Over 50’s Fitness by Glen Barnett – Tennis Fitness

Two For Tennis

When someone talks about having a bit of  a ‘hit and giggle’ they are probably talking about a social tennis game unless of course they have some other kinky pastimes.  Tennis is one of the more physically challenging games that our older population enjoy.  Your agility, fitness and reaction time need to be up to scratch not to mention your strength and flexibility.  Let’s cover a few pointers to help you.
Firstly start with the basics and get some tennis coaching from an experienced coach.  They will guide you through technique, coordination, agility drills and even discuss best footwear choices with you.  You will find these lessons invaluable.
My biggest suggestion to assist you with your game aside from tennis coaching is to improve your cardiovascular fitness and strength.  There is a good saying that a strong tennis player will be a better tennis player. Strength training is imperative especially for your legs, chest, back rotator cuff muscles, forearms, torso and core.  A simple strength training program for the above muscles can be prescribed by a Personal Trainer and should be done 2-3 times a week.  Accompany this with relevant stretches and you have this area of your training covered.
Next is your cardiovascular fitness.  As tennis can be more of a stop/start activity you want cardiovascular activities that will provide that for you.  This is normally called interval training.  For example after a 5-10minute moderate walking warmup on a treadmill,  increase the speed for a good minute then reduce it to an easy recovery walk for 30 seconds. Continue this for up to 20-30 minutes.  This harder intensity/easier intensity interval training can be also used on a bike, rower or even outdoors by finding some hills for the harder component.   Incorporate this 2-3 times a week and you will really see the difference in your fitness during your game.
In tennis you tend to move forwards, backwards and side to side therefore you should incorporate exercises that mimic the travelling you will do on the court.  Your tennis coach will no doubt give you drills to improve your reaction time and directional changes so make sure you pay attention and practice these as often as possible.
I’m going to leave you with something to think about –   You Get What You Train For.  If you sit on the couch watching TV and making poor food choices you would be training to be a Norm.  If you want to play tennis, golf, bowls or any other activity then take the time to do what it takes to play and enjoy that game over and over,  free from strains, sprains and pains.  Enjoy yourself and give Glen at Coffs Coast Health Club on 66586222 if you want to learn more.

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