Tennis is a game that requires extreme endurance, speed, and strength. To build a strong physique and perform at your best on the court, tennis workouts are essential. Tennis workouts come in multiple variants. Each workout is designed to train your body for every aspect of tennis.
An endurance workout is performed to increase your breathing and heart rate, in tennis, you have to run all the time to counter your opponent’s shots therefore endurance workouts train your body to bear excessive movements. Similarly, Strenght and Speed workouts improve your overall fitness by training each one of your body muscles.
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Best Tennis Workouts
To be able to perform at your best in tennis, your body needs to be strong flexible, and well-conditioned with good endurance and quickness. This can only be achieved by following an effective tennis workout plan that trains every muscle of your body in every aspect.
1. Cardio And Endurance Training
Tennis is a sport that requires quick movements, a lot of running, and sudden stops so therefore cardio and endurance training are designed to train your body to bear every type of sudden movement. It is also known as the HIIT workout, and it is the best full-body tennis workout.
HIIT, High-Intensity Interval Training, includes activities such as walking, jogging, swimming, jumping rope, and every other type of workout that increases your heart rate. Its main purpose is to enhance your cardiovascular system, with a strong cardiovascular system your body can easily tolerate anything.
HIIT workout is proven best for tennis players. It improves your VO2 max, anaerobic threshold, heart rate recovery, stroke volume, and (EPOC) Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption.
Here are some of the best HIIT workouts to increase your endurance.
Rope jumping is one of the most easiest and effective HIIT workouts. It’s even better than running, comparatively it burns more calories than running. Running is also one of the best professional tennis player workouts, no doubt but if you are short on time or don’t have access to proper running then jump rope is the best.
All you need is a high-quality and durable jump rope. You will find multiple jump ropes in the market as they come in multiple sizes, weights, and other variants. Let me give you a quick buying guide for jump rope.
Buying Guide for Jump Rope
The most important thing you need to consider while buying a jump rope is the length. The length of a jump rope varies with a person’s height. The basic formula which is used to determine the optimal size of a jump rope is;
- Stand on the rope with one foot in the middle of the rope.
- Each end of the rope should reach your upper chest.
- Test the rope with a few jumps, if you feel comfortable with it then go for it.
TRX Pull-ups are slightly different than traditional pull-ups. Rather than using a pull-up bar TRX pull-ups are performed using a TRX suspension trainer. It’s a piece of tennis training equipment that is available in every gym or you can also buy TRX Pull-up suspension from a local gym equipment store.
These pull-ups are relatively more effective than traditional pull-ups as it requires a lot of upper body strength. Doing one or two of these pull up won’t feel like anything but when you start doing multiple repetitions you will feel your upper chest and back muscles stretching.
How To Perform TRX Pull-ups?
TRX pull-up is not rocket science. If you learn the basics and maintain the correct posture while performing the pull-ups, it won’t be any difficult for you. There are a few simple steps to perform TRX pull-ups. You can follow these steps for both home and gym workouts.
- If you are at the gym performing TRX pull-ups then simply stand next to the TRX suspension bar or if you are at home then securely install your TRX suspension bar.
- Hold the TRX suspension bar with both hands and maintain a sitting position with your back straightened and knees bent at 90 degrees. Distribute your body weight equally on both feet.
- While grabbing the handles pull yourself up vertically,
This tennis leg workout is a plyometric exercise and is an advanced variation of standard walking lunges. This workout is ideal for the lower body, it helps reduce fat from the lower areas of the body eg. hamstring, glutes, quadriceps, etc. In tennis, you have to make quick movements therefore lunges help you to build strong leg muscles.
You can perform this tennis workout anywhere, at the gym, at home, or even on the tennis court. It does not require any type of equipment, it’s a simple calisthenics workout. Performing this workout is easy, just follow these easy steps:
Steps To Perform Lunge Jumps
- First of all correct posture is really important for performing lunge jumps.
- Stand on both of your feet with your back straight, now take a wide step backward and lower your hips.
- Make sure your knee is not touching the floor and your front thigh is parallel to the floor.
- Now do a quick long jump and switch your leg positions.
- Repeat the same process, alternating legs with each jump.
Benefits Of Cardio And Endurance Training
Cardo and Endurance training, also known as HIIT is an ideal workout for tennis players. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a professional player, Cardio training is a must for you. It helps you build high stamina which allows you to bear any type of sudden movements in tennis. If someone with lower stamina starts playing a match of tennis then there is a high probability of injuries.
When your body muscles experience the sudden impact of excessive movements in tennis, the muscles experience a shock which results in injuries such as muscles tear, muscle pulling or there can be even more serious injuries eg. ankle twist or ankle break.
