It is a well-known fact that strength training is one of the best ways for tennis players to improve their power,
The key is for the training to be age-appropriate and gradually implemented. So when would be a good time to introduce strength training into your child's tennis routine? Below are some helpful tips for the most commonly recognized age brackets.
The most effective starting point for children ages 7-12 is to focus on basic bodyweight exercises. Keep in mind the phrase "strength training" doesn't automatically mean working out with weights; in fact, simple exercises using nothing but your child's own body weight can provide an appropriate amount of resistance without requiring any extra load.
You can start your child off with classic bodyweight exercises such as squats, pushups, lunges, burpees, pull-ups, and mountain climbers, as each of these movements
Ages 13 and Up
At this age, you can begin to transition your child into more advanced types of strength training, including tennis-specific conditioning exercises. One of the most critical areas that must be developed
Another critical area is the elbow joint, as it is often susceptible to repetitive strain injuries (a.k.a. tennis elbow). While tennis elbow is often the result of poor stroke mechanics, another leading cause is weak arm muscles. By adding exercises such as bicep curls,
Variety is the Key
As you well know, your child's body is growing and developing rapidly during their pre-teen and teenage years, and their muscles will be surprisingly adaptive and responsive to strength training workouts. If you keep their strength training routine the same for weeks on end, it will produce a "diminishing returns" effect, where their muscles will easily adapt to the exercises, eventually lessening their effectiveness. To avoid this "plateau effect," be sure to mix things up and keep the workouts somewhat unpredictable, so that your child's body will continue to produce a positive response to the exercises.
Strength training can be a wonderful tool to incorporate into your child's tennis routine, but it must be done the right way. The exercises should be age-appropriate, executed with good form and always performed under adult supervision. Keep the above tips and ideas in mind to help improve your child's performance on the tennis court.