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Tennis Specific Strength Training Programs In Melbourne

Written by: Nick Jack
Category: 2014
on 11 February 2016
Hits: 6030

Attention: Young up and coming tennis stars, and adult pennant level players.

> Are You Lacking Consistency In Your Game?
> Do You Want To Improve Your Serving Speed?
> Do You Have Reoccurring Shoulder Pain?
> Are You Struggling To Pick Up That Drop Shot?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you need to join our Tennis Specific Strength Training Program we provide at No Regrets Personal Training - 10/18-20 Redland Drive, Mitcham. This article gives you a sneak peek inside our program and how you can dramatically improve your game without even picking up a racquet!

To Become Better At Tennis You Must Be Agile, Fast & Well Balanced

To be 100% clear, this IS NOT a tennis coaching program - you won't see a racquet in sight! This is a program where we use advanced assessments on how your body moves in order to play tennis to your full potential. Similar to our Golf program we try to improve the body's bio-mechanics to produce power, become faster, more agile and stronger to improve performance and avoid injury.

What Is Exactly Involved In Our Program?

1. Firstly, we complete a full assessment of your body to determine how you move on a basic level. See video below of what is involved.


Then we apply a more specific assessment that evaluates your ability to move according to the demands of tennis! This is where many strength training programs for tennis players fail because they do not take into account the basic physical demands of tennis. Using exercises invented for body building and not improving movement is a disaster for any tennis player. Also the intensity the exercises are often used is not needed in tennis. The energy demands for tennis are similar to a power athlete like a sprinter! Yet most programs given to tennis players are designed as if they are a marathon runner!

Here are some statistics to keep in mind.

  1. The average point length is less than 6 seconds.
  2. Ninety-three percent of all tennis points are less than 15sec.
  3. The maximum time players are allowed to take between points is 20sec but the average is 15.2sec, and players are allowed to rest for 90sec every 2 games they play.Taking into account average point durations and rest periods, players can therefore expect to rest for 2.3-3.2sec for every second of work performed.

This information is critical in designing a program for a tennis player that not only improves performance but strengthens muscles that are often prone to injury.

Great articles to read with more detail on this are below

The Benefits Of Using Strength Training For Tennis

Once you master the art of moving well you can develop more strength, and then more power.

It is at this point we teach you how to use specific exercises to add 15km/hr to your serve by improving your leg strength, and internal rotation of the shoulder!

There are many things to consider when trying to develop a formidable serve as a weapon. Obviously technique, practice, ball toss and even your physical genetic make up play a role in determining your overall service power.

But there is one common movement to both male and female players with big serves and that is........ the ability to produce explosive internal rotation of the shoulder.

It is in this action that approximately 40% of the raquet velocity is produced at impact. This is also true within the forehand to generate the heavy top spin used by players like Rafael Nadal. So all you have to do is lots of shoulder internal rotation work right? No. Unfortunately it is not that easy. And also this is where many shoulder problems with rotator cuffs will begin to surface. The rotator cuff muscles are quite small and are predominately stabilizer muscles needed to provide stability to the shoulder and the ability to decelerate the arm so you don’t throw your arm out!

The power really comes from the legs, through the entire body and out through the arm. If you improve your squat you will go a long way to improving your serve as the timing of the muscles used in a squat is very similar to the service action. When a player serves well, they use both of their legs to drive up to give a higher hitting point, but also enabling a much more explosive shoulder over trunk rotation to strike the ball harder. There is many versions of squats we might use, starting from good mobility to improving stability and then eventually strength and power.

You can read more about how we progress through 7 stages of squats to do this in the article "7 Best Squats To Build Strong Legs & Bulletproof Knees"

Below is video explaining the various ways to improve your squat mechanics.

The second thing you can dramatically improve is your Ground Stroke Power & Consistency!

We already mentioned how the squat helps to generate power for the serve but does the squat help the ground strokes in the same way?

Well yes and no. Let me explain.

