Jonny's Warm-Up Exercises

Leading Strength and Conditioning Coach, Jonny Fraser, leads you through ten amazing warm-up exercises to get you ready to play your best tennis.

Warming up for any tennis athlete is important for both injury reduction and performance. Research has shown that warm-up exercises that deliver some form of balance, strength, core stabilization, and plyometric training have been successful in reducing injury risk (see Fifa 11+ Warm-Up for a reference). A warm-up often follows the RAMP protocol:

  • R = Raise heart rate and body temperature
  • A = Activate muscle groups
  • M = Mobilise joints
  • P = Potentiate (or fire the body up).

The following warm-up follows this procedure utilizing tennis movements, important muscle groups to activate, and mobility exercises. It is not an exhaustive list of exercises and should take around 10 minutes.

Side Steps

  • Protocol: Raise heart rate and body temperature
  • Reps: 4 x doubles tramline to doubles tramline
  • Coaching cues: gradually build up the intensity and focus on a wide base, soft legs, and build up the size of the steps.

Crossover, Sidestep

  • Protocol: Raise heart rate and body temperature
  • Reps: 4 x doubles tramline to doubles tramline
  • Coaching cues: gradually build up the intensity and focus on a wide base, soft legs, and build up the size of the steps.

Spiderman with Rotation

  • Protocol: Mobilise joints
  • Reps: 1 x 10
  • Coaching cues: Work through your own range of motion. For lying rotations and arm circles, your eyes should follow your hands. Make sure for knee over toes the front heel stays on the floor, and work through an appropriate range. Guide the knee keeping knee and ankle alignment.

Lying Rotations, Arm Circles

  • Protocol: Mobilise joints
  • Reps: 1 x 10
  • Coaching cues: Work through your own range of motion. Your eyes should follow your hands.

Knee over Toe

  • Protocol: Mobilise joints
  • Reps: 1 x 10
  • Coaching cues: Make sure for the knee over toe exercise the front heel stays on the floor, and work through an appropriate range. Guide the knee keeping knee and ankle alignment.

Shoulder Taps

  • Protocol: Activate muscle groups
  • Reps: 1 x 10 (build up to 1 x 20)
  • Cues: Shoulder taps start with a wide base and aim to keep the hips and trunk stable (with core braced). Hold for 3 seconds and switch.

Side-Lying Clam

  • Protocol: Activate muscle groups
  • Reps: 1 x 10
  • Cues: Lying clam keep shoulder trunk, hip, and ankles alignment.

Monster Walks

  • Protocol: Activate muscle groups
  • Reps: 1 x 10 (build up shoulder taps to 1 x 20)
  • Cues: Shoulder taps start with a wide base and aim to keep the hips and trunk stable (with core braced). For monster walks use an appropriate band allowing fluid movement (a yellow or red band), set the posture with trunk braced, hips squeezed, and tension always on the band. Drive to the side keeping ankle knee and hip alignment with toes forwards.

Knee Hug to Lunge

  • Protocol: Mobilise joints
  • Reps: 1 x 10 (build up to 1 x 20 - 10 on each side)
  • Cues: Ankle, knee, and hip alignment are important for this exercise. Focus on your breathing taking a breath in to engage the trunk, keeping an upright torso. Work through an appropriate range of motion. For the forward lunge aim for a 90/90 position with a 90° angle for the back and front leg.

Lateral Lunges

  • Protocol: Mobilise joints
  • Reps: 1 x 10 (build up to 1 x 20 - 10 on each side)
  • Cues: Ankle, knee, and hip alignment are important for this exercise. Focus on your breathing taking a breath in to engage the trunk, keeping an upright torso. Work through an appropriate range of motion.

Please feel free to contact jonny@scienceintennis.com for any further advice or ideas to support your training.

Important Disclaimer: Please consult a medical professional prior to performing the exercises and for any more guidance or support in person please seek a qualified physical trainer.


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