop,
change direction or change speed. The player who's able to do this most efficiently will have the advantage in the match.
When we discuss agility, you may think of those dreaded ladders or suicide sprints on the court. However, if you’re stuck inside or don’t have access to a big space to practice agility drills, there's still hope for your game! Have you ever thought of using burpees or a medicine ball to increase your agility? Research has shown that initiating a plyometric training program significantly improved agility in tennis players.* This style of training focuses on having muscles exert maximum force in as short a time as possible with the goal of achieving maximum speed and power. Try the following drills to increase your speed and agility on the court, even when you don’t have access to a court!
Med Ball Rotational Slams (3 sets x 10 reps each side)
Start standing tall with med ball overhead. Using the core, twist hips and trunk to the right as you slam the ball down on the ground outside of your right foot. Repeat on left side.
Burpees (3 sets x 10 reps)
Box Jumps (3 sets x 10 reps)
Hurdle Hops (3 sets x 5 jumps each direction)
Keep feet and hips facing forward as you hop laterally over hurdles.
Try these drills and reach out with questions on plyometric training or to expand your exercise program!