The stance in ground strokes versus serving are different, even a forehand to a backhand has a slightly different position and timing to it. In many cases it is more of a lunge than a squat. In ground strokes the back leg and hip are the first part of the chain. They begin trunk rotation and drive the torso upward and forward. This enables the trunk and the arm to build racquet speed. Without the leg drive minimal power is produced.

The picture below shows an example of how closely the multi-direction lunge mimics the movements used with groundstrokes in tennis. Becoming great at this exercise has a direct carryover to your tennis game.

Exercises that then target leg strength on the back leg moving into an explosive rotation are where you need to focus. Firstly you need to be sure you can complete basic lunges and multi-direction lunges with loads before progressing to faster versions. Once you have done this you can progress to many more complex and specific exercises to fully integrate the body.

Watch the videos below for ideas of how to improve your lunge and rotational movement.


2 Great Exercises To Improve Your Speed, Agility & Endurance On The Court

Make no mistake that balance and stability is so important to a tennis player. In order to cover the court as fast as possible, but remain well balanced with the head position in order to hit a perfect shot, the skills of balance, speed and agility must be practiced and perfected over and over and over........ I think you get it. And one of the best ways to do this is to lower your centre of gravity closer to the ground. We have been teaching this concept for years, and it applies to all sports players and we use many different methods and exercises.

One that is an excellent drill to master is the Extreme Balance Board squat and hold. When your centre of gravity or mass is lower to the ground you are well balanced and almost immovable. Holding squats for 10 seconds not only improves your balance but also strength endurance.



But How Does Training Make You Move Faster?

Any tennis player who moves fast around the court will have more time to play a shot, and really dictate the point. It is one thing to be well balanced and have great agility and endurance but what if you are just not fast enough. Most people would think heaps of sprints and running fast is the way to do it. While this may help it will not deliver the results you are looking for. It is all about learning HOW TO BRAKE!

The fastest players in all sports have incredible change of direction and deceleration skills which not only makes them fast but also avoid injury for it is in these movements we see injury occur.

A great article to read about braking skills for sports is "Strength Training For Sports Is All About Learning To Brake"

In tennis nearly every movement is begun with what is known as a “split step”, when the player makes a small jump into the air. At the top of the jump, the player can make a decision as to which way to move, forward, backward etc. When the player lands, the first step is the slowest and shortest. Meaning that if you can find a way to make this first step faster you are one giant leap forward in terms of your speed around the court. Using strength exercises along with plyometrics, speed ladders, hurdles, cones that require this split step while emphasizing “keep low” will develop an incredible strength and ability to move fast, using split second reactions and skills.

This is where use what is called "reactive training" to enhance reflex skills needed the entire game. 

The videos below provides a few examples of how we might do this.


I highly suggest to read our article - 25 of our BEST AGILITY exercises to see even more ideas on how to incorporate reactivity training into your program.

Strength Training Helps You Avoid Injury

We have mentioned this a few times briefly in this article but this really is a big part of our program. And it should always be priority number one with any sports player. For if you get injured you don't play, it is that simple. Many of the injuries that occur on the tennis court can be prevented by using a well designed program that takes into account your posture, movement mechanics, weaknesses and demands of the game.

The common injuries are always around the shoulder but also in the knees, in particular with female players. We adopt many of the methods and techniques from our rehabilitation programs for both of these injuries and we have extensive experience with ACL injury rehab and prevention along with shoulder impingement, rotator cuff tears and just about any injury you can think of.

Great articles to read for specific information on some of the injuries common to tennis are below

Below is specific online programs we have available to download. Click the image of the program you need to get a copy.

Does This Sound Like You?

  • Are you constantly plagued by niggling injuries that you just can't seem to get on top of?
  • Do you feel as though you have untapped potential but just don't know how to access it?
  • Do you have dreams to play in the big time but need a helping hand to get there?
  • Are you sick of 'go hard, go home' training that just doesn't seem to provide you with the results you crave?
  • Do you feel as though your tennis coach helps you to play the game but doesn't necessarily understand your body's requirements in perform the intricate movements and skills required for your sport?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to join our program. All of these questions and more will be addressed in our program.

What Is Included As Part Of Tennis Specific One On One Program?

