How I train speed and short sprints on the rooftop

Gaby tennis in lockdown

Check out our fitness training to train speed and short sprints.

Let’s see three fitness exercises that can be done during off-court hours to improve your reaction times and raise your heart rate, therefore maximise your cardio.

The whole training takes 30 minutes to accomplish, including a 5-minute warm-up and cool-down. In this workout I trained at high 90-95% intensity and the duration of each exercise was very short. This kind of training is used at the end of your periodization plan, just before starting to compete where you do shorter workouts at high intensity, and it is called realization macrocycle.

Why improving speed in tennis in so important

Tennis is an explosive sport where players should stay continuously alert about their next move and be quickly ready for the next shot. They might have to take off and sprint to any direction at any time, therefore, having short reaction times and being fast when sprinting to the ball are necessary qualities of any good tennis player.

One exercise should last for around 20 to 40 seconds and it is characterized by short bursts of energy, simulating playing a point in tennis. They are followed by a short rest, similar to the rest between points. Remember to dynamically stretch before trying to do sprints to avoid any injury.

For those reasons you should incorporate speed training in the form of high intensity training in your weekly tennis training routine and it will greatly help you become faster when reacting to your opponent’s moves.

One of the best ways to improve your speed is by doing sprints!

For these exercises you will need someone to toss you the balls, but an alternative is that you do shadow motions instead of hitting the ball. Regarding the equipment you will need a tennis racket, soft balls and some cones. The racket I am using is a custom-made Wilson Clash 100 model and the softer low-pressure balls are with green spot.

In the warm-up I have included the bare minimum which is rope skipping, lateral and frontal leg swings, knee and ankle rotations, hips, and shoulder circles. It should take you at least 5 minutes to warm-up. In the cool-down I am doing some static stretches, with a special focus on the legs.

Check out our fitness training to train speed and short sprints.

Exercise 1

Split, sprint and hit slice forehands and backhands

6 balls, 30 sec rest, 10 sets

Exercise 2

Split, sprint and hit a random ball

6 balls, 30 sec rest, 10 sets

Exercise 3

Quick ball pickups after one bounce

25 balls, 1 min rest, 3 sets