With the Australian Open Tennis Championships starting on 18 January we look at cross training during the 'off season'...

The Australian Open is fast approaching and whilst we’ve been relaxing and eating mince pies, the tennis professionals have been hard at work. The period at the end of the year is known as the off season or pre-season on the tennis pro’s calendar. This time allows the players some rest from the tennis court to recharge both physically and mentally, before getting back into training in order to be in the best shape possible for the long competition season ahead.

During the off season it is common for players to ‘cross-train’ and train in other sports to maintain and improve their fitness. Popular sports for cross-training include swimming, cycling, running and boxing, as well as continuing their strength work in the gym.

Cross-training will continue to improve important aspects of the players’ fitness such as muscular endurance, strength, agility and speed but without the repetitive movements of being on a tennis court. The off season also allows players to work on weaknesses or small details that can make a huge difference to their game.

This pre-season, the women’s world number 22, Victoria Azarenka has been focusing on correcting her footwork and agility after a long standing foot injury. These small changes may make a big difference to her speed and change of direction around the court in the approaching season.

So, as a recreational or club player how can this benefit your game? This article recognises that tennis professionals use other sports as a means of maintaining and improving their fitness which will carry over onto the tennis court. Tennis is very repetitive and adding other training such as some specific strength work in the gym can make a big difference to performance on court as well as reducing the risk of injury.

To find out more about the benefits of cross training and how this can help you on the court, please contact Kate one of our Physiotherapists.

Alternatively for any help or advice or to book an appointment please contact us at one of our clinics.