Andy Murray revealed that he has turned to pilates and a yoga style favoured by dancers to prolong his career after back surgery.
The Dunblane-born tennis star underwent an operation after his Wimbledon win in 2013 to tackle a recurring lower back problem, and took up yoga afterwards to keep supple and strong.
Murray practises the gyrotonic style of yoga, which involves specialised equipment and incorporates movements from dance, gymnastics, t’ai chi and swimming.
He credited his exercise regime since the surgery with keeping him pain-free, and with his 30th birthday less than a year away hopes it will help keep him in good shape as he enters the latter part of his career.
He said: “I used to train extremely hard. I don’t think I looked after my body as well as I should have done. That was something that changed a few years ago.
“My back, now that I have been looking after it, doing way more different types of stretching - sort of injury prevention work - my back is no issue whatsoever, whereas for two years I was in a lot of pain because I was training hard but not doing the right stuff to get it better.”
With his mental strength being the envy of many - and one of the keys to his fourth-round whitewash of Nick Kyrgios on Monday - Murray said he uses meditation-type exercises before and during matches to help retain his focus.
He also reads notes on the court before a clash to reinforce key elements of his game that he needs to concentrate on.
And he revealed his diet for a successful day at Wimbledon - a breakfast of a bagel with scrambled eggs, half a bagel with peanut butter, a milk, banana and berry smoothie and a whole melon, followed by salmon and rice before the match and pasta with broccoli and chicken afterwards.
The 29-year-old toyed with a gluten-free diet in the past, one that Novak Djokovic credits with saving his health and tennis, but told Men’s Health this month that he abandoned it after it caused him to lose too much energy.
Murray faces Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in his quarter-final clash today and was out practising yesterday to be ready to face a man he said was “one of the best grass court players in the world”.