Try the workout that helped Frances Tiafoe get fit and beat Nadal


Frances Tiafoe has achieved plenty of profession bests this 12 months. He reached the fourth spherical of Wimbledon for the primary time. He peaked at a career-high rating of No. 24 on the planet final month. And he’ll play in a Grand Slam semifinal for the primary time after defeating Andrey Rublev on Wednesday within the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open. Two days earlier, Tiafoe beat second-seeded Rafael Nadal within the spherical of 16. After that match, the 24-year-old American partially credited his improved health for the victory.

“I feel fit,” Tiafoe informed reporters at his post-match information convention Monday. “Like my fitness is solid right now. I’ve slimmed out a lot. Really put the time in with that.”

Wayne Ferreira has careworn health since turning into Tiafoe’s coach in February 2020, however this 12 months, Ferreira and others on Tiafoe’s crew have observed a shift in the best way Tiafoe has devoted himself to damage prevention stretches and workouts within the health club. Consistency has been key, his crew says.

“I think he just has a much better day-to-day routine,” Ferreira stated. “Even before matches, he’s doing a little workout.”

Along with Ferreira, Tiafoe is usually joined on the highway by Bret Waltz, his bodily therapist, and TC Costello, his power and conditioning coach.

And whereas most individuals don’t have a tennis coach, a bodily therapist and a private coach, Costello believes that Tiafoe’s routine can Help tennis gamers of all ranges. Beneath are three workouts that Costello stated are a part of Tiafoe’s coaching program.

Drugs ball workouts are a staple of Costello’s coaching for tennis gamers. The day after Tiafoe beat Nadal, Costello had Tiafoe do half-hour of sunshine drugs ball work and motion drills earlier than Tiafoe went on the court docket to hit for half-hour.

“For tennis, I really, really love doing medicine ball work, to work on power,” stated Costello, the senior director of athlete growth on the Junior Tennis Champions Middle in Faculty Park, Md., the place Tiafoe skilled. “It is so similar to tennis — throwing a medicine ball — that it translates so well to the sport.”

To correctly carry out this drill, discover a wall that you may throw a medication ball in opposition to. Costello recommends utilizing a medication ball weighing between 4 and eight kilos or one that may be thrown with “maximum intent.” It could possibly’t be too heavy otherwise you gained’t be capable to throw the ball that onerous, he added.

Muhammad Dossani trains at JTCC with a medication ball in 2018. (Video: JTCC)

Subsequent, stand along with your ft parallel to the wall, which in tennis is known as an open stance. Convey the drugs ball to 1 aspect along with your knees bent, and cargo from the leg closest to the ball whereas driving the ball with as a lot velocity as doable into the wall, Costello stated. Repeat this movement with the drugs ball 5 instances. Take a three-minute relaxation after which do one other set of 5 earlier than switching sides for 2 extra units of 5.

For the closed stance, flip your physique and ft sideways to the online. Load on the again leg and drive ahead. Do two units of 5 repetitions on either side whereas taking a three-minute relaxation between units. This train can be finished with somebody tossing the ball to you. In that model, catch the drugs ball after one bounce, load and drive from the again leg whereas throwing the ball again.

“The key to that drill is to throw the ball as hard as possible, and drive from that back leg and make sure you’re getting that hip through and transferring your weight and driving that ball with as much speed as possible,” Costello stated. “Because that’s how you develop power. If you just go through the motions, and lightly throw the medicine ball against the wall, you’re not doing anything.”

Tiafoe is understood for his velocity. He can chase down pictures and hit winners together with his quickness.

One of many footwork and agility drills that Costello likes entails response time. Take 4 cones and put them about 10 ft aside within the form of a sq.. Stand within the center. When working with Tiafoe, Costello will level to the cone that he needs Tiafoe to maneuver towards. Tiafoe will then take fast steps towards the cone after which return to the middle of the sq. earlier than shifting on to the subsequent cone Costello calls out.

“Having a reactionary [component], where I’m pointing in different areas to keep the player engaged translates to tennis because you don’t know where [opponents are] going to hit the ball,” Costello stated.

24-year-old American tennis participant Frances Tiafoe, now ranked at a career-high No. 24 on the planet, works on agility drills in 2019. (Video: JTCC)

For quickness and velocity, do three units of this train for 20 seconds every time, with a minute relaxation in between. It could possibly final a little bit longer if finished as a conditioning drill.

“The movements are very similar to tennis, and I want [tennis players] to stay really low, and be quick, go down, touch the cone, come back to the middle, react to wherever I say it is,” Costello stated. “If it’s one of the cones in the back, turning those hips real quick and pushing back, so the movements are similar to tennis, so you’re getting a little bit of quickness, foot work, agility work, but also reactionary work, too.”

A robust, steady core is necessary for tennis gamers at any stage. Costello prefers coaching the core via anti-rotation, anti-flexion and anti-extension workouts. One train that he recommends is usually often known as the Pallof press.

“Because it’s an anti-rotation drill,” Costello stated. “It’s working all of our core muscles.”

Muhammad Dossani trains with a resistance band at JTCC in 2018. (Video: JTCC)

This may be finished both with a band or cable machine. Stand straight and pull a band that’s tied securely towards the middle of your physique after which in, barely beneath your chest. Lengthen your arms out straight after which again. Preserve your core tight and engaged. The purpose of the drill is that whereas the band or cable is pulling you in a single path, you aren’t letting it transfer the middle of your physique. “You’re trying to keep your core as stable as possible,” Costello stated.

Do three units of two 12 repetitions. There are variations of the drill the place an individual is kneeling or in a lunge place.

A part of the explanation that Tiafoe has been profitable this 12 months is as a result of he’s been extra constant in making use of himself to his health, Costello stated.

That features diet. “He’s just being a bit smarter with what he eats,” Costello stated, whereas including that Tiafoe doesn’t adhere to any particular diets. (“Morton’s Steakhouse,” Tiafoe stated when requested by a reporter on what he ordered with Uber Eats earlier this week. “I’m still eating well. Don’t worry about that … We still getting them good eats. It’s just in the crib.”)

His success just isn’t due to a “magic drill or anything,” Costello stated; as an alternative it’s about his dedication to all issues required of an elite athlete.

“Doing everything with 100 percent engagement, whether it’s the warm-up, whether it’s the cool-down, whether it’s injury prevention work, small exercises to keep the shoulder healthy, doing that with 100 percent engagement, and doing it consistently,” he stated. “That’s been huge for him this year.”

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