Andy Murray has offered advice to recreational tennis players on how to stay fit for the sport during lockdown.
As an elite athlete, the Scot is still permitted to train at the National Tennis Centre but during his many spells of rehabilitation, he has spent plenty of time unable to get on court.
In a blog on trrnutrition.com, Murray wrote: “The last 12 months have been tough for tennis players. Courts have been closed, then opened, then closed again.
“Club tournaments and social events have been cancelled, junior tennis has been scaled back and there hasn’t been much professional tennis to watch either.
“Whilst clubs are still shut, I thought it would be useful to put together some of my tips on how to stay tennis ready for when we can all get back on court.”
Murray cited general fitness as the most important cornerstone, while tennis specific exercises he recommends include catching a ball thrown against a wall, knocking down targets and a footwork drill involving moving around two tennis balls in a figure of eight.
“Maintaining your upper body strength is something else you can do from home,” said Murray. “If you don’t have weights you can use your own body weight for press-ups or tricep dips.
“Burpees are good too if you are feeling energetic. If you want to add some weights into your routine, you can use litre bottles of water or baked bean cans.”
Lastly, Murray stressed the importance of flexibility, adding: “There are plenty of different classes online or you can just incorporate some simple stretches into your day like touching your toes, lunges and chin tucks.
“Good luck, stay fit and hopefully see you back on court soon.”
A badly-timed bout of coronavirus has delayed Murray’s return to the court, with the former world number one admitting defeat last week in his bid to play in the Australian Open.
His first tournament of 2021 is now expected to be a second-tier Challenger event in Biella, Italy beginning on February 15.