Tennis players are a misunderstood group. The game is physically demanding, and many tennis athletes play year round. Between frequent tournaments and practices, finding time for the weight room can be difficult for even the most devoted players. Luckily, players can gain some serious strength by using only a medicine ball.
Medicine Ball Slams
- Squat and pick up the ball
- Bring the ball overhead while rising on the balls of your feet
- Forcefully slam the ball into the ground and repeat for specified reps (see below)
Slams focus on the lower body and abdominal muscles. Brace your abs throughout the exercise. Watch a video demonstration of the Medicine Ball Slam.
Underhand Medicine Ball Tosses
- Perform this drill outside or somewhere with a high ceiling
- Drop to a half squat and grab the ball underhanded
- Stand up and explosively launch the ball into the air, fully extending your arms and performing a slight jump
- End the movement with your hips, knees and ankles extended
Learn how to perform this exercise with video instruction from University of Alabama softball strength and conditioning coach Michelle Diltz.
Medicine Ball Side Tosses
- Facing a wall, hold a medicine ball in front of you
- Pivot to the right and drop to a lunge position
- Exploding up from the lunge position, pivot and throw the ball against the wall
- Retrieve the ball and perform the same exercise on the opposite side
Medicine Ball Side Tosses should mimic forehand and backhand strokes, developing full-body strength.
Cap off your workout with a series of 10-yard sprints. I prefer the sprints to be run on the court. Not only will they be a good finisher, they will simulate charging across the baseline to retrieve a groundstroke.
After you sprint to the shot, the strength you developed from the medicine ball work will power your return strokes, producing winners.
- Medicine Ball Slams – 4x8
- Underhand Medicine Ball Tosses – 4x8
- Medicine Ball Side Tosses – 3x10 each side
- 10-Yard Sprints - x10
Find more med ball exercises in STACK's medicine ball exercise library.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock