Train Like a Pro: Speed ladder drills to improve your tennis footwork
This is the first in a series of workouts from SI's Nora Tobin that will help you get in shape for tennis season. Check back here each week for the next set of drills in this month's lineup.
Tennis season is in full swing, which gives us a chance to watch the best in the world compete at the highest level. Their athleticism on the court and ability to see the ball is inspiring. Even though we are not getting ready to compete on the ATP World Tour with Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, we can maximize performance in our own game.
Footwork drills improve agility by challenging the body to change direction quickly. In addition, these moves will improve speed on the court by activating the fast twitch muscles and preparing the body to react fast. These drills also improve hand-eye coordination by cross-patterning the body.
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Jump from side to side, landing with one foot in the box each time. Use your arms for momentum and stay light on your feet.
Step your outside foot into the box, while touching your shoulder with the opposite hand. Step both feet out of the box and repeat the movement on the other side. Be sure to keep your core engaged and your chest up.
Perform each exercise for three rounds with 1-minute intervals of rest in between each round.