Tennis is a unique sport that utilizes a distinct group of muscles not heavily used in other sports. Playing tennis requires agility, focus, speed and intense hand eye coordination. The best exercises to help you prepare for a good game of tennis include endurance training, footwork drills and stretching of the muscles.
5 Important Exercises for Tennis Players
Stretching should be the first exercise any tennis player performs before getting ready for a match. When stretching for a game of tennis the mission is to loosen up and stretch the muscles utilized during the game. Warm up exercises for tennis should start off slow, then gradually increase in intensity thoughout the session.
Stretching is THE most important exercise to complete before playing tennis. Without proper stretching, you are not only unable to perform at your best, you also risk suffering from numerous injuries. If you have time for only one exercise before playing tennis, make sure it is proper stretching.
Even though tennis players aren’t running across a football field all game, if you have ever seen an intense tennis match, you know that the players feet are constantly moving. Endurance training is crucial for any tennis player to be able to play their best and keep up with the ball on the court.
Jogging for 30 minutes is a great way to increase lung capacity, endurance, and prepare you for an active tennis match. Other endurance activities to help you practice the quick footwork needed in tennis include agility exercises such as the speed ladder or plyometric training.
Basic strength training is great before playing tennis but be sure to not overexert yourself during training to the point that you are too tired to play. Great options for strength training include exercises with a medicine ball, chin-ups (to strengthen the back muscles), and squats to strengthen your legs.
For tennis, having a strong upper back and shoulders is important, too, yet these muscles are rarely worked as much as they should be. One of the best exercises for the muscles in the upper back is chin-ups. Resistance bands can also be used to strengthen muscles and prepare them for playing tennis.
It is always a good idea to do some practice hitting before a tennis match. After stretching and warming up your muscles, you are now ready for some light hitting. Throughout the warm up session, you can progress to hitting the ball harder. This is another area where you don’t want to overexert yourself in an effort to save up energy for the match. Hitting practice is important to improve hand eye coordination, as well as strength in tennis players.
After any warm up session, it is important to cool down your muscles and your body in preparation for the game. You should be finished with your warm up exercises for tennis around 10-15 minutes before your actual match. This is the proper time to begin cooling down and preparing for the game. Refueling by drinking a sports drink or water and eating some form of protein is a good idea to help your body recover from the warm up and prepare for the game. This is when you should tape or wrap up any injuries that may interfere with your ability to play your best.