Tennis requires high strength and strong muscles, in a professional tennis game a tennis racquet roughly weighs around 365 grams or 11.05 oz. That might not sound heavy to you but when you have to counter a tennis ball coming at you at a speed of 110 mph with this tennis racquet then you will feel the amount of impact that your muscles will experience.
To build a stronger body balanced strength training is a must. There are multiple variations of strength training but not all of them are effective. You might be wondering, I can do some barbell curls and a few other workouts at the gym and I’ll be ready for a game of tennis. Well no doing that can actually be harmful to your body.
With my extensive research, I have figured out the best strength training workout. I myself am using this workout for the past few years.
Pre Workout Warmup
A pre-workout warmup is really important before starting any workout routine. It preps your muscles and makes them ready for high-intensity strength training.
Hip circles warm up your hip, glutes, and thigh muscles. Performing hip curls is really easy. Follow these easy steps and your first pre-workout exercise will be done.
Steps To Do Hip Circles
- First, stand with both of your feet together.
- Now raise one of your legs, your knee should be bent at 90 degrees.
- Start circling your hip by making a big circle with your knee.
- Keep repeating the same for one set. One set consists of 8 hips with the right leg and 8 hip curls with the left leg.
This Cardio and Endurance Training workout is also best for pre-workout sessions. It’s a HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) therefore it warms up your whole body. From leg muscles to your biceps each and every muscle of your body is utilized while performing this workout. I have mentioned the steps of performing a jump rope workout above so make sure to read it.
After completing one set of Hip Circles, take 30 seconds to 1-minute rest and start doing one set of jump rope. The duration of a set of jump ropes depends on your stamina, it is advised to perform at least 5 minutes of jump rope for one set.
You can do this in one go or you can also do it like this; 1 minute of jump rope then 30 seconds rest and then again repeat the same process until 5 minutes of jump rope is completed.
Squat Pulses are an advanced variation of regular squats. This pre-workout exercise activates your glutes, hamstring, and also quadriceps which are located on the front of your upper legs.
Performing squat pulses is slightly different than regular squats, the posture, and everything but there are a few advancements which I will explain in the steps of performing squat pulses.
Steps To Perform Squat Pulses
- First, stand in the same position as you stand for a regular squat. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart and your toes should be slightly turned out.
- Now bend your knees and lower your hip bringing it down to knee height.
- Lift your body a couple of inches and then again lower your body down to a squat position, keeping your back flat the whole time.
- Now keep repeating the same process for one set; 8 reps.
- In squat pulses, you do not stand as you do in a regular squat. You have to maintain the squat position the whole time.
Strength Training Exercises
There are multiple strength training exercises but not all of them are for tennis players. Tennis players need a strong upper body and well-built hips, hamstring, and core muscles. To specifically Target these follow these exercises.
Dumbbell Bench Press
This is a very common exercise. I’m sure every one of you has performed it at least once in your lifetime. It’s the best workout to target your upper body muscles such as your chest muscles and triceps. To perform bench presses dumbbells are required. Dumbbells are available at every gym or you can also buy them online and easily perform this tennis workout at home.
Steps To Perform Dumbbell Bech Press
- First of all dumbbell weight matters the most, if you are a beginner then it is advised to start with 20 pounds and then gradually increase the weight.
- The first step is to lie on your back on a flat bench with your knees at 90 degrees and feet touching the ground.
- Now it’s time to hold the dumbbells. For a beginner, it is advised to have the spotter hold the dumbells for you.
- Hold the dumbells and make sure your palms are facing towards your feet.
- Lift the weight above your chest while straightening your arms and extending your elbows and then bring the dumbbells back down slowly.
- Keep repeating the same process for one set (8 reps).
Dumbbell Sumo Squat
In dumbbell sumo squats weights are added to a regular sumo squat. First, let me explain what a sumo squat is, in sumo squats your feet are relatively in a wider position than in a normal squat. In dumbbell sumo squats the same position is maintained, the only difference is that you have to hold weight while performing them.
Steps To Perform Dumbbell Sumo Squat
- First, stand with your feet wide apart and your toes pointing outwards.
- Hold a dumbbell with both hands, there are dumbbells specifically designed for weighted squats known as kettlebells.
- While you are holding the dumbbell, start lowering your hips and bend your knees into a squat position.
- Lower your body down until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Now slowly stand back while holding the dumbbell.
- Repeat the same process until one set is completed.
Speed And Agility Training
Being responsive and having quick movements are one of the main aspects of winning any tennis game. To build these skills you need to follow a proper speed and agility training routine. For better and long-term results this training should be a part of your daily routine.
Agility is defined as quick body movements, with the ability to change the direction and position of the body quickly and efficiently.
There are tennis workouts specifically designed to train your speed and agility to make you more responsive in the game.
