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Training Secrets from the U.S. Open

With my recent work with Serena Williams at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, I had the opportunity, as in prior visits, to see some unique exercise routines that trainers and therapists from around the world use with their respective players.

One such exercise series provides stabilization of the knee using a light rubber band to strengthen the quadriceps (thighs) and buttocks. Knees can be at risk from any of the multiple change-of-direction maneuvers a tennis player is exposed to during practice and competition.

Resisted Lunges:

Wrap the rubber band around a fixed object. Place the working leg through the band – securing it around the lower leg (calf), which is furthest from the anchor. Lunge forward with the leg attached to the rubber band – stabilizing the knee – when the lunge foot makes contact with the ground. Take small lunge steps at different angles – simulating returning a ground stroke from the opponent. Repeat with the opposite leg. Try 5-10 repetitions.

Remember, you should always consult your physician before beginning any exercise, diet, or nutritional supplementation program.

Mackie and April share exercises every Wednesday on WWL-TV