5 At-Home Exercises to Help with your Court Fitness
In the world of racquet sports, taking the next step in your tennis, padel or pickleball game is not just about winning, but rather about staying injury-free and elevating your game through improved on-court fitness. Here are 5 at-home exercises from John Newcombe Country Club Director of Fitness, Paige Miller, that will not only boost your on-court agility, but also help you avoid injury. Plus, they require no equipment so you can take them on the road for a pre-match warmup routine!
1. The Hustle: The Hustle works on speed, agility and foot quickness. Start by standing up straight with your feet hip width apart and quickly alternate your feet up and down with small and quick steps staying on the balls of your feet. Focus on keeping your core tight.
2. Heel Tap Down: This movement helps to strengthen your patella. You will take one foot off the floor, bend the other knee and tap the heel down on the ground in front of you. Make sure you do not put all the weight down, just simply tap the heel and bring it up. You can hold on to a wall or stair banister for balance. Make sure to complete both sides.
3. The Skater: Step right, hinge at the hip, lean forward and tap your shin. Let your opposite leg cross behind you as if performing a curtsy.For a low-impact variation, simply step from side to side, alternating legs as you go. Or, take it up a level and add a hop in the middle. Get your arms working and get that rotation in your torso.
4. Glute Bridge: This move is excellent for strengthening your hips and glutes which will not only build lower body strength, but also prevent lower back injury thanks to a firm foundation in your legs and hips!Lie down on your back with heels close to your glutes and legship width apart. You will press through the feet and lift the hips off the mat tucking the tailbone under, drawing the navel in and squeezing through the glutes, then you will lower. For a greater stability challenge, place one leg straight in the air and perform a single-leg glute bridge.
5. Walking Lunge with Overhead Reach: Take a generous step forward until you form a right angle with your leading leg’s thigh and calf. As you step, bring your arms overhead, pausing for a moment at the bottom to feel the drive through you leg and glute. Then, drive through the foot to return to your starting position, lowering arms as you go and repeat with the opposite leg.