Unless you are training for one specific movement in sport, it is necessary to be well rounded. This is also true for general health and wellbeing. Whilst watching the Shaolin monks do a martial arts show one evening in Australia it dawned on me that tennis players are much like martial artists in their movement; fast, flexible and strong.
In tennis we see this sort of athlete appearing more often. This has allowed players of this generation to reach balls that in my day seemed impossible. They are producing awkward body angles to get out of seemingly unreturnable positions on the court. For me, Gael Monfils is probably the best example of this type of player, with Djokovic, Federer and Serena Williams not far behind. Can you imagine a 2 metre tall Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan running around a tennis court? Nothing would ever get past them!
Tennis boasts some of the most athletic bodies in professional sport. Players are a lot stronger these days and realise that the fitter you get in the gym, the faster you are on the court. This is essential as the game is quicker than ever and not getting fit will leave you behind as a player. I always took the off court training very seriously and was proud to be renowned as one of the fittest on the Tour.
No one expects you to work as hard as the pros, but adding some of my favourite fitness exercises will help both on and off the court.