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Weight Training for Sports

The following table is a sample program for the cycling fans.


Body Part Exercises
Legs and hips Squat or leg press
Leg extension
Leg curl
Standing calf raise
Seated calf raise
Back Pull-ups (assisted if necessary)
Upright row
Chest Dips
Shoulders Military press
Arms Seated biceps curl
Triceps pushdown
Midsection Reverse crunches
Oblique crunches
Back raises
Neck Extension
Lateral flexion

If you have any questions whether strength can help a tennis player, you need look no further than the Amazon-like Williams sisters, Venus and Serena. These tall, powerfully built young women regularly serve at speeds comparable to men on the pro tour. Equally as impressive is their all-court athleticism. This combination of speed and power has propelled them to the top of their sport.

Tennis and other racquet sports require good upper body strength for hitting the ball; abdominal and oblique strength for twisting of the torso; and leg strength to help get you to the ball. When Andre Agassi rededicated himself to tennis en route to winning the 1999 French Open, he credited his rigorous weight program for giving him that extra "oomph" on the ball.

The most common injuries associated with tennis are lateral epicondylitis (known as tennis elbow) and to a much lesser extent, medial epicondylitis (known as golfer's elbow but also seen in tennis players). The best way to prevent and/or resolve these injuries is to strengthen the muscles of the forearm with wrist flexion and extension exercises.

These exercises should keep you on the court and hitting hard. You still might not be able to give either of the Williams sisters much to worry about, but you'll certainly look impressive on the way to and from the court.


Body Part Exercises
Legs and hips Lunges
Standing calf raise
Back Bent row
Lat pull-down
Chest Pec deck
Bench press
Shoulders Lateral raise
Military press
Internal rotation
External rotation
Arms Seated biceps curl
Triceps kickback
Wrist curls
Midsection Reverse crunch
Rotary torso
Back raise

Okay, so you don't need to be the world's greatest athlete to excel in golf, and you're not likely to see the paunchy Phil Mickelson on the cover of Ironman magazine any time soon. On the other hand, we've already told you that increased strength increases club head speed and drive distance, so golfers certainly can benefit from a strength-training program. And one has to look no further than the game's greatest player today, Tiger Woods, who has lifted weights for years. Is there any correlation between his mammoth drives and his strength? We certainly think there is.

Muscles of particular importance to golfers include the gripping muscles of the hands and forearms, the obliques for twisting during the shot, and the muscles of the arms and shoulders to help power the ball. In the routine that follows we pay particular attention to these body parts as well as a thorough midsection routine to power your torso through your stroke.

As for injuries, medial epicondylitis is much more common in golfers than it is in tennis players. Again, the best way to prevent and/or resolve it is by strengthening the forearm muscles with wrist flexion and extension exercises. In addition, back pain among golfers is common due to the fast, twisting motion. Strengthening your abs, obliques, and lower back can keep you on course. (Bad pun, but it's true.)

Here's a solid lifting program for golfers. By the way, ditch the cart and walk instead – you'll up your fitness quotient considerably.


Body Part Exercises
Legs and hips Leg press
Leg curl
Back Lat pull-down
Chest Bench press
Shoulders Lateral raise
Military press
Arms Seated biceps curl
Tricep pushdown
Wrist curls
Midsection Reverse crunches
Rotary torso
Back raise

Next: Baseball >>

Excerpted from he Complete Idiot's Guide to Weight Training © 2003 by Deidre Johnson-Cane and Jonathan Cane. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide website or call 1-800-253-6476.

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