How to Use the Medicine Ball for Explosive Tennis Shots

02 de October, 2023

By Nehuén Contreras

In a tennis player’s physical preparation, upper body exercises with medicine balls are highly effective for developing powerful and explosive shots, where the mechanics of the movement resemble the sports gesture.

These exercises offer a significant advantage, as they allow us to simulate game situations in the gym, using balls ranging from 1 kg, the lightest, to 3 kg, the heaviest. We recommend the latter, as they allow us to develop this skill more effectively. This means that the player can focus on working the arm power with a heavier load than the usual racket weight, requiring greater effort at a high speed, while maintaining the quality of the movement.

Sports scientist Y. Verhoshansky, in his 2004 book “Supertraining,” introduces the concept of dynamic correspondence to classify exercises that respect the biomechanical concepts inherent to the specific game gesture, which remains relevant today due to the innovation of its approach.


What is the Goal of Medicine Ball Training?

Medicine ball throws play a crucial role in a tennis player’s training, allowing them to express high levels of strength in a short period, enhancing their effectiveness on the court. To achieve this, it is essential to:

  • Pay attention to support and balance.
  • Maintain good posture during execution.
  • Control and stabilization will give you the ability to transfer forces.
  • Perform fluid movements without interruptions in the arm’s trajectory.
  • When correcting, visualize that the arms are directed towards the desired direction for the throw.

It is fundamental to chain coordinated movements so that the correct support of the lower limbs acts as a bridge of energy towards the upper limbs, which will be the last to complete the throwing movement. This way, we ensure maximizing the throw and, therefore, our tennis stroke!

A point to consider is that, due to the high neuromuscular and cognitive demand of these exercises, it is vital to take breaks to avoid fatiguing the nervous system and to maintain execution quality. During learning, breaks should be taken whenever the quality of the gesture is lost. If the gesture does not improve, consider ending the training for that day. Only when the motor gesture is acquired can training sessions with fatigue be planned.


How is Power Manifested?

Power manifests itself in the ability to generate, through a specific gesture, high levels of strength in a short time, respecting the movement patterns specific to the drive, backhand, or serve, so that improvements are reflected in the shots on the court.

Perform medicine ball throws to take your shots to another level!



Supertraining. Y. Verhoshansky. Page 298. The Development of Power. NSCA by Mike Mc Guigan. Pages 106-107.