  • Comprehensive assessment using the latest scientific training methods
  • Customised flexibility, stability, strength and power program that targets YOUR specific weakness!
  • Access to world leading video library Ptenhance video format giving you the ability to re-view and print pictures of your key exercises
  • Detailed exercise analysis with exercises designed to correct YOUR movement patterns
  • Detailed assessment on nutrition, stress and lifestyle factors
  • Postural Assessment and In-Depth Analysis of muscle imbalances

Want Proof Of The Success Of This Program

Jera Staley is an up and coming tennis star and came to us about 12 months ago to improve his co-ordination, posture and movement skills for tennis which he was already playing at a high level. Jera had also been experiencing weakness in his left shoulder which was not only hampering his tennis game but slowly becoming a problem all the time. His parents and he felt he needed to have a program that would improve his overall conditioning strength and ability to move around the court better and without pain.

Jera is actually quite tall for his age, already 6 foot and although he is skilled at tennis his skills in movements such as lunges and rotation were not great. His posture could definitely be improved and his body's ability to know where it is in space (pro-prioception) also needed work. We tested him on agility and coordinated movements specific to throwing athletes and began putting a program in place to correct any faulty patterns and postural deviations (see picture of Jera to below using a tornado ball). Jera now lives in France and plays tennis as part of scholarship program for elite junior tennis players.

“I came to No Regrets Personal Training to increase my strength, fitness, agility and quickness around the court. But I also needed to learn techniques on how to stay injury free as even though I am only 13 years old I was already accumulating many injuries due to the amount of time I played. I know I needed to do something but I was not sure what to do and where to start. After a slow start I achieved everything I was looking to do over the next 18 months and am now playing the best tennis of my life and about to leave to go to France on a scholarship program. With the friendly staff greeting you with a smile every time and the training working wonders no regrets is an amazing place to train and if you are considering personal training you should definitely look into it.”  - Jera Staley.

Sign Up For To Our Tennis Specific Program By Filling In The Form Below

  • Would you like to find out more about the importance of strength training and conditioning specific to the game of the tennis?
  • Do you want to get on top of niggling injuries that you just can seem to get past?
  • Would you like to access your untapped potential and take your game to the next level?

Sign up by clicking the image below to fill in a consultation request.

We would love to meet you.

For more ideas and information on specific topics I may not have covered in detail be sure to check out our INDEX PAGE on the website that has over 200 of our best articles. These are all sorted into categories for quick reference so you can find what you are after more easily.

About The Author

Nick Jack is owner of No Regrets Personal Training and has over 15 years’ experience as a qualified Personal Trainer, Level 2 Rehabilitation trainer, CHEK practitioner, and Level 2 Sports conditioning Coach. Based in Melbourne Australia he specializes in providing solutions to injury and health problems for people of all ages using the latest methods of assessing movement and corrective exercise.


  • Twist Conditioning Sports Strength - By Peter Twist
  • Twist Conditioning Sports Movement - By Peter Twist
  • Functional Training For Sports - By Mike Boyle
  • Athletes Acceleration Speed Training & Game Like Speed - by Lee Taft
  • Knee Injuries In Athletes - by Sports Injury Bulletin
  • The ACL Solution - by Robert G Marx
  • Understanding & Preventing Non-Contact ACL Injuries - American Orthopaedic Society For Sports Medicine
  • Movement - By Gray Cook
  • Corrective Exercise Solutions for the Hip & Shoulder - by Evan Osar
  • The Psoas Solution - by Evan Osar
  • Diagnosis & Treatment Of Movement Impairment Syndromes - By Shirley Sahrman
  • Low Back Disorders - by Stuart McGill
  • Anatomy Trains - by Thomas Meyers
  • Motor Learning and Performance - By Richard A Schmidt and Timothy D Lee
  • Assessment & Treatment Of Muscle Imbalance - By Vladimir Janda
  • How To Eat, Move & Be Healthy by Paul Chek
  • Scientific Core Conditioning Correspondence Course - By Paul Chek
  • Advanced Program Design - By Paul Chek