What are some excercises that can help my tennis serve?

No matter what, i can’t serve. I don’t want an answer like "practice". I’m asking for exercises that can develop the muscles used to serve. Exercises that help control my raquet while serving are preferable.

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  1. Johnny, 30 May, 2010

    1 – Can you throw? In order to hit a maximal serve, you’ll need a mature throwing motion. The USPTA pro below probably has a good-looking serve, but if you ask him/her to serve with the opposite hand, he or she will probably look pretty uncoordinated. That’s because he or she has not developed a mature throwing motion on that side of the body. Can you throw a football with a spiral? If not, learn how.

    The throwing motion is a GENERAL sport skill used in SPECIFIC sport motions, such as pitching (baseball); passing (football); javelin and tennis serving.

    #2 – Toss properly. 95 percent of the serving lessons I give don’t even consider the service motion. I fix most people by getting them to toss the ball in the right place. If you have a perfect motion, but your toss is too far to the left (for a right hander), too low, or behind you, it doesn’t matter. Toss some balls as you would when you serve and see where they land. Are they landing in front of the baseline or behind or on it? Are they landing to the right of your left foot, or to the left of it?

    #3 – Core strength. 55 percent of racquet head speed at impact comes from internal shoulder rotation. To get this acceleration, you’ll need to "throw" your hip at the ball, prior to your arm moving forward. You’ll need a good trunk rotation here. Do ab exercises, if you’re really looking for exercises. Because women have less core strength than men, they use a pull-through motion on their strokes (butt shots, jacknifing on the serve), while men use a push-through motion (see stms link below).

    #4 – Shoot anyone who mentions the "wrist snap" – It takes 4,000 watts of power for a top-level tennis player to generate a tennis stroke. I believe you can generate about 100-150 watts of power per kilo of body weight. So, do you REALLY think that you get any power from your wrist? You generate power with the big parts of your body (legs, hips, butt, trunk, etc.). Work on those. Arm and shoulder exercises should probably be targeted for flexibility and injury prevention.

    #5 – Train the dynamic stereotype of the serve. 🙂 This is way to complicated for recreational players and 99 percent of teaching pros or coaches worldwide, but I just thought I’d throw this in if you want to do some research. You’ll use medicine balls, plyometrics, etc., but it does help. Again, probably too advanced for what you want/need.

    If I had to say one thing, it would be to get your toss in the right place. You’ll be amazed at how much better your serve will be.

    Good luck.

  2. banglaballer, 30 May, 2010

    lifting weights,air punches, arm swings anything that involves moving your arms.

  3. Brad, 30 May, 2010

    Your going to have to work not only your shoulders, arms… but also your core body and your legs for balance.

    I would recommend looking up some different shoulder exercises and doing them. Like shrugs for your upper shoulders.

    Arms, work your biceps and triceps and your wrist.

    For your core, especially your abs, I suggest you get the ab wheel and work up to 50 at a time. Because of that exercise I had the strongest core on my wrestling team. It gives you huge strength and I would imagine when your serving directly increases your power.

    For legs, do the squats with weight. Have a partner, and keep proper form even if you must sacrifice weight.

    Also, I have these giant rubber bands I use to do different exercises, like curls, and military presses.
    You could look into those. they are easy to use and can be used anywhere.

  4. Steve V (topspinsports.com), 30 May, 2010

    Hey there. I am a USPTA pro and owner of TopspinSports.com, hopefully I can help.

    There are many exercises that will help control your raquet, but if you are having trouble serving, the cause is probably a lack of formal technique…which is easy to fix with time.

    First, you need to make sure you have the right grip, here is the video that will advise you (http://topspinsports.com/serve-grip.html)

    Secondly, you should learn a little bit about serving technique, here are some videos that may interest you or help you fix that technique.

    The Flat Serve
    http://topspinsports.com/articles/the-flat-serve.html
    20+ Videos on Serving
    http://topspinsports.com/categories/serving-instruction.html
    The Ultimate Serve Technique – Article
    http://topspinsports.com/articles/the-ultimate-service-technique.html
    Slice, Topspin, and Kick Serves Explained and Demonstrated
    http://topspinsports.com/slice-topspin–kick-serves-explained–demonstrated.html

    Unfortunately, you haven’t given enough information on why you can’t serve, so this is the best help I can give, but I’m sure you will be able to see how you can improve you serve.

    Thanks and hope your serve improves!

    Steve Viglione
    USPTA Pro
    Owner – http://topspinsports.com

  5. Tonda, 30 May, 2010

    Practice practice practice!

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