T Nation


Hello, this is my first topic on this board, but I’m a frequent reader of t-mag from a long time. I live in Poland and my intrests in sports are: tennis, MA, and weightlifting.
I’m 191 cm high and my weight is 81 kg. I can bench my own weight once :frowning: I squat about 100kg (maybe more). Deadlift a little bit more than squat. I have never had good strength results, I think.
Now, I would like to estabilish good plan for improving speed of my tennis serve, but I’m not sure what exactly should I do…
I thought of doing 3 technical tennis sessions. Than I thought of doing some lifting, throwing and stretching. What would you suggest? My long term goal is to come into 115 MPH range. Now I have 90/100 MPH serve.
Also sometimes I feel, that my back is sore after playing (similar to the tightness after deads). What would you suggest?

A big serve has less to do with muscle mass and more to do with technique! When I competed on the pro circuit, my flat serve averaged between 115-125 and I weighed only 170 lbs.(I weigh 200 now)
Think of your wrist as the end of a whip. Or like a baseball pitcher. A pitcher and a tennis serve are very similar in motion. Watch old tapes of Pete Sampras, Ivan Lendal and now Andy Rodick. All of them have different starting motions, however they all have extremely high levels of raquet head speed as the make contact with the ball.
As for back pain, it usually has to do with tight hip flexors, hamstrings, and a knotted up IT band. This has been my personal experience with low back pain while playing tennis.
Hope this helps.

Thanks for reply Jason. I’m actually a tennis coach and now that technique is extremly important when serving. Due to this I have technique trainings and as you said, I concentrate on being loosy.
Now, I would like to add some offcourt exercises to my trainings… I know some but don’t know how to give them a structure, and which are the best…

If there’s anything you should train as a tennis player it’s the external rotators. Also control your volumes so you don’t screw up your shoulder.