Tenniszine - UK tennis blog.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Nadal's muscles, Puerta surprise

Well done to Rafael Nadal on his French Open win. Equally well done to Mariano Puerta who I am sure nobody would have predicted would reach the final. Except perhaps him.

Nadal's physique is quite amazing.Rippling muscles on his arms and legs and an equally powerful torso. It seems pretty awesome in any tennis player, never mind a 19 year old. I was always led to believe that muscle bulk was not something to be desired in a tennis player. Although anaerobic strength is needed to endure the physical aspects of professionals on the tour, aerobic fitness and flexibility to cope with the constant variation in movements were deemed to be more important. From my own experience when I tried to bulk up a bit on the arms, shoulder and upper body, I found myself getting more muscle related injuries and eventually put it down to loss of flexibility. Can this be true? So although I still swing and lift weights, I do just enough to maintain good muscle tone for handling the racket on serves, and returning pewerful groundstrokes and volleys. Of course Nadal has the body of a teenager whereas I'm in my fifties! Overall there needs to be the right balance and the answer is probably in this book.


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