Why Rafael Nadal uses Flywheel Training
In a previous blog we wrote about why flywheel training is popular in team sports. In this article we will explain why tennis player Rafael Nadal also uses flywheel training.
In tennis, like in many other sports, it is important to be athletically strong. Strength alone is rarely a goal in itself. Only when strength is combined with speed (power) it becomes a winning asset. Or as Rafael Nadal says in his book Rafa, my story: “We didn’t build bulk for bulk’s sake. To do so would be counterproductive because in tennis what you want is a balance between strength and speed; disproportionate muscular weight would slow you down.”
Flywheel training is unique when it comes to the combination of strength, speed and eccentric overload. There is no other fitness product that combines these ingredients like flywheel training does. Other products can only generate eccentric overload in strength training at a low speed. Which will create strength, but definitely not speed and power.
Nadal and his coach already saw the potential of flywheel training in the beginning of Nadal’s career: “(..) when I was sixteen, seventeen we spent a lot of time on a pulley device created to help astronauts stop their muscles from atrophying in the weightlessness of space. By pulling on a cord attached to a metallic flywheel I built up my arm and leg muscles, but especially my arms, so as to increase their acceleration speed (..)”.
Another unique aspect of a flywheel device like the Kynett ONE is, that you can use it in any direction. Most weights or fitness products can only be used for vertical movements like lifting a weight or lowering a weight. Kynett ONE can be used in any kind of angle. That’s why you can easily train a very specific movement like a backhand or forehand in tennis. Or as Rafael Nadal says in his book: flywheel training is “a major reason why (they tell me scientific studies have been made of this) I am able to apply more revolutions to the ball on my topspin forehands than any other player on the circuit.”
And for those of you who think flywheel training does not generate enough resistance to become seriously strong, Nadal says: “Training on this “YoYo” flywheel apparatus, as it’s called, I reached a point where I was able to perform the equivalent of 117-kilogram lifts without using weights.”