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Getting Into the Swing for Tennis Season


Anyone for tennis? If winter has you longing for court time, you can pump up your enthusiasm—and reduce your chances of injury—by starting a fitness program before you touch a racquet. And it is not just about your swing.
Effective preseason preparation includes a foundation of aerobic conditioning, strength training and skill drills. By increasing the intensity of your workouts over time, you will progress to higher-impact conditioning gradually while avoiding serious injury.

One approach, called “periodization,” involves a three-phase, four-week program of gradual training:

  • Preparation phase (weeks 1 and 2): low-impact aerobics and light weight training
  • Precompetitive phase (week 3): more intense conditioning and interval training, including more emphasis on tennis-specific skills
  • Peak phase (week 4): actual play and skill drills, with continuing low-intensity strength training focused on tennis-specific areas of the body such as rotator cuffs, forearms and body core

Tennis gives your whole body a good workout, so be sure that all your large muscle groups are fit before you start playing competitively.

After a long winter layoff, even four weeks of training may not be enough to get you up to full speed every day. After building up gradually, consider easing into the season with one or two days of play every week for the first few weeks.
Then you can begin to increase your frequency. Be sure to balance exertion with adequate rest, both passive (sleep and inactivity) and active (non-tennis activities). Ask us for suggestions about specific training activities and strategies that will help you prepare for a successful tennis season.

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Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann is a premier physical therapist based out of Bergen County, New Jersey. He holds an MS in physical therapy from the University of Miami, is credentialed in the world-renowned McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), and holds an OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) certification. As of 2018, there are approximately 14,000 ABPTS certified specialists in the nation and less than 400 of them are located in the state of New Jersey. Tom is the owner and director of Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus. He opened the clinic, which specializes in spine and sports injury prevention, in 2004 after many years of experience in the field. Tom’s caring interest in others and his strong belief in continuity of care, combined with his clinic’s ability to find solutions for the most difficult orthopedic problems, have earned Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation its excellent reputation with patients and medical professionals in northeastern New Jersey and beyond. A true “family man,” Tom takes pride in his clinic’s warm and welcoming environment.
Tom Willemann

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