Has Wimbledon given you tennis fever? Do you now strive to be a superior player like Serena Williams? Time to step up your game. Pilates is great cross-training for tennis because it strengthens your core while balancing out the muscles that get used repetitively. The result is huge power behind your racquet, better endurance and increased ball control. Alisa Wyatt, chief pilates officer at Pilatesology shows us three moves that will have you swinging the raquet like a champ.
Balance on your bottom, knees open and bent toward shoulders with feet together. Hold your ankles with straight arms on the inside of legs. Inhale and draw your stomach in to straighten your legs up to the sky, shoulder width apart, keeping hold of ankles. Exhale to roll back to the shoulders, inhale to roll back up and balance. Keep your eyes on your stomach the entire time, arms and legs remain straight.
Repeat eight times.
Benefits: Strengthens your core while simultaneously providing an active stretch for the arms, legs and spine.
Start in a push up position with feet hip distance apart. Put one hand in the middle of your mat and raise the other arm straight to the sky. Stack your feet. Inhale and lift your top leg up to make a star. Exhale and lower the top arm straight to your hip as you lower your leg. Lift and lower the top arm and leg three times and return to push up position.
Repeat three times and switch sides.
Benefits: This advanced Pilates move gives you incredible stability and power that transfers from your hips through to the ball, it also balances out strength on the less dominant side that gets underused in your game.
Sit on one hip with knees stacked and feet bent close to body. Hold ankle to keep feet hugged close. Inhale and raise the other arm straight up to sky, close to head. Glue your arm to your ear and without bending forward, exhale and reach extended arm over your body to bend sideways toward the feet. Continue to reach through the arm to stretch your waist. Inhale to return to upright. Switch arms to bend to the other side, placing the opposite elbow on the mat while hugging the top arm to the head.
Repeat three sets. Change your legs to the other side and repeat for three sets.
Benefits: This deep stretch lengthens the lower back and obliques to allow you to twist fully and carry through when hitting the ball.
Created by a husband-and-wife team, professional photographer Jack Coble and Pilates expert Alisa Wyatt, Pilatesology preserves and shares classical Pilates by offering a dynamic library of streaming class videos of pure Pilates, true to the way Joseph Pilates himself taught. It is an online resource where anyone, at any level, can have an in-home Pilates workout for $19 per month, and instructors can find a wealth of information to understand the authentic teaching of Pilates.