Almost, if not all, know who Serena Williams or Novak Djokovic is. They are professional tennis players adored by many because of their beauty, power, athleticism, speed, and mastery of the said sport. However, not everyone fully understands that these players exert tremendous efforts and sacrifices to get where they are right now.
As tennis players, fitness is among the most vital things they need to consider. Having a thorough and well-planned routine could be the crucial difference between winning and losing. Therefore, players spend a significant amount of time training 6 to 8 hours every day, 6 days a week, to condition their bodies.
If you aspire to become a professional tennis player or just want to be good in this sport, there are various things you should first know about, including how tennis players stay in shape.
It is an open secret that the fittest players are among the most difficult to beat. Aside from the court, professional tennis players spend a notable amount of their time in the gym preparing their bodies for the game. Furthermore, the players considerably focus on training their arms.
Many players also include strength training in their fitness routine, that’s why a combination of exercises such as push-ups, medicine ball drills, chest presses, straight-arm rowing, and dips are encouraged. Moreover, there are multiple exercises tennis' players can experiment with. In addition, they make sure that their training sessions vary to build the tone and muscle in their arms continually.
Aside from arms training and exercises, tennis players also pay serious attention to their legs. Most professional players possess toned and sculpted legs that carry agility, speed, and sheer strength crucial when playing tennis.
One of the most common exercises to tone a player's legs is skipping. Most players skip for a minute before resting and then repeat this exercise between three 3 to 5 times, depending on the player's fitness level.
Another training regime that works wonders for developing the tennis player's legs is interval training. Even the famous Serena Williams is incorporating interval training in her routine. If they're using a treadmill, it usually starts by walking for about 2 minutes. Then they will gradually increase their pace on a steeper gradient for one 1 minute and then another minute sprinting with no gradient. The player repeats this process 3 to 5 times.
A stopwatch or lamppost is utilized to track the time intervals and complete the session when training outside. In addition, the training routine can include lateral raises, lunges with resistance, and squats using the best Olympic barbells.
Professional tennis players can't spend all their time training at the gym or playing at the court even if they want to. They also have other commitments and responsibilities. However, this doesn't mean that they are neglecting their training. There are many other forms of exercises players can do to work their bodies. This is known as cross-training.
Cross-training is essential to all athletes, not just tennis players. This method helps build and work the players into another muscle group, which will make them be better tennis players. Consequently, it will also help reduce the stress in the body and even lessen the risk of getting a common tennis injury.
The player's training routine can include alternative training sessions such as strength training, cycling, and rock climbing. Variety is the key to achieving the best fitness training result while keeping up the mind and focus in the game.
Rest and Recovery
After performing strenuous physical activity, it is vital to let the body have plenty of rest and enough recovery time. The body always recovers when sleeping, so it is significantly essential for players to have eight 8 to 10 hours of sleep every day.
In addition, having a proper pre and post-stretching routine is vital to enhance athleticism, flexibility and even prevent frequent injury in tennis. Moreover, a simple stretching routine can help promote healthy blood circulation, improving coordination and mental aptitude.
Furthermore, if players stretch improperly, then there is a high it will negatively affect their muscles. Consequently, over time, tennis' players can have permanent damage to their ligaments and joints.
Diet and Nutrition
Diet and nutrition play a heavy role in a professional tennis player's training and living regime. However, all will be naught if their bodies do not have the energy to complete their training and exercise.
Carbohydrates are among the essential foods professional players include in their diet. During a match, they can lose an average of 500 to 1500 calories. Therefore, it is essential to replenish them by eating rice, pasta, and cereal after the game.
In addition, foods rich in protein and fiber are also sought after. Furthermore, tennis players never forget to include fruits and vegetables in their diet. Also, taking multivitamins, supplements, and greens powders with fiber can help replenish the body’s energy.
The Bottom Line
Tennis is a popular sport played by many people. However, tennis does not follow a specific time compared to other sports such as football, basketball, and cricket. A single match can continue for any amount of time. That is why players need to maintain a high level of fitness, to play and survive the high-intensity game set in an indefinite amount of time.
Nevertheless, training to become a tennis player should not be difficult. With the four (4) essential tips mentioned above, you now know what you need to do to have a physique like a professional tennis player.