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Dynamic Warm-up - Robby Ginepri

Physical Training

American Robby Ginepri has always placed high importance on off-court fitness work and enjoys working up a sweat and getting the blood pumping during high-energy dynamic warm-ups before matches. Learn from his favourite pre-match warm-up routines.

Forward & Backward Movement
In this drill, the primary motion is forward and backward movement, which is required for any player when moving forward and backward to execute a shot. The medicine ball is used, not only to provide resistance, but also to accentuate the amount of rotation that the player is using during the shot.


In this particular clip, the player is primarily performing a forehand, however this could be done on the backhand side as well. This also helps the player to generate strength and power while they are moving backward, away from their opponent and the oncoming ball, which is often very awkward for players and happens frequently when playing a stronger opponent who hits the ball deep.

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This is an example of a plyometric exercise. Plyometric exercises are characterized by movement patterns where there is a stretch to the muscle known as an eccentric contraction (in this case the quadricep or thigh muscle) immediately followed by an explosive shortening contraction (concentric contraction) of the muscles, as you see Robby jumping upward. In this instance, he is doing multiple repetitions of the exercise, to try to train the quadriceps or thigh muscles, as well as the hip extensors or gluteal muscles. One note of caution with this exercise – if you have had a history of knee problems, you would want to limit the amount that the knees are bending in a downward direction, or what we would term “flexion”, to protect the knees. Otherwise, this particular drill is an example of the plyometric activity using just body weight, which would be very effective for improving mobility and power on the court. Watch Video

Groundstrokes Simulation
This is a very tennis-specific drill, in that it simulates both the forehand and backhand groundstroke, as well as using the cones or markers on the floor to give the player direction in exactly what movement patterns to execute. It also accentuates rotation, which is of vital importance for both the forehand and backhand groundstroke. The medicine ball should be somewhere between 4-6 kg. for a younger player, and as much as 6-8 kg. for a mature or stronger player. Watch Video

Forward Acceleration
In this drill, the cones are again used to give guidance to how the player should move quickly between the targets. Very rapid motions are used in a repetitive format, moving primarily forward to improve forward acceleration on the court. Watch Video

Calf Warmup
In this particular drill, the player is rapidly moving his feet up and down on the stairs, training the gastroc and soleus, which are the muscles of the calf. It also promotes body balance, which is of course essential with any type of on court tennis performance. The other additional benefit of this exercise is that it can be done for a series of 15-30 seconds followed by a 25 to 30 second rest to improve cardiovascular conditioning. This is an example of a work/rest cycle – ie a period of work and subsequent rest following the exercise. In tennis, work/rest cycles are typically 1:3 or 1:2 such that for each unit of work, there are 2 to 3 units of rest used. Training the body using the same amounts of work and rest is a great way to train your body for the specific demands of tennis and recommended by expert strength and conditioning specialists. Watch Video

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Form and Fitness, Robby Ginepri

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