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Foot Fitness

Good footwork is a crucial weapon in a tennis player's arsenal. Find out how you can improve yours...

Published July 12, 2013 12:00

Foot Fitness
Marion Bartoli

Agility is the ability of a tennis player to start, stop, and change direction quickly and effectively while moving. This combination of explosiveness, speed and balance is one of the most important, yet often overlooked aspects of professional tennis.

• Many players spend hours each day fine tuning their strokes and yet only minutes practicing their footwork skills. It's no use having great strokes if you can't get there to play them!
• The successful professional tennis player today is the quickest getting to the ball.
• Including footwork drills in your routine can enhance your on-court performance. The foot work activities demonstrated in the video will give you several ideas for agility drills; add your imagination, and the sky is the limit.

They are great as warm-up activities or to do repeated efforts during training weeks. While you improve your footwork and agility you will also develop balance, coordination, speed, and endurance. To get started with footwork drills consider these things:
• Always be sure to thoroughly warm-up before beginning any exercises by including about 15 minutes of aerobic activity such as jogging or skipping followed by active stretching.
• Be sure to make the movement specific to the way you move on the court.
• Don't time your body to the ball—be ready and waiting to put it away for a WINNER.
• Remember to practice core stability and use your Transverse Abdominus (TA) muscle when performing these agility drills and in your daily activities.
• "Set" your TA at the beginning of the drills and hold this position throughout the activity.
• When working on your footwork, be sure to remember the principle of quality NOT quantity.

Always remember to cool-down (an easy slow jog and stretching exercises) for 5-10 minutes after completing these agility drills. This helps return your body temperature to normal and helps prevent muscle soreness. Add other recovery techniques to gain even more benefits.

We hope you improve your footwork with some new drills and thanks for watching our video!

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