Treadmill Drills for Tennis

Improve your ability to sprint and change directions on a treadmill.

Improve your ability to sprint and change directions on a treadmill.

Whether you are a professional athlete or just a sports enthusiast, playing tennis can improve your overall heath and fitness. Tennis requires explosive bursts of energy and hand-eye coordination. It's a game that can be played year-round and at nearly any age. You can even improve your tennis game off the court with treadmill running drills. Performed regularly, these workouts can help perfect your overall performance.

High Knee Drill

Improve your tennis game by performing the high knee drill on the treadmill. This drill is designed to boost your lower body strength and correct your running form. Start with a walking pace. Raise your right arm as you lift the left knee and and the left arm as you raise the right knee. Your arms should be held at right angles -- 90 degrees -- during the entire movement. Lower the right arm, rotating it behind the hip as your left leg comes down. Increase your speed steadily until you can perform the high knee drill at a running pace.

Interval Drill

Interval training is a fundamental aspect of tennis as the game requires you to stop and start throughout a match. You can run interval training drills on the treadmill that will improve your ability to cross the court swiftly. Warm up with a slight incline and run at moderate speeds for approximately 10 minutes. Take a 30-second break and then run at the fastest speed you can handle for another 30 seconds. Repeat this stop and start drill for approximately 10 minutes, alternating resting and running. Cool down from this high-intensity workout by repeating your warm up routine for five minutes.

Toe Off Drill

Tennis matches can be long and grueling, forcing you to put continuous strain on your ankles, calves and feet. The toe off drill helps to improve your running posture, allowing you to fight off runner fatigue and injury. Set the treadmill to a slight incline and a moderate speed. As your foot leaves the treadmill, be sure to push off your big toe. Check your form in a mirror to make sure you are performing the toe off drill properly. Keeping your weight on the inside of the heel and the big toe forms a rigid wedge that gives you maximum accelerating power.

The Sprint 8 Drill

The game of tennis requires you to sprint across the court to catch your opponent's serves and volleys. Performing the Sprint 8 drill on the treadmill will improve your ability to dart in any direction. First, find the maximum speed you can safely sprint on the treadmill; this will help prevent injury. Then, set the treadmill eight levels lower than your maximum sprinting speed. Start on your lowest level and sprint for six seconds or the equivalent of 60 meters. Progressively build up the speed intensity until you reach your maximum level. In between each sprint, take a two-minute walking break to recover.

 

About the Author

Frederick S. Blackmon's love for fiction and theater eventually led to a career writing screenplays for the film and television industry. While living in Florida, Blackmon began exploring issues on global warming, health and environmental science. He spent two years as a Parkour and free-running instructor as well. Now he writes everything from how-to blogs to horror films.

Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images