Lobbing a serve slowly over the net won't cut it in today's competitive tennis landscape. Moves done off the court could be the key to sending the ball sailing more swiftly, research shows.
For a recent study in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, young tennis players did an hour-long conditioning program with resistance bands and light weights (like TheraBand Soft Weights) three days per week. At the end of six weeks, their serve speed increased 5 percent with no sacrifice in accuracy. Plus, they gained shoulder flexibility, potentially reducing their risk of injury.
In another study, collegiate players boosted their balls’ peak speed by 6 percent and average speed by nearly 8 percent after a four-week program incorporating elastic bands.
Pro tennis players count elastic resistance bands like the Thera-Band CLX among their most valuable training tools. Add them to your gear bag for an edge over your opponents.
- Begin by placing your foot in the middle Easy Grip Loop of your CLX, then stand in a staggered stance with that foot in front.
- Wrap the last Easy Grip around the upper arm on the opposite site and grasp the other end in the same hand.
- Lift your hand upward and outward as if you were cocking your shoulder to throw a ball.
- Slowly allow your throwing arm to come down across your body as if you were throwing a ball, then repeat.
*Do not exceed 300% elongation. Some exercises may require longer lengths of CLX.