Why Weight Training for Tennis Players Makes Sense | Tennis Conditioning Episode 16

Why Weight Training for Tennis Players Makes Sense | Tennis Conditioning Episode 16

Hello and welcome from beautiful Geneva in
Switzerland. In last week’s episode I talked about the
areas of expertise of a quality coach. In today’s episode I will explain why weightlifting
for tennis players makes sense since there are different points of view with regards
to physical conditioning for tennis players. Some people believe there should be no weight
lifting involved because that makes the athlete bulky. Others believe that a tennis player only should
use light weights when working out because using heavy weights makes the athlete move
slower on the court. You will learn about 1. the purpose of weightlifting
for athletes, 2. why weight lifting is not body building and 3. kinetic chain efficiency. First of all, the purpose of “weight lifting”
is to make the athlete very balanced with their strength so that the joints function
properly by enhancing range of motion (ROM)/flexibility. So, the goal is to make the athletes very
balanced (muscle balanced) with their strength and increase range of motion so that the joints
function properly. Once the strength imbalances and flexibility
issues have been corrected then you apply everything else.  Most coaches just want to focus on resistance
or speed but if one makes something faster or one makes something stronger but it’s already
imbalanced then one will increase the imbalance, which will then commonly lead to injury and
hence the coach did nothing that was beneficial.  In other words, the training program was ineffective
and the coach wasted the athlete’s time…this is the most common error committed by coaches! Second of all, weight lifting for athletes
is not body building. For example, the athlete can use free-weight
exercises (e.g. Front Squat), where the athlete’s body needs to stabilize the action, which
emulates the physical demands required during a tennis match, where the athlete needs to
stabilize his/her body during stroke production. On the other hand, body building often involves
machine-based training where muscle groups are being isolated and stabilization occurs
via the machine. Therefore, weight lifting is beneficial to
a tennis player whereas body building is not. In order to enhance athletic ability and overall
performance energy transfer must be optimized since energy is required to move quickly around
the court or hit powerful shots. Now, according to Newton’s 2nd law of motion,
which describes the relationship between a force acting upon a body (object) and the
motion that body (object) experiences due to that force, a force (F) can be expressed
as mass (m) of an object times its acceleration (a) or F=m * a. 
With regards to exercise, a force can be thought of as a muscular pushing or pulling action
that controls movement, causes movement, or inhibits movement of the entire body or a
body segment. In order to exert force, muscles require energy
and efficient transfer of energy is required in order to transfer the maximum amount of
force. Since power can be expressed as force x distance
over time (power=force x distance/time), efficient force transfer, and hence energy
transfer, will have a positive effect on maximum power output. Therefore, optimizing energy transfer is crucial
for optimizing overall performance on the court and energy transfer can be enhanced
by using free-weight exercises since they enhance stabilizer capabilities, which means
less energy is “lost”. Now, according to the aforementioned, force
can be expressed as mass of an object times its acceleration and power is defined as force
times distance over time. So, how can one become powerful if the mass
of the object being used is light? Does that mean one needs to lift super heavy
weights (e.g. squat 400 lbs)? No. The purpose is to enhance athletic conditioning. It means that one needs to optimize athletic
capabilities so that the tennis player can perform well on the court, which implies that
managing one’s body becomes more important than the total amount of weight being lifted. Well, that’s it again for today’s episode.
As usual, opinions can differ. What’s your point of view? Let us know below
in the comment section. A brand new episode will be available next
Sunday. So make sure you don’t miss it and subscribe! In the meantime I recommend you watch some
of the previous episodes — you should really watch them all! If you like what you saw tell your friends
— I’m sure they will appreciate it. I’m Philipp Halfmann, Thank you for watching
and Auf Wiedersehen! Tennis Conditioning TV episode are licensed
under creative commons. You are welcome to embed these videos, forward
them to others and share these ideas with people you know. Brought to you by Advanced Concepts of Strength
and Conditioning for Tennis; available at www.Tennis-Conditioning-Book.com Music by Dan O at www.DanoSongs.com

10 thoughts on “Why Weight Training for Tennis Players Makes Sense | Tennis Conditioning Episode 16

  1. Excellent – weightlifting is for sports – bodybuilding is not.

    Use free weights and not machines. When using free weights, your whole body is working as a unit – this doesn't happen with machines.

  2. making your body strong with isolated heavy lifting (to the point of not getting too bulky) is good for injury prevention when mixed with rigorous stretching. Your body needs strength. Free weights and machines are fine for each body part needed to work on…

  3. disagree with much of this….  Most body builder lift heavy free weights to build mass…. Bench, Squat, Mil. Presses, Curls, Narrow bench presses… All lifts done with freee weights to build mass.  So this guy is wrong.

  4. I like to put it as this: it would be really great if you can run fast, react quickly, sprint, accelerate your arms as fast as possible,..etc if you have a bulky body. However, it is obvious that this combination is not possible! therefore, it is an optimization between how much bulky you want to be and what is your performance level in that body.

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