In tennis a lot depends on your speed – both court speed and racket speed.
Quickly getting to the ball and getting setup, getting to balls that are just out of reach, approaching the net quickly, and getting yourself positioned are some of the advantages of being fast and quick on the court.
Another component of speed you will need in your tennis game is racket speed. The faster you can swing the racket the harder you will return the ball. It’s as simple as that.
The quality of your serve, backhand and forehand shots will depend on how fast you can swing the racket and still control the ball.
Faster racket speed will mean you can now return balls harder – putting them out of reach of your opponent, deliver crushing forehands, two handed backhands and one handed backhands, serve with greater speed and score more aces, return balls with more power even when playing deep, and make strong cross-court returns even if you are off-balance.
Tennis exercises specifically designed to make your muscles faster, both for court quickness and racket speed, give you the game winning advantage over your opponent. Your opponent will now be the one chasing balls and gasping for breath.
The Secret to Faster Muscles
The secret to faster muscles is to condition your fast twitch fibers to perform what is called a ‘fast twitch response’ – which basically means that your muscles contract with amazing speed and acceleration.
Fast twitch muscle fibers are the fibers responsible for muscle speed and quickness.
Getting your muscles to be faster is not the same as making them stronger (the ability to move against heavy resistance) and you cannot develop muscle speed the same way you develop muscle strength or muscle endurance.
Muscles can not be conditioned for speed using traditional methods of strength training or running sprints.
This is what most athletes, coaches and trainers have not grasped and why most tennis players do not achieve fast foot speed or racket speed even if they are taking lessons and practicing almost every day.
The reason is because traditional strength training with repetitions will cause the “fast” fibers in your muscles to ignore their natural ability to contract instantly. In fact, this type of training can actually make you slower.
Two keys to getting more speed
There are two keys to getting more speed on the court and in your racket strokes.
First, is knowing how to condition your muscles for speed.
What we have discovered and what we teach is that muscles are best conditioned for speed with a strategy of isometric exercises with resistance bands.
Isometrics using the resistance band, the way we teach it and the way we will show you, will unlock the blazing speed and quickness of your fast twitch fibers.
Once you start to exercise your muscles using this type of training you will notice dramatic increases in your speed in a matter of days.
The second key to court speed and racket speed is knowing precisely which muscles to condition.
The thigh flexor muscle, for example, is the primary muscle group responsible for sprinting speed. Proper conditioning of the thigh flexor muscle will get you to the ball quicker and allow you to approach the net faster.
Collectively as a group, the thigh flexors are among the strongest muscle groups in the body.
Ironically, in spite of their incredible inherent strength, they are still found to be underdeveloped in most athletes. This is simply because many people are unaware of their importance and function.
With weak thigh flexors, your court speed will be significantly affected.
This is because most of your running speed and power are generated from the forward movement of your leg. This is the main function of your thigh flexors.
The faster you can accelerate your thighs upwards into this flexed position, the faster you will be able to run – it’s as simple as that!
With weak and slow thigh flexors, your court speed will be significantly affected more than you could ever imagine. The thigh flexor muscles form the foundation for dramatically improving your court speed.
Most Important Muscle For Court Speed is Underdeveloped
The reality is that for a lot of athletes, trainers and coaches this muscle group is largely ignored.
The only way that I have ever been able to effectively isolate the thigh flexors is with resistance bands. No other method is more effective. The only way I have ever been able to increase their contraction velocity is with isometric training. Again, No other method is more effective.
This combination of using the resistance band with an isometric training strategy is the key to making your targeted muscles faster.
These exercises can be done basically anywhere. You don’t need to go to the gym to do it. You can do these exercises in the privacy of your own home.
Unless you have applied isometric training using the resistance band to your leg muscles or to the muscles involved in all of your tennis strokes, you have a huge reservoir of untapped muscular energy just waiting to be released!
By doing the exercises the way we show you, you can’t help but improve your tennis performance.
- Dr. Larry Van Such
This video will demonstrate proper conditioning of your thigh flexor muscle for dramatic increases in your court speed. The same principles apply for all of the court speed and racket speed exercises.
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