5 CORE EXERCISES FOR TENNIS PLAYERS
Okay, so obviously these exercises are great for anyone who wants to improve their core strength, but they are especially great for tennis players, which means Team 30Fifteen is all over it. A strong core means better balance while you're on the court. Not only that, but you'll see an increase in power, and you're less likely to injure yourself from overuse. Take a look:
Planks are one of the best ways to strengthen the muscles around your spine, lowering your risk for lower-back pain and injury. For a forearm plank, you'll get down onto your forearms and toes, with the elbows directly beneath your shoulders and your hands inline with your elbows. Shift your weight forward over your shoulders. Keep the abs engaged and the body in a straight line. You don't want your hips to dip towards the ground or your butt to stick up in the air. Try to hold for a minute. If you can't hold it for that long, that's okay. Planking is hard. If you focus on planking everyday, you'll be surprised how quickly your core strength improves.
Plank with Arm and Leg Lift
Start in a normal plank, on your hands and toes, with the body in a straight line and your hands right under your shoulders. Do not let the belly or hips sink as you slowly lift your right arm and left leg at the same time. Hold the top position for a couple of seconds before slowly lowering. Do the same with your left arm and right leg.
Think of how often you bend and twist on the court (or even just during your day). Your obliques are responsible for those motions. Side planks are perfect for strengthening your obliques. You can move into a side plank from a regular plank, or you can start on one side, resting on your hip and hand. Stack the feet on top of one another, and keep your shoulder directly above your hand. Lift the hips up, keeping them in one line with the rest of your body. Raise your opposite hand up into the air, stretching the chest. Try to hold for 30 seconds on each side.
This exercise will hit your obliques, abs, and hip flexors at the same time. It also stretches your lower back and chest. You'll start by lying on the ground with your feet up in the air, similar to the yoga pose: Legs up on the Wall. Spread your arms so your body makes a T shape - for added stability. As you slowly let your legs drop to one side, keep your legs at a ninety degree angle. Your legs should be parallel with your arm when they touch the ground. Then reverse the movement, firing up the core. Your shoulders should never lift up off of the ground. Then repeat in the other direction. For an easier variation, you can bend your knees slightly.
This one is great for firing up your lower abs. Lie on your back, bend your legs, and bring your knees to your chest. Lift your hips off of the ground, rounding the back. Then reverse the movement, slowly lowering back down to the ground. Remember: you don't want to be swinging your legs around to complete the motion. The goal is to move slow and controlled.
Is your core on fire yet? Mine is, just writing this blog post. Plus side: all that hard work will definitely show up on the court.
*Please note these instructions are very basic guides. If you are new to yoga, please find a local studio near you and take a couple of classes before attempting to practice alone. We cannot be held responsible for an injury caused by following these instructions.