Roger Federer has definitely mastered the art of living a longer, healthier life. And not only with his body, but with his incredible performance as a tennis champion. Year after year.
His classic style has no weaknesses, which is very impressive! But what continues to stun us, is his ability to always make a comeback. He can still hit a powerful shot, swing a one-handed backhand and play with a calm head.
Roger, What’s Your Secret?
It takes a lot to keep up a serve-smashing reputation on the court. Especially when you’re sitting with about 20 grand slam titles and have no major injuries. Despite his back pain troubles, he is the most consistent tennis player yet. His coach, Pierre Paganini says this is because he always maintains an excellent fitness level, attitude and technique to execute each hit.
There’s no doubt that everyone’s genetics differ. However, good genetics is not the core reason for Roger’s tennis successes. His coach says he is not simply a natural athlete, but rather a determined hard worker.
A quote by Roger’s coach, Pierre:
“Having a potential is one thing, but to express it for 70 matches a year is something else. Saying he is naturally gifted that way would be like watching a ballet and admiring its beauty, but forgetting the hard work put behind it.”
And we agree 100% with him! In order for you to stay healthy and fit for a lifetime, you need to dedicate yourself to a lifestyle that works towards those goals. You cannot use an excuse which says, “it’s just bad genes.”
Being a champion tennis player does not make you a sprinter, a marathon runner nor a shot-put thrower. If you want to perform your best on the court, you need to maximise your skills in all these areas. This is something we can use as inspiration in our own health journeys. Perhaps, instead of focusing solely on cutting out sugar or running in the morning, let’s try to hone in on all aspects of our lives. That means a clean diet, a well-rounded workout program and some soul-searching time.
According to Workout.Trends.Com, Roger has a very unique and creative style. He never plays the same way with the same shots. He improvises, unlike his competition. However, his success tool lies within his fitness program and eating plan which he has remained consistent with.
Roger Federer’s Life-Long Program
Of course, as you age your workout routine will need to change. An 18-year-old athlete will have a completely different workout program to a 35-year-old athlete. When you’re young it’s all about getting super strong and when you’re older it’s more about getting prepared and perfecting your skill for the next big event. Although Roger’s program has changed in its processes over the years, he has always remained consistent. That is his secret!
WorkoutTrends.Com suggests that beginner athletes should focus their workout plan on dynamic stretching, weightlifting, cardio work, plyometrics and static stretches for explosive power. Federer trains this way and now uses this program to target specific muscles and joints that are continuously under put stress
The success and longevity of a tennis player is all dependent on their; strength, agility, coordination, endurance, balance, speed and reaction time. Therefore, Roger recommends mixing up your workouts.
Reportedly, Roger likes lifting weights, but hates push-ups. Don’t get your hopes up, because his coach, Pierre still makes him do them!
Here Are A Few Of Roger’s Top Exercises
1. Jump rope
Cardiovascular fitness is how Roger sharpens his performance. Jump rope is the easiest way to increase agility and cardiovascular health. It can also be done anywhere. He enjoys skipping lightly and then progressively doubling his speed.
2. Abdominal Strength
Speedy bursts of energy and power shots cannot happen without a strong core. According to OptimumTennis.Net, Roger uses lateral lunges and a medicine ball to get abs of steel.
3. The Medicine Ball Shuffle:
Roger and a partner stand opposite one another on the court, a few steps away from the net. He then passes a medicine ball back and forth with his partner whilst shuffling across the court. You need to make sure that your feet don’t cross whilst shuffling and that the medicine ball is always by your chest.
4. Lateral Lunges with Twist:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
- Lunge with your left leg out at a 45- degree angle
- Lower your upper leg and twist the left side of your torso forward
- Hold and return to starting position
- Repeat with right leg
- Do 10 times on each side
- As you get stronger, place a barbell with little or no weight on it across your shoulders.
5. Endurance and Agility
As a champion tennis player, Roger has to remain flexible so that he can move around freely on the court without being weighed down by the impact. Therefore, when he trains he increases the weight and resistance during his movements to make him feel lighter on the court.
He uses a resistance band around his legs to strengthen them up for matches. In order to make his movements more powerful, he trains with one around his waist which is attached to the net whilst he has to volley.
6. Coordination: Cone Drills
Roger does a lot of cone drills to enhance his sense of coordination. This is usually a zig-zag motion where he runs around each cone whilst swinging his forehand and backhand strokes.
7. Balance: Volley on Trampoline
Roger balances on one-leg whilst trying to volley standing upright on a trampoline. This is a great way to balance your body and ensure that both the left and right sides are as strong as the other.
8. Reaction time: Hit before Bounce
This is a great exercise to speed up your reflexes. Roger has somebody throw balls to him and has to try and return them without a second bounce.
9. Speed: High-Intensity Interval Training
Nothing can prepare an athlete for short, explosive bursts of energy better than high-intensity interval training can. It works with a 15-second interval of your hardest training ability and then a 15-second rest. You usually need to repeat the routine about 7-12 times.
Federer makes sure that he gets a full 10 hours sleep every night to allow plenty of recovery time to his muscles.
What Does He Eat?
Carbohydrates form the key to any tennis diet. This is because they provide the most energy for explosive movements. However, Roger sticks to eating a diet rich in complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits and vegetables because they supply the longest lasting amounts of energy. Apart from that, lean proteins, good fats, vitamins and minerals are all part of an athlete’s diet. Roger Federer often drinks recovery protein shakes and foods right after a match or workout. He always ensures he gets a balanced snack which includes, carbs, proteins and electrolytes. This is so that he can stay hydrated and revitalised throughout his matches.
He is also a major lover of Italian food and eats pasta before every match and hardcore training session! He says it fills him up, but doesn’t make him feel like he ate too much. Lastly, this all-time champion tries to keep a balanced lifestyle with some room for fun. He enjoys listening to music whilst he trains and always keeps a positive, and relaxed attitude throughout his life and matches. That way, when he does lose, he continues to shine brighter the next time!
Perhaps the key to longevity and success is more in our minds than it is our bodies.
Are you wondering how to boost your fitness gains? Read about how the Mediterranean Diet could help you.