Improve Groundstroke Strength With the University of Miami

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 Bring some life to your groundstroke with the following mini routine from the University of Miami men's tennis in-season strength program.

You can spend all day returning serves toward the ball machine, but without a strength training component, your forehand and backhand will have about as much life as the net. That's why Mac Calloway, the Hurricane squad's strength coach, focuses on building core and rotational strength.

"Core meaning abs, hips and low back," Calloway says. Why incorporate core work? "Because you're doing a lot of twisting and turning," he says. "Some people don't consider tennis explosive, but you're explosive when you're rotating. So we'll do a lot of rotational movements to keep that area strong."

Many of the rotational exercises mimic the groundstroke swing, making these movements the ace of Calloway's program. Try the exercises below to build core strength through explosive rotational movements. If you're interested in learning more drills, check out the Hurricanes' entire in-season program.

Prehab
Internal Rotation with Dumbbell
(can be performed on cable machine)
• Start with dumbbell rotated out away from body and elbow bent at 90 degrees
• Rotate hand toward body until it touches mid-torso
• Return to start position; repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 1x10 each way

External Rotation with Dumbbell
• Start with dumbbell near mid-torso, palm facing in
• Rotate hand out away from body
• Return to start position; repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 1x10 each way; superset with Internal Rotation
Coaching Points: Use lightweight dumbbell // Keep elbow against rib cage // Perform movement in a controlled manner // Maintain elbow angle and position

Strength Training
Push-Up with Rotation

• Assume Push-Up position
• Slowly lower body to floor
• Push up to start position and rotate body 90 degrees
• Extend both arms, drive right arm toward ceiling as opposite arm stabilizes body
• Alternate direction of rotation for each rep

Sets/Reps: 3x10; superset with Dumbbell Bench Press
Coaching Points: Keep core tight // Keep feet together and toes on floor // Hands should be placed wider than shoulder-width apart // Maintain flat back // Perform exercise in a controlled manner

Woodchoppers
High to Low

• Assume athletic stance with cable machine to your right and rope attachment near eye level
• Hold rope with arms extended to the right
• Explosively rotate hips and drive rope left and down until outside of thigh
• Return to start position and repeat for specified reps
• Perform set in opposite direction

Sets/Reps: 1x10 each direction
Coaching Point: Turn shoulders toward and away from cable machine during each rep

Low to High
• Assume athletic stance with cable machine to your right
• Hold rope attachment just below knee with arms extended to the right
• Explosively rotate hips and drive rope up to the left outside of shoulder
• Return to start position and repeat for specified reps
• Perform set in opposite direction

Sets/Reps: 1x10 each direction

Straight
• Set rope attachment at waist-level
• Hold rope with arms extended to the right
• Explosively rotate hips and drive rope across your midsection to the left
• Return to start position and repeat for specified reps
• Perform set in opposite direction

Sets/Reps: 1x10 each direction
Coaching Points: Maintain solid base with feet shoulder-width apart // Keep arms straight and core tight // Perform in a controlled manner

Key Points
• Train on your feet; minimize the number of exercises done lying down or seated
• In-season lifts are high-paced, lasting between 30 to 45 minutes
• Superset exercises with 30 to 45 seconds rest between sets
• Your body requires a 48-hour recovery period between workouts
• Don't compromise technique for weight
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Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: STRENGTH TRAINING | TENNIS | COACH | EXERCISE | TRAIN | STANCE | CABLE MACHINE