Functional Lifting Patterns PDF Print E-mail
1. The Squat
The Squat is the most basic strength exercise that every running sport player should be proficient at. Its benefit to the split is highly transferable. However a players should first go through a programme of specific core control exercises for example glutes/pelvic floor musculature and vastus medialis, in order that they can stabilise these individual areas before a tempting a gross motor movement such as the squat.



2. The Dead lift
The Dead Lift pattern is a great stabilizing exercise for the lower spine. It is truly functional because you are training the body to derive strength from the floor upwards using the ankle, knee and hip joints in exactly the right order. This triple extension occurs in many sports e.g. a sprint start, a tennis serve and a slam dunk in basketball.

3. The Front Lunge
This is a simple well performed strength exercise which has direct relevance to strength in the Powerstep. It is the first stage of strengthening the body in order to strengthen a specific move. I call this a straddle lunge where the bar is held between the legs, which keeps the bar as close as possible to the player’s centre of gravity as the lunge is performed. This would progress into a single leg lunge which stimulates the landing foot of the Powerstep even more precisely. Notice Deborah’s front knee does not go past her front toe and that her upper body posture is perfect.

4. The Bent Over Row
As tennis is a pull sport by nature it is vital that you train the relevant muscles. The bent over row is a good starting point for building a player’s back musculature as it teaches the player to put the shoulders in a retracted, stable position and then demands that the weight is lifted up to the lower chest while this functionally correct position is maintained. You will notice that the legs are slightly bent and the lower spine is in a neutral.


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