Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Tennis Training Must Do For Your Abs

So now that you've got your tennis fitness program for your abs headed in the right direction by putting you on the swiss ball, I wanted to add one more exercise for you to work on and master before we move on.  Before I reveal the exercise, I wanted to reiterate the idea that a comprehensive tennis training program wouldn't be complete without a simple and effective series of moves devoted to your midsection.  

As with any area of your body, when it comes to your belly, you absolutely need to start with the basics and build fundamental and baseline strength before you move on.  Far too often, I see people in the gym putting themselves in the position for serious injury by doing very advanced exercises (that they've probably seen on a video somewhere or have seen someone else doing) without having the necessary foundation of strength to do them safely.  

As a tennis player, functionality and mobility are the cornerstones of what we do, so don't blow that by doing ab exercises that look cool, but that you shouldn't be doing until you are ready. Remember, it is in repetition of the fundamentals on a daily basis that true mastery is found.

So anyway, here is the third of the fundamental moves on the Swiss is called the Roll-Out.

Just like the the Stability Ball Crunch and SB Oblique Crunch (see last post), begin with 1 set of 12 repetitions and work your way up to 1 set of 20 repetitions.  Work on these three exercises for 2-4 weeks and then you'll be ready to take it to the next level.

Train on Purpose and Play with Passion,

Monday, November 3, 2008

Abdominal Exercises That Offer Twice The Effect

Wouldn't it be great if there were some piece of home-exercise equipment that you could use for your abs that recruited twice as many muscles as traditional crunches? Well there is and believe it or not, it costs less than $ is the one thing I recommend everybody has in there home if they want great abs for tennis...the stability ball (also known as Swiss Ball).

The instability created by the ball which calls on you to stabilize yourself, is what doubles the results. A recent study done at California State University found that work on the ball activated more muscles than even yoga/Pilates inspired workouts. If you have ever done yoga or Pilates before, you know that this is saying alot, as these forms of fitness can provide quite a challenge to your abdominals.

How To Choose The Proper Size Ball
The following are typical recommendations:
*If you are 5'1"- 5'7", look to use a 55 cm ball.
*If you are 5'8" and taller, look to use a 65 cm ball.

There are alot of great balls out there, but Gymnic Plus has a latex-free vinyl, and burst resistant ball that is great. You can get it from Perform Better (see link on the right)

As with anything, just getting the ball is the first step and knowing what to do with it is the next step.

To get you started, I wanted to give you 2 basic exercises on the stability ball, so if you still don't have one, stop putting it off and go get one this weekend!

1. Stability Ball Basic Crucnch
2. Stability Ball Oblique Crunch

Level 1: 1 set, 12 reps of each
Level 2: 1 set, 15 reps of each
Level 3: 1 set, 20 reps of each

These exercises should be done a minimum of 3x a week, every other day for at least two weeks or until you can get 20 reps of each. Remember to perform the repetitions slowly...apply quality to the quantity for best results.

To be continued...