The step up is a compound resistance training exercise to strengthen the hip- and knee extensors and improve neuromuscular system efficiency, coordination and body control.
Since we have single-leg action during the step up we can rectify any strength imbalances of the glutes and quadriceps of the left- and right leg while improving dynamic stability.
Maintaining dynamic stability during stroke production is essential for accurate and powerful shots.
Hence it is advisable to include the step up into your resistance training program if you want to improve in that area.
Step Up Progression
If you use additional weights…make sure you use appropriate resistance so you can control the action throughout the entire range of motion. Otherwise you defeat the purpose of the exercise.
Very often, people use too much resistance and they become sloppy. Especially when it comes to maintaining core stability repetitively.
Also, don’t just progress with adding more weight. First, maximize the speed while maintaining perfect form.
Step Up Description
- Position barbell chest level on the rack; add resistance (plates) and attach safety clips
- Take an athletic stance; stand straight, feet are shoulder-width apart; knees slightly flexed; toes point slightly outward (10˚-20˚)
- Use a pronated grip (palms facing down) and place hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart on the bar
- Move head underneath the barbell and position barbell superior to the spine of the scapulae (on the top shelf created by the trapezius); do not place barbell on top of the cervical spine! Move away from the rack towards the box
- Face the box, place one foot in the center on top of the box; knee & hip are flexed at 90˚ (pre-adjust box height appropriately); upper body is straight (push chest out); look forward
- Push through the heel of the front foot and extend the knee and hip; knee must not move beyond toes; toes point forward; upper body is straight (push chest out); look forward
Note: Exercise can also be performed by using bodyweight only!
Step Up Targeted Musculature
In this section we provide you with some exercises you can use to optimize your training.
The exercises have been grouped and selected based on the major muscle group(s) they target – the prime movers.
The first exercise is a dynamic warm up to increase muscle tissue temperature to prepare you for your workout.
For more info take a look at the benefits of a proper warm up routine.
The second exercise is a free-weight resistance training exercise to strengthen the respective prime movers and improve neuromuscular system efficiency.
Why? Find out more about the purpose of weightlifting for tennis players.
The third exercise is a static stretching exercise you can do following your workout as a cool down to improve flexibility and reduce muscle soreness.
Here is more information on the benefits of static stretching.