5 Tips for Strength Training Off the Court for Tennis Players

By Joseph Garcia, El Gancho Personal Trainer

When considering a strength training routine, it should be designed with one goal in mind: improve your tennis performance.

Here are a few tips on how to prevent injury, improve your agility and increase your power on the court.

1. Train with Free Weights-

There are many programs out there that include leg extensions and leg curls. Machines limit your range of motion and controls movement. As a tennis player, it is crucial to learn how to stabilize and control your body in all three planes of motion simultaneously.

2. Use Multiple Joints-

Single joint strength (e.g. leg extension machine, bicep curls) develops strength in the wrong areas. If your strength doesn’t transfer to the court, then what’s the point of having it?

3. Train with Explosiveness-

Some people feel that explosive moves are dangerous. If you want quick racquet speed and to hit with power, then training explosively is a must, because it mimics what happens on court.

4. Train Movements, Not Muscle Groups-

Isolated muscle group training (outside of rehabilitation) has no place in your routine. Focus on strengthening specific movements by using your body to work in an integrated fashion.

5. Train Unilaterally and Multi-planar-

Most strength training programs train you in one plane (sagittal) with bilateral, or two, movements. However, the majority of tennis takes place in all three planes simultaneously with many movements. Some 85 percent of the gait cycle (walking, running) is spent with one leg in the air. Most of the shots you play rely on the dominance of one leg.

CONTACT JOSEPH to reserve a session of individualized strength training with a personalized approach.


  1. James | January 14, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    Hey El Gancho. Is Joseph still doing private sessions for tennis strength training?

    • Karen Lankford | January 15, 2018 at 8:40 pm

      Absolutely! Please call our Front Desk at 505-988-5000 to get his contact information so that you can further discuss with him directly.

  2. James Nielson | June 30, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    A very informative post from the author. Strength training is a must for tennis players as swinging the racquet perfectly requires immense strength. There are various ways to do strength training, but you must remember that as you are tennis player your strength training regimen will vastly differ from the normal strength training schedules. Here as the author has described, you need to focus on multiple joints and agility training. Furthermore, legs are also very important as in the game you are playing most of the shots on the basis of strength in a single leg. Thus, you need to follow a well-structured regimen for your strength training that focuses on all the parts of the body, rather than on a single muscle.

  3. Shayla Cademis | June 7, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    I never knew that 85% of the gait cycle was spent with one leg in the air! I recently joined a tennis club and have been looking for ways to build strength and help me become a better player. It makes sense that strength training would help work different joints and muscles to maximize performance. Hopefully I can find a great facility and trainer that can help me with strength training. Thanks for the info!


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