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Recent Study Shows Short-Term Conditioning Program Improves Tennis Players’ Serve Velocity by Nearly 5 MPH, Announces Performance Health
Date:10/21/2013

-70 minutes in duration and performed three times a week for six weeks. Each session comprised of a ten minute warm up and approximately 50 minutes of strength training that combined core-stability, elastic tubing and medicine ball exercises. Twenty-five of those fifty minutes consisted of using TheraBand elastic tubing for nine upper extremity strength exercises. Click here to view the junior tennis conditioning exercise protocol.

The strength training group increased their serve velocity an average of 4.9% (from 93 to 98 mph) while athletes in the control group showed a small increase of only 0.2%. Both groups increased in their shoulder ROM, but the training groups increased an average of 13.6° of total rotation motion, while the control group only increased an average of 8.2. While the control group did not improve in their velocity, serve accuracy remained the same in both groups.

The study revealed that this short-term training program can result in improved tennis performance and a reduction in the risk of a possible overuse injury, reflected by an improvement in shoulder external/internal range of motion. “This is another example of how a TheraBand resistance exercise can effectively be integrated into the training program for an elite junior tennis player,” stated Todd Ellenbecker, DPT, Clinic Director, Physiotherapy Associates, Scottsdale, AZ. “Through conducting this study, we found we actually have a functional performance improvement (i.e., increased serving velocity, which should lead to improved training compliance. The training program not only makes the player stronger, it provides a measurable functional performance improvement.”

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