USTA Colorado
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Denver, CO  80209


Balanced Fitness for the Active Tennis Player

August 3, 2016 01:48 PM


By Stephen Schmidt, BEXSc, ACE, NASM, AMFPT, Personal Trainer at Porter Athletic Club


When athletes train for their tennis season, key elements are often overlooked. Many inexperienced coaches and trainers often over-utilize the traditional wind-sprints, cone drills, and hitting drills. Initially, everyone is looking for the ultimate end result without putting in the necessary work. 

The sport of tennis takes a tremendous toll on the body and many preventable injuries are incurred. For instance, a lot of youth choose to hit forehands and it is a rare occasion to see them hit backhands. This can cause significant imbalances in the body, mainly in the shoulder and hip areas. When we age, we see even more imbalances and we tend to over-compensate for the lack of mobility and speed.

So how do we go about starting a tennis specific exercise and training routine? First of all, it’s important to understand that the body is divided into three specific planes. The frontal, sagittal, and transverse are the specific planes of motion.

The frontal plane divides the body into front and back halves. However, despite the plane's name, the exercises you perform on the frontal plane consist of side-to-side —rather than front-and-back — motion. Movements of abduction and adduction occur on the frontal plane. Lateral lunges, hip abduction, military dumbbell presses, are resistance training exercises you can try on the frontal plane.

The sagittal plane divides your body into right and left halves. Exercises that involve flexion and extension and forward and backward movement happen on the sagittal plane. Squats, deadlifts, cycling, and bicep curls are examples of strength training exercises on the sagittal plane. Running, back pedaling, walking, or lunges are all exercises that you can try on the sagittal plane of motion.

The plane that divides your body into top and bottom halves in the transverse plane. When you do rotational movements, you are working on the transverse plane of motion. Exercises that involve twisting happen on this plane. The Russian twist, cable twist, rotating lunges, and horizontal wood chops all require you to work on the transverse plane of motion.

With the knowledge of the three planes of motion, you will have the necessary tools to put together a comprehensive and injury preventative exercise routine. 


Porter Center for Joint Replacement is a proud partner of USTA Colorado. To learn about knee and hip injury or to meet their specialists, visit online To get more information or to speak with Steve directly, please call the Porter Athletic Club at (303) 778-5710.



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