For the last three weeks, I’ve been in Jupiter, Florida participating with Team Serena, helping arguably the greatest female tennis player in the history of the game prepare for the European clay court season. The clay surface increases the friction co-efficient (friction) of the tennis ball, when it hits the clay surface during serves and returns - allowing for a higher ball bounce and longer rallies – permitting players to have more time to make contact with the ball.
Our conditioning emphasis was footwork and fitness – with emphasis for stamina (each point) and endurance (longer duration of points) – along with emphasis on deceleration of the hitting shoulder and hamstrings, core, and mid-spine stabilization.
One key to successful movement to the ball relates to hip stability and mobility. Here are four weeks of world class tennis training.
Exercise 1: Hip Rotation
Assume an all four position on the ground with knees bent to a 90-degree angle – with hands shoulder with apart. Place a light circle band just above both knees. Lift one bent knee approximately 2 inches off the ground and circle outward against the resistance of the band - using small circles. Try 10. Then repeat with opposite knee. Next perform the same maneuver circling inward. Use the extended arms and core to maintain stability – no movement of the upper torso.
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