Complete, Annual Tennis Weight
Training Program

A tennis weight training program changes significantly over the course of the year. If your only goal is to lift more and more weight, using largely the same exercises and the same format, not only are you training inefficiently, you also run the risk of injury.

The 3 phases of a tennis strength training are covered in detail in the tennis strength training article.


Phase 1 - Foundational Strength

Perform the following tennis weight training routine 2 days a week for 6-8 weeks. It focuses on the major muscle groups and aims to strengthen the whole body. It should be performed during the off-season when you have a break from playing tennis entirely. Complete the exercises in order and try to leave at least a day or two between sessions.

You should also warm up with 10 minutes of light aerobic exercise before a tennis weight training session and cool down with 10 minutes of light exercise and some stretching exercises.

  • Sets: 2-3

  • Repetitions: 12-15

  • Load: 40-50% 1 repetition maximum

  • Rest Interval: 90 seconds

      Dumbbell Squats or Lying Leg Presses (legs, glutes)

      Dumbbell/Barbell Bench Presses or Push Ups (chest, triceps)

      Back Extensions on Stability Ball (lower back)

      Dumbbell Lunges (legs, glutes)

      Single Arm Dumbbell Rows (upper back, biceps)

      Crunches with Twist (abdominals)

      Dumbbell Shoulder Presses or Machine Shoulder Presses (shoulders, triceps)

      Standing Barbell Curls (biceps)

      Standing Machine Calf Raises (calves)

      Barbell Upright Rows (shoulders, trapezius)



You should also perform a rotator cuff and forearm program with light weights 2-3 days a week. This can be done easily at home and should take no more than 20 minutes to complete. Try to complete the program on separate days to your weight training sessions.


Phase 2 - Maximal Strength

Maximal strength training should not be started until a foundational tennis weight training program has been completed. Follow the program below for 2-3 sessions per week over 6 weeks. This should coincide with the latter stages of your off-season, again when you are not playing any competitive tennis.

You should also warm up with 10 minutes of light aerobic exercise before a tennis weight training session and cool down with 10 minutes of light exercise and some stretching exercises.

  • Sets: 2-3

  • Repetitions: 4-8

  • Load: 80-90% 1 repetition maximum

  • Rest Interval: 3-4 minutes

      Barbell Squats or Lying Leg Presses (legs, glutes)

      Barbell/Dumbbell Bench Presses (chest, triceps)

      Lat Pull Downs (upper back, biceps)

      Barbell/Dumbbell Shoulder Shrugs (shoulders, triceps)

      Bent Over Rows (low back, hamstrings)

      Weighted Crunches (abdominals)

You should also continue with the rotator cuff and forearm program 2 days a week.


Phase 3 - Strength Endurance & Power

Once you have developed maximal strength, your tennis weight training program should focus on converting that to sport-specific power and strength endurance. This phase of the program should last between 4-8 weeks depending how close you are to the competitive season. The end of this phase should coincide with the start of the competitive year.

Power Training Program
Complete the following plyometric exercises 1-2 days a week. The sessions should not be performed on back-to-back days or when you are particularly sore from the day before. They do not require any free weights although you will need a medicine ball. The routine should take no longer than 30 minutes and you can perform then as part of a practice session but you should be fresh (don't leave them until the end of a practice session).

You should also warm up thoroughly with 10 minutes of light aerobic exercise before a tennis weight training session and cool down with 10 minutes of light exercise and some stretching exercises.

There are some important guidelines that you should take into account before beginning a plyometric program. Click here to read the plyometrics guidelines now.

  • Sets: 2-3

  • Repetitions: 8-10

  • Load: Bodyweight

  • Rest Interval: 3-4 minutes

      Squat Jumps

      Side Throws

      Hurdle Jumps with Sprint

      Over the Back Toss

      Box Drill with Rings

      Slams

You will find descriptions and images of these exercises in the plyometric section.


Strength Endurance Circuit

Complete the following strength endurance circuit 1-2 days per week. It should not fall on the same days as your plyometric training. Ideally, you would perform a circuit training session on Monday for example, a plyometric session Tuesday, rest Wednesday, then repeat Thursday and Friday. The plyometric session won't leave you fatigued and sore the next day whereas a strength circuit might do.

You should also warm up thoroughly with 10 minutes of light aerobic exercise before a tennis weight training session and cool down with 10 minutes of light exercise and some stretching exercises.

  • Time at station: 60 seconds

  • Load: Bodyweight

  • Rest between stations: 30 seconds

  • No. circuits: 2-3

  • Rest between circuits: 2 minutes

      Squat Jumps

      Push Ups

      Squat Thrusts

      Sit Ups with Twist

      Box Step Ups with High Knee Drive

      Bench Dips

      Alternating Split Squats

      Alternating Supermans

You will find descriptions and images of these exercises in the circuit training section.

You may want to reduce the rotator cuff and forearm program to just one session a week during this demanding phase. Although it is not a physically demanding program, you will need to rest your muscles adequately between sessions. You can increase the sessions to 2-3 a week during the competitive season.