I still remember the moment when Novak Djokovic, defeated Rafael Nadal (much to the disappointment of his fans), in the finals of Australian open 2012, a match that lasted for around six hours. And no, I don’t remember it for the marathon effort that these two giant tennis stars put in, but for that very first second when Djokovic ripped-off his shirt, making his chiseled abs go viral in literally no time!
Tennis boasts some of the sickest bodies in professional sports with players going stronger and stronger in the last decade or so, as it is evident that the fitter you get in the gym, the faster you’re going to be on the court. Ask Nadal that question, for a second!
Tennis, itself is a killer workout too- on par with an intense session of half-court basketball—combining fat-burning and endurance-building cardio bursts with built-in strength moves like lunges and squats, which provide that desired toning payoff.
Having said that, it would be wrong to suggest that all can burn so much and gain so much. However, by adding some of their favorite exercises to your regular routine can get you slimmer and stronger quicker than ever.
Tackle these sculptors, direct from tennis’s top trainers, two or three times each week. For moves requiring weights and medicine balls, choose a weight that allows you to complete the number of reps required—if you can easily add more, increase the weight; if you can’t complete the reps without sacrificing form, drop to a lower weight.
For Strong Arms
Wrist and Forearm Curls
Sit on a bench, holding a light barbell with both hands, hands shoulder-width apart, palms up, elbows on thighs, wrists just above knees. Flex wrists up, then down. Do 10 reps. Turn palms down on bar and repeat, flexing wrists up, then down. Do 10 reps.
Alternating Dumbbell Bench Press
Lie face-up on a bench, with knees bent, holding a dumbbell in each hand, hands lifted toward ceiling. Bend right elbow down to shoulder level, lowering dumbbell toward chest; lift up. Repeat on left. Do 20 reps, alternating sides each time.
For Powerful Legs
Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a medicine ball in front of your chest with both hands. Lunge forward with your right leg, bending right knee 90 degrees. If you were standing in the center of a clock face, this would be 12 o’clock; push back up to standing. Repeat, facing forward but lunging diagonally to 2 o’clock, then 3 o’clock, 4 o’clock, and lunging in reverse to 6 o’clock. Reverse pattern back to start. Switch legs and repeat the series on your left side, going in a counterclockwise direction.
Single-Leg Dead Lift
Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a barbell or dumbbells in both hands. Lift right foot slightly behind you. Keeping left knee relatively straight and back flat, hinge forward from hips, lowering weight down toward the floor in front of you. Slowly rise to stand. Do 10 reps. Switch legs and repeat.
For a Solid Core
Sit on the floor, with knees bent and feet flat, holding a medicine ball or dumbbell with both hands in front of your chest. Lean back slightly and lift feet off floor. Keeping knees as still as possible, rotate your torso from side to side, tapping weight on floor beside you each time. Do 20 total reps (tapping 10 times on each side).
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a non-bouncing medicine ball (a “dead” ball) overhead. Pivot to the right and bend knees as you slam the ball down to the floor. Squat down to pick up the ball, bring ball back overhead, and repeat slam to left. Do 20 reps total (10 on each side).
– Sandeep Verma