For many of us, tennis is a lot more than two weeks a year of armchair sport and strawberries and cream. The British Lawn Tennis association estimate that nearly a million people play a game of tennis at least once a month, with nearly half of those playing weekly. There’s a lot of tennis going on!
Tennis provides a great cardio and strength workout, but it is important to be sufficiently fit to play. Improving your fitness will also improve your game. So if you are part of Britain’s army of tennis players, or would like to be, try these three exercises. A warm-up is essential before starting these.
There is a lot more to tennis fitness than strong arms. Players need strength for explosive movements, and that starts in legs and core.
The burpee is the classic move for building these qualities, plus aerobic fitness. Start in a squat, then get your hands on the floor. Kick your feet back into a push up position. Do the push up, bring your feet back close to your hands and then jump up. Repeat until exhausted!
This may be more difficult than it was in the playground! Begin with just a couple of minutes, and try to skip on a soft surface to reduce impact on joints. Concentrate on landing softly. As you get better, start alternating feet. Then add high-steps, lifting your feet high. Hip twists will also improve your flexibility. This eight-minute skipping routine is an excellent tennis trainer.
Finish with a simple but effective stretch: stand against a wall with your arms bent so that the back of the arms and forearms are touching the wall. Your hands and arms should form a square ‘u’. With shoulder blades and glutes also touching the wall, slide arms up and down so your hands move from above your head to shoulder level. Repeat 10 times to improve shoulder flexibility.
I used to play quite a lot and would like to get back into it, but the right fitness is indeed an issue. So thanks for this, will be working up to it!