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Dynamic Warm-up - Leander Paes

Physical Training

Indian veteran Leander Paes, who will turn 37 in 2010, works hard off court to remain one of the most agile and explosive players on the court. Learn from his off-court regimen...

Volley Split Step
In this exercise, you see Leander moving forward several steps with the resistance of a band secured by a trainer. As he approaches the actual volley position, he uses a split step, which is extremely tennis specific and simulates the exact movement that he would do on the court.


The end stage of each exercise is either a forehand or backhand volley, and you can see the trainer giving him a cue at the last minute as to which direction Leander is supposed to move (either forehand or backhand), which further adds spontaneity to the exercise and challenges him with a last minute decision on which direction he will go. The forehand and backhand volley is also executed at the point where the tension in the band is at its greatest, therefore loading the muscle the most in this position.

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Stroke Simulation With Bands
In this exercise, you again see tennis specific movement patterns being performed with the use of elastic tubing or bands. This is an example of an exercise that would make an excellent dynamic warm-up. Typically, this exercise is not necessarily recommended for strengthening, as these muscles are already very strong in tennis player, because they are used every time we play tennis. Rather than be used for strengthening, this exercise provides a way to warm up or prepare the body for tennis play. He is using both forehand and backhand movements at multiple heights, and he is also is using a lot of lower body bending to use the whole, entire body in this type of warm-up. Watch Video

Torso Rotation
This particular drill shows Leander Paes stepping in an open stance backhand type movement pattern, using a medicine ball to work on torso rotation. This is an excellent exercise for not only working the lower body, but especially the trunk, in a very tennis specific format. By tennis specific, we simply mean it closely simulates the actual strokes that the player uses while playing. The elastic band or tubing that you see placed around Leander’s waist gives him resistance as he steps away from the point of attachment of the bands, and further provides challenge to him during this exercise. This particular exercise is an example of a kinetic chain exercise, where you see the transfer of power from the lower body through the trunk and core into the upper body, where the medicine ball is being held. The use of this type of exercise works multiple joint segments and multiple muscle groups, making it a very time efficient exercise for individuals trying to simulate the tennis stroke and do tennis specific exercise. Watch Video

Monster Walk
In this drill, which is often called a “monster walk”, a loop of band is placed around the ankles of the player and a full variety of movements can be performed. You see both stepping type motions, which can be either side-to-side or on a diagonal fashion as you see moving forward. There also can be hopping type of motions that can be performed, almost as a young person would do “hopscotch” type movements. Any of these types of movements can be used, and the added resistance of the band places a great challenge to the musculature of the hip and the core. This is a very good exercise for a tennis player to improve on court movement and overall strength and stability of the lower body and trunk. Watch Video

Why He Does It
Leander Paes explains the reasons behind his high-tempo 20-minute pre-match routine. Watch Video

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Form and Fitness, Leander Paes

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