Juan Forcades has been Rafael Nadals strength and conditioning trainer for several years. Rafa bases himself in Manacor and together with Forcades Rafa has custom built a gym facility at home where he can train. The gym has all the equipment he needs including a powerplate vibration machine, exercise balls, resistance bands, medicine balls, plyometrics equipment, Bosu balls, a treadmill and free weights. Interestingly Rafa also does a significant amount of training in the swimming pool which he also has at his home.
“We work on different types of movements, with changes in speed and direction,” said Forcades. “That’s how we improve his speed of movement, so Rafa can change direction quickly and easily. We also use a Bosu ball which allows us to work on coordination, footwork, movement and balance. In between tournaments during the course of the season, the work is more focused on the tennis court with short sprinting routines as well as repetitive drills with the racket in hand.”
Most of their training is geared towards trying to be more aggressive on court. Therefore, a lot of emphasis is placed on improving his footwork, coordination and explosive strength. The aim is for Rafa to finish off opponents a little quicker so he doesn’t wear himself out too much.
Rafa does a lot of work on the Bosu ball to boost muscle response and reaction time which he needs for explosive running around on court. “You have to work on hip strength, particularly on clay when points last longer,” said Forcades.
Balancing speed and agility with endurance for long matches is difficult, particularly considering how long the tennis season is. This places huge importance on his recovery so his physiotherapist who travels with him spends a lot of time planning and supervising his training and playing. Rafa’s routine includes good warm ups, cool downs, a daily stretching routine, hydrotherapy and massage treatments.Below I have posted some videos of Rafa training at home in Manacor.