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The force behind explosive tennis strokes starts at the ground and is transferred through the kinetic chain, a body linkage system, according to the Paul Roetert and Todd S. Ellenbecker, authors of вЂњComplete Conditioning for Tennis.вЂќ The power is first generated with the legs and is then transferred to the trunk, the hitting arm and finally to the racket and ball. Performing resistance band exercises that strengthen muscles in each part of the chain can help improve a player's on-court performance. Satoshi Ochi, strength and conditioning specialist for the United States Tennis Association, recommends performing basic strengthening exercises three days per week.
Starting with your lower body, calf raises are effective for working your lower legs. Position the middle of a resistance band under the balls of your feet. Take the ends of the band in each hand and stand erect with your feet hip-width apart. Wrap the ends of the band around your hands until you have taken up the slack. Bend your arms and bring your hands up to the sides of your shoulders. While holding this position, raise your heels off the floor and balance on your toes for five seconds. Lower your heels to the floor and repeat 12 times.
Resistance band lunges focus on your quads, hamstrings and glutes. Place the middle of the resistance band under the arch of your right foot. Hold the ends of the band in each hand and wrap the ends around your hands until you feel a resistance in the band. Stand erect with your feet hip-width apart. Keep your right foot flat on the floor and step backward two feet with your left foot. While keeping your head up and back straight, bend your elbows 90 degrees and hold your hands in front of your torso. This is the starting position. Bend your legs and lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the floor and your left knee is an inch above the floor. Pause, push with your right leg, return to the starting position and repeat. Perform 10 reps and then switch legs.
To target your core, specifically your abs and obliques, perform sitting twists. Sit on an exercise mat for comfort and extend your legs straight out in front of your body. Loop the middle of the resistance band around the bottom of your feet and grasp the ends with your hands. Wrap the ends around your hands until there is no slack in the band. Start by clasping your hands together and extending your arms out toward your feet. While sitting upright with your back straight, contract your stomach muscles and slowly rotate your torso toward the right as far as you can. Pause, return to the middle starting position, rotate to the left and return to the middle to complete one repetition. Perform 10 reps.
A critical link in the kinetic chain is your shoulder. Lateral raises can help strengthen your shoulder and keep it injury free. Stand on the middle of a resistance band, grasp the ends with each hand and wrap the ends around your hands to take up the slack. Start with your feet together, hands by your sides, head up and back straight. While keeping your arms straight, simultaneously raise them out to your sides until they are shoulder high. Hold the position five seconds and then lower your arms to the starting position. Perform 10 to 12 reps.
Wrist extension and flexion curls strengthen your forearm muscles and help treat and prevent tennis elbow. To perform wrist extension curls, sit in a chair and loop the middle of the band under you right foot. Take both ends of the band and wrap them around your right hand until you start to feel a resistance. Rest your forearm on your thigh with your palm facing the floor and your wrist in a neutral position. Slowly bend your wrist and bring your hand back toward your body. Pause and return to the starting position. Wrist flexion curls are similar except you rest the back of your forearm on your thigh with your palm facing up. Slowly bend your wrist and bring your hand toward your body. Pause and return to the starting position. Perform the exercises 10 times with each arm.