Another great Wimbledon may have you fired up to get out and play a few sets. Even if you’re just going out for a casual weekend match, you want to win. How can you improve your game this summer? It's simple: Get stronger.
I recommend this five-exercise workout to help improve your game in record time. It's a challenging workout that will help you move and strengthen your body through its full range of motion, which helps you reach and return those tricky shots! Even if you aren't a tennis player, this workout will give you the physique of one.
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1. Overhead Squat
Start with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Push your hips back and squat while you lift your arms up overhead. Keep the knees in line with the hips and toes. Keep your chest up, abs engaged and look slightly up and ahead of you. Return to standing position and lower your arms. Repeat 10 times.
2. Slow Side Lunges
Take a big step to the left, feet slightly outward and arms extended to the sides. Slowly transfer your weight to the left, lowering into a side squat to a count of five; hold for five seconds, then return to starting position and repeat to the right. Keep your chest up, looking forward. Alternate legs and repeat five times on each leg.
3. Straight-Leg Lunge With Step Touches
Start with your feet hip-width apart. Take a long step forward into a lunge position, keeping your back leg straight. Lean forward and extend your opposing arm as if trying to touch the ground. Go as far as is comfortable, remembering to keep your back straight and core engaged. Perform five reps on each leg.
4. Medicine Ball Chops
The medicine ball should feel heavy, but you should still be able to lift it overhead with straight arms. I recommend 4 to 8 pounds for women and 10 to 18 pounds for men. Start with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Stand tall, with a slight bend in the knees and abs engaged at all times. Raise the ball to your left, make a sharp diagonal chopping movement toward your right hip, exhaling as you go. Inhale quickly, bringing the ball back above your head again. Repeat chopping, then switch sides. Perform 10 repetitions on each side.
If you don't have a medicine ball, you can use a dumbbell or an exercise band.
5. Pretzel Stretch
The pretzel stretch targets almost everything! It will stretch your hip flexors, glutes and open and mobilize your thoracic spine. Start by lying on your back. Bring your right knee up to your shoulder and pull it across with your left hand. Allow the upper body to rotate left, so you end up lying on your left side somewhat. Fold your left knee and grab hold of your left foot with your right hand. Exhale and simultaneously pull your left foot back and relaxing the upper body, allowing it to rotate back to the ground.