If you're a tennis player, it goes without saying that having quick reflexes is one of the golden keys to optimal performance. If you feel like you've been struggling with your response or reaction times, keep the following tips and exercises in mind to help you develop razor-sharp reflexes.
1. Wall Ball Bounce
You will need a tennis ball for this exercise. Stand about 6 feet away from a wall, and throw the ball hard enough to where it can bounce off the wall and come back to you. The goal is to try and catch the ball before it hits the ground. Another variation you can try is to throw the ball down at an angle to where it bounces off the ground
This childhood favorite is an excellent exercise for helping you to improve not only your
3. Nature Trail Jogging
One simple the way to help improve your reflexes is to go jogging on a nature trail. Try to find one that has varied terrain – e.g., rocks, tree roots, uneven footing, etc. – so that your body will be forced to respond to various physical and visual stimuli on the fly. As fun as this will be, try not to bite off more than you can chew at the beginning; be sure to start slow and work your way towards a faster pace as your reflexes improve.
4. Video Games
Who says gaming doesn't have real-world benefits? You can significantly improve your reflexes, coordination and reaction time by playing video games that require you to be quick on your feet, such as first-person shooters or various action-heavy role-playing games.
5. Quick Move Drill
You will need a partner for this exercise. While you're standing in ready position (knees slightly bent, feet about shoulder-width apart and your weight resting on the balls of your feet), have a partner call out directions – e.g., left, right, front, or back – and your job will be to quickly move about three steps in that direction. As you become more comfortable with the exercise, your partner can switch to using only hand signals to prompt your movements.
6. Fatty Foods
Keep in mind that brain health has everything to do with sharpening your reflexes. Multiple studies have shown that eating foods that are rich in "good" fats – e.g., salmon, nuts, avocados, olive oil, etc. – can actually help improve mental awareness and boost reaction times. Just be sure to avoid consuming too many foods that are loaded with bad fats, such as french fries, potato chips or any other overly processed food.
You don't have to struggle with slow reaction times or sluggish reflexes. Use the ideas outlined above to help you take your physical and mental response times to the next level!