Use this muscle-building workout from the tennis star’s fitness trainer to boost your power on the court.
To get your muscles limber before lifting, mimic what you’re going to ask them to do, says Murray’s fitness trainer Jez Green. “For a strength session, go through all the lifts you’re going to do that day with 50% of the weight for 10 reps.”
For Wimbledon, Murray built his athletic power with complex training. “Do 6 sets of 5 reps of each of the following exercises,” says Green. “After the lift (A exercise), go straight into the plyometric move (B exercise) for power without bulk.”
Exercise A1: Back squat
Stand under a squat rack, with a loaded barbell on your shoulders. Take the full weight of the bar. Keep your chest out, back straight and bend at the knees and hips until your quads are parallel with the floor. Then drive back up.
Exercise B1: 1m box jump
Stand in front of a box 1m high. Bend at the knees, and drive explosively, jumping and landing on the box with your feet flat. Step down and repeat.
A2: Walking lunge
Grab a heavy dumb-bell in each hand. Walk across the room, taking as large strides as possible, and bending so that your front knee is parallel with the floor at every step.
B2: Cycle split jump
Get into a split-squat position, with your back knee almost touching the floor. Now jump in the air, switching leg position before you land.
A3: Weighted pull-up
Wearing a weight belt (Murray loads his with 20kg), grab a pull-up bar with an overhand grip. Pull with both hands until your chin is level with the bar, then lower, to challenge your lats and biceps.
B3: 5kg medicine ball throw-down
Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Grab a medicine ball in both hands. Raise it above your head then explosively throw it down to the floor. Avoid your toes.
A4: Weighted dip
Wearing the same weight belt you wore for the pull-up, grab two dip bars. Push down with your hands, until your arms are straight, then lower to the start position.
B4: 5kg medicine ball chest-pass
Grab a medicine ball and stand a couple of metres from a partner. Pass it like a basketball to your partner, making sure you work as quickly and explosively as possible.
A5: Lateral side lunge
Lunge out to the left until the thigh of your left leg is parallel to the floor. Push off with your left leg in a controlled manner to return to the start. Repeat on your right leg.
B5: Max distance lateral hop
Balance on one leg. Bend at the knee, and explosively jump sideways, bending your knee again as you land to absorb the impact. Do three sets on each leg.
A6: Cable woodchop
Hold a cable handle with both hands. Pull the cable from above your right shoulder, across the front of your body, then return to the start. Alternate sides with each set.
B6: 5kg medicine ball throw
Grab a medicine ball in one hand, with a partner standing on the opposite side. Using your core rotation for explosive power, throw the ball as hard as you can to your partner. Change sides every 5 reps.
Triple extension power
To finish your session do 5 sets of 5 reps of an Olympic lifting movement. Green recommends the power clean. Bend your knees and hips and grab a loaded barbell. Drive your heels into the floor and straighten at the waist, so you pull the barbell up in front of you. Now drop under the barbell and ‘catch’ it at the top of your chest. Drive up, straightening your legs to finish.
“This builds triple extension power,” says Green. So you’ll be able to transfer power from your feet to your hips more efficiently. “It also helps with power on the serve and with first-step acceleration,” he says.
Do a little light stretching after your workout, followed by 10 minutes in an ice bath at 10 degrees, if you can get to one. Two hours later, perform some heavy static stretching and go for a massage.
Words: Men’s Health
Image: Men’s Health