Why Tennis Players Need To Build Core Strength
There are a million reasons why a strong core can help you throughout life, but if you’re a tennis player, it can actually strengthen your game. From injury prevention to stability and balance, building core strength can help you hit the court with more effortless ease.
Benefits of a strong core
Tennis might look easy to those watching, but it’s a game that demands an incredible amount of strength, flexibility and coordination. Here’s a look at a few tennis-specific benefits of incorporating core work into your routine.
According to BackToMotion, the core helps to stabilize a tennis player’s body during those explosive, fast movements. Stabilizing your core also helps with the rapid change in direction that tennis frequently requires, so you can more easily (and safely) switch things up to keep your opponents on their toes.
We all know that balance is a critical factor in a great tennis game. Being aware of your center of gravity and training yourself to tune into your core enhances each movement you make. It’s just another way to play a more powerful game of tennis in the moments you need it most.
The core gives your body an incredible amount of power to help with each swing of the racket. Increased core strength=increased momentum.
When you have a strong core, your body is more likely to pull strength from your core rather than weaker muscles that can’t handle the movements (i.e. those in the lower back). Injury prevention is one of the major reasons to start adding core workouts into the mix.
“Everything in tennis is ground driven, meaning the athlete pushes off the ground and transfers energy through the kinetic (movement) chain in order to exert force to hit the tennis ball. The reason that the core is relevant is because there are the most connecting points in the movement chain. The more energy can be transferred, the harder the ball can be hit.” -Philip Halfmann, Tennis-Conditioning.com
3 core moves to start with
Think a strong core requires cranking out endless crunches? Think again! Here are some simple, straightforward moves to get you started.
A plank is something you can do anywhere. You start in your push-up position and hold it there for 20, 30 or 60 seconds. This classic move helps to improve stability in your spine, glutes and abdominals. When it comes to tennis, that helps with your explosive movements and sudden turns.
From plank position, rotate your body so that it’s facing left or right, balancing on your elbow and feet. You should be completely straight from shoulders to feet. Try to hold for about the same amount of time as a regular plank. Side planks build muscle in your obliques, which helps you manage a more powerful swing.
Similar to a plank, a forearm plank is simply lowering from your hands to your forearms. Make sure your elbows are directly under your shoulders.
Lowering down to your forearms and back up to your hands (the push-up movement) is another great core workout if you’re already working with these positions. It helps to strengthen your shoulders and upper back and all the core muscles of a regular plank.
Core-strengthening partner exercise
If you’re someone who dreads core workouts, enlisting a friend is the best way to motivate yourself! CA Adult Tennis Director Anna Pomyatinskaya shared a simple exercise that you’re welcome to try at home or in the gym; all you need is a partner and a medicine ball.
Hit the court with CA
Both CA members and non-members are welcome to play at our five state-of-the-art tennis clubs. We also have programs and lessons to help players of all ages improve their skills. Learn more on our website.