As both a former professional athlete and current personal trainer, I love to incorporate the TRX and RIP trainer into my clients’ training programs (some of whom are professional athletes).
The TRX Trainer is a portable performance training tool that uses gravity and the user’s body weight to complete a wide range of exercises to increase strength, balance, flexibility, and core stability. The RIP Trainer is a training tool that is perfect for high speed striking movements or slow speed strength and stability exercises.
They are especially useful for training tennis athletes and enthusiasts, because both pieces of equipment require you to train on your feet with the same type of movement, making your workout functional and fast-paced.
Tennis is a sport that requires a great deal of strength and speed from your upper body. This is determined by how stable you can be in your lower body and core, so all of these movements are based on a solid foundation of proper movement coaching. They can then be progressed to include a bigger range of motion*, more load, more complexity, and more speed/power.
** In general for TRX, when you step closer to the anchor point (the point where the TRX is anchored, whether it be a suspension system, the ceiling, etc.), you increase the difficulty. For the RIP trainer, moving away from the anchor point increases resistance & difficulty.
Today, I will be going over a stability/core movement, a strength movement, and a power movement using the TRX and RIP trainer to take your tennis performance to the next level.
Stability/Core Movement: Overhead RIP Walk
- Set up the RIP Trainer at mid-chest height.
- Start with your feet 1-foot apart, with your weight evenly balanced in your feet (most people need to shift their weight back to line up properly).
- Hold the RIP stick straight overhead, keeping your biceps beside your ears. Keep your core braced and knees slightly bent. If your shoulders are tight, take your arms wider apart on the RIP stick.
- Take a step to the side. Keep all parts of your body braced, tall and in-line.
- Depending on your resistance, take 3-4 slow steps out, and return 3-4 steps.
Strength Movement: Crossing Back Lunge to Side Lunge (with Balance)
10-12 reps on each leg.
- Set the TRX at mid-height. Start standing on both feet with your elbows directly under your shoulders at a 90-degree angle – this sets you the correct distance away from the anchor point.
- Bring your right knee up to 90-degrees to balance. Keep your right foot flexed towards your shin to activate the muscles in the lower leg.
- Step your right foot behind your left foot and drop to 90-degrees in the left knee. Keep your core strong and don’t allow the right hip to drop too far – this keeps the left knee stable! By dropping lower than the 90-degrees, you’re losing the focus of targeting the glute on the left leg.
- Step your right foot wide, ensuring that your toes are pointing straight forward, and bend your right knee, sending your hips back as if you were sitting in a chair. Your right knee should stay lined up with the 2nd and 3rd toe of your right foot.
- With your left leg staying straight, you should feel a light stretch in the left inner thigh. Adjust the width of your stance and the depth of your right knee bend to be comfortable (not painful).
- Return to the starting balance position.
Power Movement: RIP Jumping Squat Press
Beginner: 10 reps on each side
Intermediate: Increase resistance by starting further from the anchor point; increase speed and try to go for up to 1 minute on each side.
- Set the RIP trainer up waist-height.
- Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding the bar at mid-chest height.
- To properly brace the body, keep all four corners of your feet grounded, pushing your hips back slightly and engaging your core. Imagine that you are pulling the bar towards you.
- Jump forward and turn 90 degrees – make sure to land in a solid shoulder-width stance.
- Next, drop into a squat (no more than 90 degrees in the knees!), then press the bar forward. Even though the bar is loaded with the elastic on just one side, try to push the bar forward evenly – no twisting of the torso!
- Return the bar to your chest, then jump back 90 degrees to your start position.
The TRX and RIP Trainer can be a fun & effective way of mixing up your gym workouts, and have a positive impact on your performance both inside and outside of the gym. If you’re unsure of any of these movements, ask to work with a TRX or RIP trainer-certified Personal Trainer in your club.
Get in a round of tennis this week––visit our Richmond Sports Club for exclusive access to tennis courts.