As the US Open approaches we have tapped our Master Trainer Christine De Almeida to show us how to train like a tennis player.
Can you list a few exercises that a person can do at home that targets the core?
Superset exercise: (A superset is a combination of one exercise performed right after the other with no rest in between them.)
3 sets 30x Reverse crunch to a 30 seconds one single leg plank position. Repeat this exercise with opposite leg. (45 seconds recovery between sets)
3 sets of 25x side plank on elbow moving hips up down to a 30 seconds plank position with feet jumping side to middle.(45 seconds recovery between sets)
3 sets of 30x Russian twist exercise with weight of your choice to a 45 seconds mountain climbers.(45 seconds recovery between sets)
For those who are busy with less time to workout, what are a few easy exercises they can do without having to go to the gym?
A combination of cardiovascular and strength exercises are sure to make you break a sweat and get those endorphins going no matter where you are:
1min. jogging in place to a 30 seconds jumping jacks. Repeats 3x.
30x One single leg crossover lunges to 20x inclined push ups using anything that has the high of a bench, even your kitchen counter or a bar can be used.
15x Burpees to a 1min. plank position with feet jumping side to middle center.
30x Lying Leg Raise to a crunch position: neck and spine stay in touch with the floor. Hands start overhead then touch ankles. Repeat this motion back and forth. You can hold a weight of your choice while performing the crunch motion.
What foods should we eat before and after a workout?
A pre-workout bites contain protein and complex carbohydrate. Here are some of my favorite snacks to keep me energized during my workout:
Green apple with natural peanut butter (1/4 cup)
Banana with almond butter (2 tablespoons)
Oatmeal (1/2 cup) with berries (1 cup)
2 white scrambled eggs with handful of almonds/ pistachios
A post- workout recovery nutrients: whether food or fluid that combines protein and carbohydrates 30 minutes to an hour after your workout refills energy stores, builds and repairs your muscle fibers that were broken down. Here are the foods some of my favorite quick meals to replenish my body:
Protein shake made with half of a banana, one scoop of protein powder, acai powder, coconut milk/ almond milk, and chia seeds.
Avocado salad with roasted pistachios and light olive oil
Quinoa bowl with fresh chopped apple (1 cup) and walnuts (1/4 cup)
Black beans (1cup) with spinach and chia seeds
Are there any foods we should completely stay away from before training?
Before any training, it will be surely wise to avoid a high amount of fiber intake before and even after workout due to the long digestion process. I strongly recommend a mixture of carbohydrates and protein instead so your body can absorb immediately necessary nutrients!
For those of us who are not natural runners, what techniques do you recommend to slowly work our way up to running longer distances?
First off, your physiology will determine if you are a natural-born short or long distance runner. The absolute best way to start is to run or run/walk 20 to 30 minutes, two to three times a week. Try to run at a conversational pace and take regular breaks if necessary. You can slowly go up to 40 minutes to an hour. Weekly recovery, strength training, and stretching on your off days are extremely important. If you want to be safe and run smartly, I strongly recommend it. Setting goals to yourself will boost your motivation, mentally and physically. You can easily sign up for a race! 🙂
After workouts or tennis training, what are some stretches to avoid sore muscles?
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) appears with new activity, especially vigorous activity. There has not a way to avoid DOMS yet. I would recommend a cool down after your workout. Light cardio for 10 to 15 minutes followed by stretching. DOMS usually affects the body parts that were worked. Keep up with your training by working on other group of muscles while letting the fatigued ones recovered and avoid injury.
Athletes often cross-train and vary their training routines to continue challenging and developing their muscle strength.
Are there any workouts that you would recommend specifically for tennis players?
Every athlete at any levels goes through an assessment or a reassessment on their training and skills ability. Based on the results, you can determine a specific workout program that will work on their weaknesses and recondition their body. Tennis is an explosive sport. It is very repetitive and could last for hours at a time. Commitment plays a major impact to build an overall conditioning and movement efficiency I can share with you few tips:
Free weights training: machines limit your range of motion and control the movement. You need to learn how to stabilize and control your body in all three different planes of motion (sagittal, frontal, and transverse) simultaneously. Machines could be a good use for beginner tennis players.
Lower body training: your leg training should include exercises such as step ups, split squats, footwork drills with a ladder, and lunge variations. The most important factor is the rate of force production. Speed has a major impact in the world of sport. Do not focus on only body building concepts.
Variations over routine: a training routine should always be progressively, safely, and periodically varied allowing you to prevent your body from injury situations and performance plateaus. My training philosophy is “360 degrees full body training. Explore your journey with your body capacities!”
Outdoors training: explore outdoor uphill sprints, running stadium stairs or sled dragging. You will boost your mind and you will enjoy more your indoors training.
Increase your strength and conditioning training during the off- season: the great tennis player Roger Federer has revealed that he works out a minimum of 100 hours of strength and conditioning during off- season.
Stay passionate and enjoy this amazing sport!