Djokovic FLEXIBILITY Secrets – The BEST Warm Up Routine of the PROS

by | Dec 2, 2018 | Beginner, Blog, Fitness, Flexibility | 9 comments

Do you want Djokovic level flexibility?

Well, the first secret to his insane physical abilities happens before he even picks up a racquet in his warm up.

And good news for you is it’s something you can follow because, in this video, I’ve laid it all out for you step-by-step.

Today, we’re going to be diving into the Djoker’s warm-up routine which includes some light cardio, a comprehensive dynamic stretching routine, and some ballistic exercises.

Let’s go.

What’s up athletes, you’re here because you believe that if you learn from the best, you can rise above the rest.

Before we start, I want to disclaim that Djoker’s warm up and exercise regimen are specific to his body.

And while you might not have the joint mobility or youth that he has, by dissecting what he does and why he does it, you can apply the practices that he uses to compete safely and optimally.

Light Cardiovascular Activity

To start off, I want to give credit where credit is due

The exercises and information from this video are from Djokovic’s fantastic book: “Serve to Win,” some articles from mattspoint.com, the USTA, and lastly by observing Djokovic’s warm-ups.

Every warm-up starts with 10 to 15 minutes of light jogging or biking.

As an athlete, Djokovic is extremely careful not to do anything too intensely at this stage of his warm-up because his body is still cool and he could easily pull a muscle.

It’s important to do everything as lightly as possible and gradually increase in intensity as you feel warmer.

The purpose of this phase of the warm-up is to increase your heart and breathing rate, get your blood flowing through your muscles and increase their temperature, and activate your nervous system.

If you can’t commit to 10 minutes of jogging, you can alternatively use this 5-minute circuit:

Start by jogging 2 times around the court. You should be going slow and steady.

Now move back to the baseline and jog up to the net and backpedal back. Do this 5 times up and back.

From the baseline, switch to sidestepping to each side of the doubles line. Try to keep an upright posture. Do this 5 times again.

Now switch to some light carioca steps. Try not to move your upper body and allow your hips to turn with your legs.

Light cardio warming up the body is something Djokovic makes sure to do whenever he is getting ready to workout, practice, or match in order to reduce his risk of injury as much as possible.

Dynamic Stretching

After Djokovic’s finished his light cardio and maybe broken a little sweat, the next thing he’ll do a series of dynamic stretches:

I think it’s safe to say that all modern elite professionals will include a dynamic stretching routine in their warm up.

Dynamic stretching is like regular stretching

But instead of holding at the stretched position you would move around your range of motion. 

Dynamic stretching is effective for 3 reasons:

  1. Dynamic stretching movements like leg swings simulate the movements and forces that you experience when you’re strokes and moving around the court.
  2. In most dynamic stretching movements, you have to exert the force which warms the body and gets the blood and temperature flowing to your muscles
  3. Lastly, dynamic stretching stimulates the nervous system and improves your muscle reaction times.

On the other hand, according to numerous scientific studies, traditional static stretching, where you hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds, provided no benefit to the player’s performance. 

In fact, if you’re holding your stretches for longer than 30 seconds, your muscles might actually be weakened from it.

If you want to learn more about this subject in more depth, I’ll link to a great article I recently found below on a site called mattspoint.com.

In his book, Djokovic recommends you do from 10-20 reps of each of these 9 exercises depending on your fitness level. Do these 9 exercises consecutively without any rest if you can.

All these exercises combined shouldn’t take you longer than 5 minutes to go through:

Jumping jacks

This is great because you’re warming up your legs, shoulders, and core

Walking high knees

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart

Now, bend your left knee up as high as you can without losing good posture

After you reach the highest point, step forward and switch to the other leg

Walking high kicks

Stand shoulder-width apart again

This time, kick your left leg up in front of your

Try to go as high as possible without bending your legs

As you kick your leg up reach out with your opposite side hand (right hand) and try to touch your toes

After touching, step forward and switch to the other side

Burpees

Stand shoulder width apart

Now squat down as low you can and simultaneously, lean your upper body forward until your hands are at the ground

From this position, push off your legs and straighten them out until you’re in a push-up position

Right when your feet touch the ground bounce your legs back up and stand back up

To make this slightly more advanced, I like to add a push-up. Also, if you’re into Yoga like Djokovic is, you might be familiar with the downward dog position. Adding these movements are great for stimulating your upper body.

Lunge with Side Bend

Starting shoulder width apart, step forward with your left leg into a lunge (your left knee should be bent about 90 degrees and your other leg should be relatively straight.)

As you lunge, take your right arm and reach over your head to the other side

You should feel a stretch in your side abdomen

From this full stretch position, push your leg to stand back up and switch to the other side

Reverse lunge with backward reach

Start shoulder width apart and lunge forward again but this time, instead of reaching sideways, raise both of your arms above your head

From here, reach back behind you and to the left

From the full stretch, return to standing back up and switch to the other side

Low side-to-side lunge

Start about two-shoulder-widths apart this time and hold your hands together in front of your body

Shift your body to the left. Your left leg should stay straight as your right knee bend.

