Exercises That Are Great For Tennis Beginners
Whether you’re a serious tennis player or just want to keep playing the sport because it’s fun, having a strong foundation of physical fitness is important to getting the most out of your time on the court.
For those who are high-performance and competitive match players, being in shape prior to playing is a necessary chain of events. Getting fit by playing tennis isn’t how you should be going about your business here. How you should start your workout, and once you’ve started, what are the best ways to hit all of the necessary body groups?
We’re glad you asked! Here are some general guidelines and exercises that will help you get going.
Importance of Warming Up
Whether you’re getting ready for a tennis match or just a standard gym workout, it’s imperative to warm up properly for the physical activity that’s ahead of you with some sort of light aerobic activity. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, and the last thing you want is for this warm-up activity to tire you out. Things as simple as jumping rope, jogging in place, or hopping on an exercise bike will do the trick.
Once it’s time to get into the weight training portion of the program, the goal is to increase overall strength for your major muscle groups, but without using too much weight.
Lower Body Exercises
You use your legs constantly during a tennis match, and also during your every-day life! So, it’s important to make sure your legs – i.e. your foundation – is solid.
- Squats with free weights
- Lunges with free weights
- Calf raises (preferably on a machine for beginners to minimize injury risk)
Those typical core and ab exercises we all know about don’t do a whole lot here because they’re not that practical for tennis players. There is so much twisting, turning, and stretching that goes on during a match, so having a strong core that can withstand all that is crucial.
- Sit-ups with a twist
- The Superman exercise
- Back extensions on a stability ball
Upper Body Exercises
It’s true that your legs are the foundation of a successful tennis player, but they’d be nothing with a strong upper body! As you transfer your weight and power into a shot, you need the necessary strength to carry it out in order to be successful.
- Bench press or push-ups (both are good for your chest and arms)
- Dumbbell rows (good for your upper back and arms)
- Shoulder presses (works your shoulders and arms)
- Upright barbell rows (good for your shoulders and traps)
Rotator Cuff Exercises
Every tennis player should be doing rotator cuff exercises to keep this part of their shoulder strong. It should be noted that the weights for the below exercises shouldn’t be very heavy at all – probably not more than 2 or 3 pounds.
- External rotation
- Internal rotation
- Horizontal rotation
Wrist and Forearm Exercises
Think about how often you use your wrists and forearms on the court. They’re also incredibly important and need attention all on their own. The below exercises should be used with light weights as well, but they can be a little heavier than what you used for the rotator cuff exercises.
- Wrist curls
- Wrist extensions or reverse wrist curls
- Wrist rotations