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Mesh Tennis » Fitness

Archive for the 'Fitness' Category

Serena’s fitness tips

Sunday, May 6th, 2007

I won’t point out any irony, but dug this up while reviewing what I have been missing these past 2 months in tennis news.

Williams says you don’t need a personal trainer or a gym membership to get and stay fit.

“All you need is access to a floor area. You can do squats, you can do sit ups, you can do push-ups, you can go running. I mean, you don’t need to a personal gym. It’s just important to stay healthy.”

Williams encouraged everyone to keep on with their fitness goals.

“The only thing I can say is never give up and always try to look at something that’s worse. I can be in that situation instead of where I am, and I just go to the worst case scenario and put myself there and I’m like, well, I can do it.”

Ever try meditation to improve your game?

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

I’ve tried using meditation in general to get the ability to better focus on tasks, but this recent article got me thinking - have any of you specifically used meditation for tennis? Or would you be willing to try it? What challenges have you encountered?

Hands down, the biggest challenges for me involve finding a place to meditate comfortably, and to keep my focus.

“Meditation is essentially about being in the moment,” says Jim Loehr, Ed.D., author of The Power of Full Engagement (Free Press, 2004) and a performance psychologist who has worked with dozens of elite tennis players, including Jim Courier, Monica Seles, and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario. Here are two of the simple meditation exercises he recommends for his athlete clients.

1. Lying in bed, take a deep breath and extend the exhalation for as long as you can. On the exhalation say, “One,” in your head and visualize the number one. On the next exhale, say and visualize “two,” and so on. “You may get to 40 or 65 and then get distracted, so you have to start again,” says Loehr, “but the whole point is just to learn what it is to be totally removed from distractions.” It’s a skill, he says, that will help you on the tennis court, and when you play other sports, but also in life.

2. Inhale to a count of four, pause briefly, then exhale on a count of four. “You become one with your breathing,” Loehr says, “you get into a rhythm that just takes over.” What you learn is how it feels to be totally engaged in one thing: breathing.

Get in shape this summer

Monday, May 29th, 2006

Well now that everyone here in the U.S. has had their Memorial Day fun, it’s time to get back to the grind of the real world, and playing tennis regularly again! So one of the things that people often take for granted is the shape they’re in. How many times have you heard people say, and you may have said this yourself, “I play tennis to stay in shape…”. OK, that’s fine, but if you want to play better, you need to be in shape before you step out on the court. Heck, anything that increases your activity level, I’m going to be a proponent of. So what’s the fastest way to get in shape for tennis?

Two words: Interval Training

So what is interval training? It’s a mix of high intensity intervals (run/sprint) for a brief period of time followed by a longer period of lower intensity work (jogging). Does this sound familiar to you? As in when you may happen to be playing tennis for example?

So it happens that tennis and interval training go hand in hand. To quote Bjorn Borg, “Tennis is 1000 little sprints…”

Let’s get you started, but please heed this warning, interval training is difficult. If you have any medical conditions, or are unsure about anything before trying this, please go see your doctor. OK, now with the legal stuff out of the way, here’s a sample program:

Warmup for 5 minutes: light to moderate jogging

Start Cycle A:

1st set of intervals for 3 minutes total:
15 seconds: sprint
45 seconds: walk/jog
Repeat 3 times…

Moderate jog for 7 minutes: Keep your heart rate elevated, but to the point that you could jog for 20 minutes if you had to…

End Cycle A

Repeat Cycle A 3 times if you can for a total of 30 minutes! In reality, you may only be able to do it once or twice when first starting out, which is fine, please build up slowly if you have to.

Where can you do this workout? Well anywhere that you can jog, and/or sprint without worrying about cars, traffic, running into people etc…another good place is a tennis court. You could just sprint one length of the tennis court (or one length and half back), just make sure it’s around 15 seconds. Another great place actually is EMPTY parking lots. It’s more boring in terms of scenery, but one thing you have to note about these workouts is that time seems to be go by much faster, because you’re pushing yourself a lot harder. Trust me, it makes things more interesting!

OK, I’m going to leave you all with that. Let me know if you’d like easier variations or harder variations (do 5 minutes of intervals, 5 minutes of jogging, repeat…), but at least try it once and if it kicks your butt, then challenge yourself to do it again and see how quickly your fitness improves :)