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How can I increase the velocity of my tennis serve?

Mechanics, technique, timing, total body strength, and power will increase the velocity of your serve. To increase technical ability, find a tennis coach who can properly evaluate your mechanics, technique, and timing. To increase your strength and power, condition your body from the inside out.

First, focus on conditioning the core. The core is where strength and power originate for your serve. Start with exercises that improve your stability, like the plank. Progress to performing a strength-specific abdominal exercise such as stability ball crunch. Finally, once stability and strength have been developed, start performing abdominal power exercises. To develop power in any muscle you must train those muscles using fast, explosive movements. An example exercise that can be used to help increase power in the core would be a rotational chest pass. Pass the medicine ball off a wall or to a partner.

Second, focus on strengthening your latissimus dorsi muscles and your rotator cuff complex to increase the strength and power generated during the swing. Begin by performing ball dumbbell cobras to improve stability through your upper back, lower back, and shoulders. Progress to performing a strength exercise that allows you to lift heavier weight, like seated pull-downs.

Finally, once stability and strength have been developed, perform your back power exercises. An example exercise that can be used to help increase power in the back would be a soccer throw. Perform two to three sets of eight to ten repetitions. Next, condition the legs and hips by building stability in the legs with single-leg squats, performing two to three sets of twelve to fifteen repetitions. Progress into a strengthening exercise like the squat, performing two to three sets of eight to ten repetitions, two to three times a week. After strength has been developed, progress into power movements to build explosiveness. Squat jumps or power step-ups are great power exercises to incorporate. Perform two to three sets of five to ten repetitions two to three times a week.

Finally, flexibility is also important to a strong and consistent tennis serve. Foam rolling your chest, upper back, and latissimus dorsi helps to reduce any adhesions or tension in the shoulder area. Static stretches done before workouts will help to ensure that you have the proper length in these muscles.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.