The All England Lawn Tennis Club might call the shots when it comes to big international tennis names, famous courts and legendary matches, but Wimbledon also has an abundance of smaller clubs for the non-pros and more casual SW19 players.
No matter what your tennis ability is, if you want to improve your game, you should do what the Centre Court champions do, and train off-court.
STRENGTH, ENDURANCE & POWER
For a winning combination of fast serves and powerful volleys, you need a strong upper body and good core stability.
Medicine balls, kettle bells and battle ropes will all help with this. Use big moves that require large ranges of motion and make demands on your whole body.
Build up endurance in your legs with body weight exercises like split jumps, squat jumps and box jumps. Include lots of multi-directional moves that involve leaping and hopping sideways, forwards and backwards.
Tennis requires brief bursts of intense effort. To be fast on the court, practice short sprints with quick changes in direction.
The fitter you are, the quicker you’ll recover after pushing hard. Include some HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) into your week and you’ll be less like to gasp for air in between points.
Off-court training allows you to focus on your footwork technique, without having to worry about hitting a ball. Set-up some drills using agility ladders and cones. Test yourself on both your speed and accuracy. Try and improve one, without detrimentally affecting the other. It’s not as easy as it sounds!
To reach those really challenging shots, you need a certain degree of flexibility. A good yoga or stretch class will help you to loosen up those tight bits and give you a greater range of motion, particularly in your hips and shoulders.
Taking time out each week to improve your flexibility, will not only boost your game, but it will reduce your risk of injury and may help you to unwind a little too.
Vary your workouts to keep your mind motivated and your body challenged. Off-court training can be lots of fun, and you might be pleasantly surprised how it can really transform your game.
Heather Waghorn runs HA Fitness – a fun fitness company in Wimbledon.