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 3: Core Stabilization
On your back with a light circle hand around the knees just above the knee. Fingers interlaced against the back of the head for support. You can also grab a fixed immoveable object. Knees are bent at 90-degrees. Roll back lifting the buttocks off the ground and extend the legs in the air. Try 5-10 repetitions. Next, with knees slightly open against the band’s resistance, bridge up squeezing the butt as you elevate. Try 10. Last roll to one side with knees bent and sides of feet in contact with each other. Support the neck. Open the legs – clam movement. Try 10. Repeat to opposite side.
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