September 2010

Sport-specific neuromuscular training program improves tennis performance

In the moment: Sports medicine

A tennis-specific version of the neuromuscular training program developed in Cincinnati could significantly improve performance on the court, according to research published in the September issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

The Sportsmetrics training program developed by the Cincinnati Sportsmedicine Research and Education Foundation was modified to include up to six tennis-specific drills per training session, with emphasis on footwork, swing mechanics, dynamic body control, and balance.

Fifteen junior tennis players completed the six-week program, training three times a week for an hour and a half per session. After training, the players demonstrated significant improvements on the single-leg triple crossover hop test, the baseline forehand and backhand tests, the service line test, the one-court and two-court suicide test, and the abdominal endurance test.

In the February 2005 issue of the same journal, the standard Sportsmetrics program was found to improve performance in 41 basketball, soccer and volleyball players, but those performance tests were not sport-specific. The program is best known, of course, for its use in preventing anterior cruciate ligament injuries.

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