Strengthening exercises will help to condition and tone up our muscles. High load muscular strength training will enhance tennis players’ explosive performances and aerobic endurance. These are 2 important elements of a decent tennis player.
Muscular strength could be improved by 2 means – muscular hypertrophy and neural adaptation (Wong, Chaouachi, Chamari and Alexandre, 2010). Muscular hypertrophy enlarges the cross-sectional area of the muscle through an increase in the size of its component cells, thus resulting in a greater body mass. This is not appropriate in tennis players as these extra kilos will affect their overall performance due to decreased in agility and speed.
On the other hand, neural adaptation increases muscle strength by recruiting more fast twitch muscle fibers without affecting the body mass. Hence, to get the most out of strength gains without increasing in body mass, the training program should consist of high load and short repetition sets (4-6RM) for 2-6 sets with 2-5 minutes of rest between sets. This recommendation is made in the assumption that the athlete has sufficient muscle mass. Intensity will be kept at about 75%.
In the next guide of “Strength Training for Tennis – (Part 2)”, we will recommend the various types of exercises with and without using of equipments.
(SAFETY: As weights used are relatively heavy, ensure that there is a partner to assist)
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