As unfortunate as it is to think about, you can’t be on the court all of the time. School has to be attended, work has to be completed, rest has to be had, and tennis has its off-season. While practice, practice, practice is this the best way to perfect your play, there are a variety of complimentary workouts that can help you stay in shape and even improve your fitness level so you can excel when you return to the game.
These activities offer athletes a great way to supplement their time on the court with workouts that are guaranteed to help you take your game to the next level.
Building strength is essential to playing a top-notch tennis game. As you gain muscle, you gain control and increase the precision of movement you have on the court, which makes all the difference when you rally. Strength training also protects players against injury as strengthened muscles stabilize joints that are subject to repetitive movements and regular jarring motions.
These lifts are ideal for tennis players:
- Dumbbell fly
- Bench press
- Bicep curls
- Tricep extensions
Long distance running or jogging is good for staying in shape when tennis is in its off-season. But if you are gearing up for a game, high-intensity interval sprints are ideal. This type of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) will increase your cardio performance and speed. An example of a HIIT sprint workout would be jogging or walking for one to two minutes and then sprinting for 30 seconds. As you get in better shape you can increase your sprints to 45, 60, and then 90 seconds with a jog or walk between intervals. This type of training increases agility and the ability to get around the court fast.
Sprints aren’t the only HIIT workouts that improve your game. Tennis itself is in many ways like a HIIT workout with bouts of high-intensity movement followed by a short resting or recovery period. You can incorporate this into your workout with an array of movements or exercises including jump rope, burpees, squats, and other dynamic movements. The idea is that you perform your high-intensity movement at around 90% of your maximum heart rate for a set period of time and follow it with a recovery activity that keeps your heart at around 60 to 70% percent of your maximum heart rate for a period of time. The time ratio varies but some typical ratios that are used in these workouts are 1:1 and 1:3.
There are a variety of types of yoga workouts you can and should incorporate into your regular training schedule. Whether you prefer vinyasa, hatha, or yin—all yoga practices increase your flexibility and focus, which will help keep you safe and free from injury on the court. Take a vinyasa class when you want to work up a sweat and build strength. Sign up for hatha when precision and focus are your primary goals. Improve your flexibility and reduce stress with yin. If you are looking for a practice to begin with trying this sequence at home.
Want to try a HIIT workout? Check out our HIIT Tennis program coming this summer!