In her first ever interview on Women Fitness the former World No 5-tennis player and Wimbledon quarter-finalist Daniela Hantuchová spoke about the significance of staying fit and shared her top 5 favourite exercises that are a part of her workout routine.
According to her tennis “Is the most beautiful sport in the world. You can play it all your life. It’s a very social sport, you get to meet wonderful people, you don’t have to be a professional to enjoy the game and it’s very classy.”
The game of tennis starts with strong legs and hips,” Gil Reyes, who helped Andre Agassi achieve his phenomenal conditioning says. “If you can’t get to the ball or you’re getting fatigued by the end of your first set, you’re done for.” Focus on multi-muscle moves like squats, leg presses and lunges to strengthen glutes, quads and hamstrings. Shoulder-conditioning moves are equally important like front and lateral raises, as well as core-strengthening drills for your lower back, obliques and abdominals.
1. Squats: Maintaining a neutral spine, stand with your feet slightly more than shoulder width apart as you extend your arms at your sides with weights. With your palms facing down and your hips relaxed, send them back as you bend your knees. As your bum sticks out, keep your back straight and face forward. Push up through your heels and engage your core as you return to standing. Repeat. Perform 3 sets of 12 rep.
2. Lunges: Stand tall with feet hip-width apart. Engage core. Take a big step forward with right leg and start to shift weight forward so heel hits the floor first. Lower body until right thigh is parallel to floor and right shin is vertical (it’s okay if knee shifts forward a little if it doesn’t go past right toe). If mobility allows, lightly tap left knee to ground while keeping weight in right heel. Press into right heel to drive back up to starting position. Repeat on the other side. Do with weights once you have mastered the exercise.
3. Physio Ball Curls: Lie with back on ground and heels on physio-ball. Keep your core and abs tight. Feel the muscles behind your legs work. Raise body off ground so that only upper back touches floor. Keeping body straight, roll ball towards you by pulling heels to butt. Slowly straighten legs and repeat. Do Sets/Reps: 3×8; & work up to 15 reps.
4. Sit Ups with Medicine Ball: Lie flat on your back with your knees bent to 90 degrees. Hold a medicine ball with both hands-on top of your chest. Keeping the medicine ball against your chest, tighten your stomach and use your abs to raise your shoulder and torso off the ground, crunching towards your knees. Pause, then slowly return to the starting position.
5. The Plank: Get in a press up position. Lower both your forearms to the ground so that both your elbows and fists are flat to the ground. Your palms should be balled up, and directly underneath your shoulders. Curl your toes under and engage your abs by tilting your pelvis and pulling your belly button toward your spine. Straighten your body but keep your neck and spine neutral (neither arched nor rounded). Flex your abdominals, squeeze your glutes, and never let your hips sag. Your body should be a single strong line from your head to your heels. Hold the plank position for 30 – 60 seconds, or until your form starts to deteriorate, whichever comes first. Rest and repeat for several sets. Feel the effort mainly in your abdominals and glutes, not your back.
Our bodies are stronger than we give them credit for.