Keep going down until your hips are at least parallel with the ground.

Make sure to keep an upright posture with your right foot flat on the ground.

Your left toes can come up depending on how low you go.

Inverted hamstring

Stand on your left leg with your knee slightly bent to protect your ligaments. Your arms should be at your side.

Raise your right leg back behind you. Your right leg and your torso should remain completely straight.

Bend at your hips until your body is parallel to the ground.

As you raise your leg back, as your arms to the side with your palms facing down.

From this position, stand back up and switch to the other leg.

You should feel a stretch in your hamstrings.

You’re also stimulating the nervous system by working on a little balance.

Inchworm

Stand shoulder-width apart and bend over to put your hands down about shoulder-width apart.

He recommends that you keep your legs straight but if you have knee pain, it might be good to bend softly at the knees.

With your hands on the ground, walk forward with your hands as far as you can without bending at your back or knees.

At the full stretch, pause for a second and walk up forward with your feet until you’re back in the bent over position.

Now, repeat this movement.

This works on your core, arms, and legs while stretching out the backside of your body.

So those are the nine dynamic movements Djokovic shares in his book.

If you want some additional dynamic stretches that aren’t included in his book, I’ve added it to our RacquetFlex Patreon deep dive series.

If you’re interested or you want to support our channel, make sure to click the link to our Patreon in the bio.

Low Load Ballistic Movements

The last phase of Djokovic’s warm-up includes a series of ballistic movements specifically with the resistance band.

If you don’t have one, I highly recommend you get one.

They’re only about 10-20 dollars but they’re used by virtually every pro and would help you fitness tremendously.

Djokovic usually has his personal trainer holding the band for him but even if you’re alone, you can just tie it around the top part of the net.

Straight Arm Half Rows

Start by facing the net with the band straight, and your arms straight out.

Now, with your hands facing back, pull the band down with one of your arms.

When you reach your side, go back up and alternate with your other arm.

Row With Rotation

Put your band straight in front of you again and except this time pull straight back with one side.

As you pull, allow your upper body to rotate with your hips preferably staying stable.

Alternate about 10 times.

Back Fly’s

From your starting position, pull both arms out like you’re trying to fly.

This one may be hard if you haven’t worked out your back muscles.

Try to keep an upright posture without sticking your head forward.

Horizontal External Shoulder Rotation

With both arms bend at your side raise them until they’re at slightly lower than a 90-degree angle.

From this position, try to pull the band back without moving your upper arm.

This is another exercise that might be hard if you neglect your back muscles.

If you feel the burn in your back shoulder, loosen the resistance.

The muscle you’re working on is weak and can easily be injured if you try to push it.

If it is too easy, try tying the band lowers down the net.

Shoulder Flexion

Now face away from the net with your arms at your side and slightly bent. Your palms should also be away from the net.

From here, pull the band forward with both arms for a few inches

You should feel it in your chest and front shoulder

Triceps Extension

Now take your arms up above your head with your arms bent

From here, pull the band up by extending your arm. You want minimal movement from other body parts since you’re trying to target the triceps muscles here.

Chest Press

From this position take a small step forward with your dominant leg so that you can lean forward slightly.

But make sure your core is engaged, and your back and neck are straight.

Raise your arms out to your side and bend them at a 90-degree angle

From here, push forward with your chest like you’re doing a push-up

Internal Shoulder Rotation

Turn your body to the left until it’s side way to the net

Now bend your right arm at a 90-degree angle while your other arm holds the band stable.

From here, pull the band toward your chest with your right arm without moving your upper arm

Here you’re working on your internal shoulder rotator. You might feel a slight burn somewhere inside of your shoulder.

External Shoulder Rotation

Without changing your body’s position, now bend your left arm 90 degrees and tuck it to your chest.

From here, pull the band just like you did before except away from your chest.

This will work your external shoulder rotator muscle.

Be extra careful with this exercise because your external shoulder rotator muscle is tender.

Wood-chopper

Lastly, clasp your hand in front of your chest with both arms completely straight.

Try to keep an upright posture.

From here, pull the band away from the net by twisting your trunk.

Try not to let your hips move.

After you’re done with this side, do the last 3 exercises on the other side and you’ll be ready to pick up your racquet.

Outro

So that’s it for this video.

Take these exercises out to the court and see which ones feel right for your body and remember to be extra careful when your body is still cold.

Due to all of you guys request, we made a free webinar to perfect your timing on your ground strokes. Make sure to sign in before we launch on October 21st. Click the link in description below.

Until next time guys – go out and train hard. 

See you in the next lesson.