5 Tennis Training Technique Enhancers with Jen Dawson
To be the best, you have to beat the best. Jennifer Dawson, the ITF 45 Singles Champion, is doing just that here at EZIA. Having good technique is not enough when you are the best in the world. You also need to have the endurance, strength and power (ESP) to outlast your opponents match after match, day after day. Jen’s tennis training program is based off of EZIA’s unique ESP Program. Isaiah Truyman takes her through a 5 exercise circuit to give her the edge she is craving. These 5 exercises are geared towards improving the serve, reaction time, core, resistance, and balance. Every match should begin with a dynamic warm-up.
Medicine Ball Swing and Slam: This exercise is focused on improving power and accuracy for the serve. Choose a Dynamax medicine ball of appropriate weight and hold it over your head (start light and work your way up). The overhead lift is called the “swing”. Once the ball is overhead, “slam” the ball to the ground with as much force as possible. Keep a curve in the low back in order to protect it from getting injured. The swing is supposed to imitate the serve motion and the slam is supposed to imitate the force given off when the ball is hit.
Depth Jump and Lateral Shuffle: This tennis training exercise begins by jumping off of a plyometric box and finishes in a lateral shuffle to either the left or the right. The goal is to improve reaction time from when the ball is hit by the opponent to the time it lands in your court. The box that Jen is jumping off of is 24 inches. It is recommended to start comfortably with a smaller box and work your way higher. This exercise is best done with a partner, but don’t let that stop you from trying it alone.
V-Sit Medicine Ball Throws: With all of the rotation done in tennis, this exercise can be one of the most helpful. Work on improving core rotational power for the forehand swing by throwing and catching the medicine ball quickly. Sit on the ground with your back straight and core tight, lean back slightly so that your legs are bent. Bring the medicine ball down to your hip and throw it up over the opposite shoulder in one fluid motion. Be ready to catch the rebounding ball and toss it right back. Don’t have a partner? Use the nearest wall.
Rip Trainer by TRX: To help the backhand movement, we call on one of our favorite pieces of equipment, the Rip Trainer. The name of this tennis training exercise is called the “Rip Punch.” Jump and twist as fast as you can, while pulling and pushing on the Rip Trainer to create resistance in your core and hips. Rip Trainer inventor, Peter Holman describes how this exercise is done best, “hold the trainer in front of you, face sideways and hold the bar horizontal in front of you. The goal of this exercise is to pivot your feet, creating a resistance in your core and hips and push the bar as if you are trying to hit a target.” The more steady you can maneuver the Rip Trainer, the better your accuracy will be when hitting the tennis ball.
Plank: Balance is important in any sport and tennis is no exception. Everyone knows how to perform a basic plank movement. However, if your game is as advanced as Jennifer’s, you can get on ‘elbows and toes’ and reach with opposite hands like you are hitch hiking. Remember to keep a straight back, glutes down, and tight core. For an even more advanced plank, try balancing an object (like a cup of water or a cone) on your back right above your hips without letting it fall. Start with 30 seconds and see how long you can go! Time and proper form work hand in hand with this exercise.
Become number one in your sport like EZIA trained Jennifer Dawson and start your ESP Program with EZIA Athletic Club.
Want more tennis specific training videos? We recommend you check out one of our favorite Benchmark Exercises, Hexagon Speed and Agility Training.