First Step Acceleration
The ability to travel shorter distances quickly is one of the crucial aspects of court movement. Players need well-balanced and dynamic first two-step movements otherwise players are limiting their effectiveness on the court. To be more explosive in the first step movement follow this simple drill.
First Step Acceleration Drill
- For this drill, you will need one piece of equipment which is a workout cone.
- Take three cones and place them on the ground in a way that all three cones will make a symmetric triangle.
- Now when all three cones are lying on the ground, start running around the cones but your body should be facing in one direction while you are circling around the cones. Just imagine you are looking at something in front of you and circling around the cones at the same time.
- Do the same process on alternative cones and gradually increase your speed.
- Make sure your foot does not touch any cones while you are circling around them.
First Step Acceleration With Braking
Along with increasing the ability to change the direction and position of the body quickly and efficiently, this workout will teach how to safely make quick turns. On a tennis court, you need to run from one corner to another to counter the ball and then come back in the middle of the court therefore this tennis workout drill will teach you how to safely do all these movements.
First Step Acceleration Drill With Braking Drill
- For this drill, you will need the same workout cones.
- Place the workout cones on the ground so that the three cones make a symmetrical triangle. But the distance between cones should be at least 2 meters.
- Now sprint from one cone to another and quickly take a sharp turn and sprint towards the other cone.
- While running, make sure you do not stop, you can reduce your speed while making turns but you can not stop.
Recovery And Injury Prevention
A beginner player is vulnerable to many injuries while playing a game of tennis. So to make sure you play safely and avoid any possible injury then read along. First of all when you just start playing tennis your body, specifically the muscles are not used to the sudden impact. The student impact puts a strain on your muscles causing multiple injuries like tennis elbow.
Secondly, your body is not that flexible it’s not used to agility therefore your bones are at high risk, mainly the ankle and the arm. There are a few simple precautions and tips which you can take before playing a tennis game to avoid any type injuries.
- Do a pre-tennis workout session, and warm up your body so it’s ready for quick movements. You can follow the pre-workout warmup which I have mentioned above.
- Make sure you know how to properly play tennis, I advise you to take coaching or just practice at home by playing against the wall. Because if you use the wrong techniques there can be a strain on your muscles which will cause injuries.
- Use the proper equipment which should be arm friendly. Your tennis shoes need to be comfortable and should have a strong grip because in tennis there are a lot of running and sudden stops so, therefore, a shoe with a strong grip and shock absorption is a must.
- If somehow your muscles get sore, or you feel pain in any part of your body then apply ice on it. Ice therapy is proven best for sore muscles as it reduces inflammation.
- Go for massage therapy occasionally, it helps your muscles to relax and rude tension in your muscles.
Playing tennis is not just about hitting the ball, it’s a sport that requires a combination of physical attributes such as endurance, speed, and strength. To be able to perform at your best on the court, it’s crucial to have a strong, flexible, and well-conditioned body. That’s why tennis workouts are essential.
Cardio and endurance training, such as HIIT, is designed to train your body to handle the quick movements, running, and sudden stops that are common in tennis. Incorporating exercises like rope jumping, TRX Pull-ups, and Lunges into your tennis workout routine can greatly improve your endurance and overall fitness.
When it comes to rope jumping, it’s important to consider the length of the rope you are using. Make sure to stand on the rope with one foot in the middle and check that the ends of the rope reach your upper chest. This will ensure that you are using a rope that is the right size for you.
And for TRX pull-ups, make sure to maintain the correct posture and distribute your body weight evenly on both feet, this will ensure that you are getting the most out of the exercise and not putting unnecessary stress on your body.
Overall, by following an effective tennis workout routine that trains every muscle of your body in every aspect, you can achieve a strong, flexible, and well-conditioned body that will help you take your tennis game to the next level.
Questions You Might Ask
Is tennis a good workout?
Tennis is the best cardio workout. It improves your endurance, strength, agility, and coordination. Tennis workouts are designed to target each and every muscle of your body therefore you can also adapt to tennis workouts as your everyday workout routine.
What does playing tennis do to your body?
Tennis comes with multiple health benefits, it reduces your resting heart rate and blood pressure. Other than that it improves your stamina, tones your body muscles, and is also good for your bones.
What workouts do tennis players do?
A tennis player’s workout is a combination of Cardio, Strenght training, Speed, and Agility Training.
How can I increase my stamina for tennis?
The best way to increase stamina for tennis is by doing a HIIT workout. It tones your body to bear any type of excessive movements and sudden stops in tennis.
Hey, it’s 32 years old Robert Dexter here, a huge fan of Roger Federer. I love tennis since the age of 12. I write about tennis whenever possible. I have keen interest in equipment and the technicalities of tennis. Other than tennis, I love to post new stories on Instagram, read books and cooking.