Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tennis Exercises..Use Specificity to Improve Performance

I wanted to wish you an early Happy Thanksgiving, as there is a good chance I won't get around to blogging tomorrow. Like a lot of you, I will be involved in holiday events, beginning with my Family Affair Boot Camp workout at the beach starting bright and early at 7 am. It should be a blast, as about 30-40 people, young and old, will gather to start their holiday off with some fitness...sounds pretty cool to me. Hoping the weather holds out though as today was a rainy day here in LA and tomorrow is supposed to be more of the same. We'll just have to wait and see.

Now on to the topic for today...Do I always have to apply periodization training to my tennis fitness exercises? To cut to the chase, the answer is NO. As long as you are thoughtfully applying Specificity to your training, you are good to go. So let's look at what specificity means. To sum it up in one sentence, I might say...

Train The Way You Play-

When one is deciding what types of exercises to use, it is necessary to look at one’s operational environment. In what ways will you be functioning- will you be moving just you arm or will you be bending down, turning and walking, throwing something etc? At the same time, what experience are you bringing to the workout with regard to how much strength training you are presently doing? This is referred to as a needs assessment.

More often than not, it is ideal to gear your training to fit your purpose. For our purposes, we are going to apply our training to an environment (the sport of tennis) where you’re body is constantly be called upon to operate in a synergistic way in which it allows you to change levels, move in multiple planes of activity, at extreme ranges of motion and varying speeds, all the while attempting to maintain balance so you can strike the ball in an optimal fashion. Now that’s a mouth full!

In other words, make your workouts multi-joint, multi-planar, uni-lateral, unstable and primarily standing. However, make sure to be progressive in your approach. Begin with the basics and then move on to advanced conditioning...start slow and controlled and then move to fast and chaotic.

Examples of this will follow soon.

Be well and until next time, train on purpose and play with passion!