Melbourne, Australia, 15 May 2013 | Nathan and Giselle Martin


Whether you take the game seriously or simply play tennis for fun, you should consider a strength endurance training program.

It can increase power in all your shots, help you maintain a high level of performance during tough rallies throughout a match, increase acceleration and speed around the court and decrease muscular imbalances that can lead to injuries – all especially important when it comes to gruelling claycourt tennis.

All you need are some dumbbells: rest for up to 30 seconds between exercises, and when you have finished the four exercises, rest for two or three minutes before commencing the next set.

Forward and backward rotational lunge

Designed to help with rotation and strength on open-stance groundstrokes

  • step forward with left leg and rotate to the left, keeping trunk upright
  • only rotate as far as the body can stabilise
  • then step backward with left leg whilst rotating right
  • return to start position and alternate sides
  • 2-3 sets, 10-15 reps

Side lunge with lateral raise

Designed to help with lateral loading and movement out of a shot

  • lunge laterally into the right leg, keep the feet facing forward
  • allow the hips to drift back and slightly flex at the hip joint
  • keep the right knee in alignment over the right ankle
  • keep the left leg straight
  • while descending into the lunge, bring left dumbbell across body into the inside of right foot
  • push off with the right foot to return to the starting position, bringing dumbbell back across body into a lateral raise
  • repeat the entire movement for the opposite leg
  • 2-3 sets, 10-15 reps

Squat alternate press cross-over

Similar to the cross over pattern on a serve

  • start with feet wider than shoulder width, and descend into a squat
  • as you begin to stand, reach up and across body into a one arm shoulder press
  • repeat the entire movement for the opposite arm
  • 2-3 sets, 10-15 reps

One arm bent over row rotation

  • lean forward (avoid rounding back) and perform a single row action with a rotation
  • ensure your core is activated to help stabilise the torso
  • ensure that the shoulder blades retract and depress as dumbbell moves upward
  • lower slowly and allow shoulder blades to protract as arms return towards the floor into extension
  • ensure you chin is tucked into the chest for good cervical alignment
  • 2-3 sets, 10-15 reps

For more tips from the pros on how to improve your game, check out the latest edition of Australian Tennis Magazine.

Trainers Nathan and Giselle Martin of Energise Health Management have been in the health and fitness industry for 15 years. They travelled on the WTA Tour from 2000 to 2004 and also worked at the Sanchez Casal Tennis Academy in Barcelona, Spain. They’ve worked with Sam Stosur, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Jennifer Capriati, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Monica Seles and Martina Navratilova. The Bondi-based pair now work with Casey Dellacqua and Lleyton Hewitt. For further information, visit