This article covers the following topics about tennis fitness training:
What is Tennis Fitness?
Tennis Fitness is specific fitness exercises to benefit a tennis player, so that they can improve their performance to become a better all round player and reduce their chances of getting a tennis related injury considerably.
Fitness in general is about both training the musculoskeletal system and the cardiovascular system. Tennis requires training to both like all athletically demanding sports do.
Tennis fitness training to strengthen the musculoskeletal system
The exercises used to strengthen the musculoskeletal system, in tennis specific training, focus on particular areas where the body can be the most stressed, from playing tennis.
These are normally joint areas, such as the knees, shoulders, elbows, hips and lower back. Strengthening the muscles around these joint areas is a very important kind of tennis specific fitness training, because it will gives great protection against bodily injury.
Tennis Fitness Training to strengthen the Cardiovascular System
Other fitness considerations for tennis are training the cardiovascular system (the heart, blood vessels and blood) and the need to improve this type of fitness in order for a player to have enough stamina to last in long points and indeed to last the course for a long match.
This aerobic fitness can also help a player to feel more relaxed and that will go towards improving their ability to play well under the pressure of competitive play. This type of training will also help to protect against injury to the extremely important heart, train your heart will make your circulatory system more efficient and put less stress on it.
To train the heart one could do aerobic activity that is not specific for tennis, such as running, cycling or swimming. Tennis specific aerobic exercises can be set up around footwork drills.
Footwork Training Component of Tennis Fitness Training
Much of tennis specific training is around the feet movements on the court. There are even specialist coaches who work solely on this, showing:
- That it is a science, a huge topic within tennis.
- An extremely important component of tennis technique, as professional players will employ one!
There are lots of specific footwork patterns which can be practised in isolation to improve a players overall technique, tennis trainers working with players at a high level need to know this and really need to know tennis like a coach to understand how specific patterns should be applied to specific situations. Most or all coaches and advanced to professional players will state that they consider footwork to be the most important technical component of the game.
Players who train their footwork will see a huge improvement in their overall tennis level.
Who needs to do Tennis Fitness?
I recommend that players of 10 years and over should be looking to do some kind of tennis related exercises, including some strength training. Players at the younger end of the spectrum, should not do too much strength training at all if any, but they can train and understand the science of footwork and work on stamina and speed.
Generally players who hit harder, run faster and pick up the high intensity required to play high level tennis, are the ones who need to train in tennis fitness the most, as they will be stressing their bodies the most from working the hardest.
Social players need to be less developed in terms of the areas of tennis fitness, but it is still a good idea for them to invest a couple of hours per week in training for tennis. This is best spread out in session segments of no more than one hour. Even doing a 5-10 minute session per day can be greatly beneficial.
I will be doing some articles and videos about how to keep fit on a time budget, so watch this space, as I add it here. Those who do tennis fitness will greatly improve their health and greatly reducing their chances of taking on a tennis related injury.
Can I just get fit just playing tennis?
All players need to get fit to play tennis rather than play it to get fit. Although tennis will help to get you fit for sure, just playing with no training around playing can be like a knight going into battle without his armour for the higher level players.
Tennis is good for aerobic fitness, but nothing compared to more continuous pursuits like running, swimming or cycling. In terms of muscular development or toning the body, it ranks very low. Tennis is a great sport and pastime and very social, but it will not turn you into an iron triathlete.
Will Tennis Fitness, improve my mental approach for tennis?
Having a good level of fitness will improve your mental health and ability to be a mentally tougher tennis player, which is a huge thing in the game and can make all the difference between winning and losing.Fitness and Good Mental Approach complement one another like a couple of best friends, who will do anything for each other.
Feeling fit and good about yourself is great for confidence, which is a key mental skill for tennis which can improve your ability to play competitively in a big way. Good fitness will also help enhance all of the other mental skills needed for successful tennis. The other big point here is that you will take all this off the court with you too and have an improved outlook in all other areas of your life.
To sum up everyone who plays tennis, should invest some time in some tennis fitness. More dynamic players on the court, should train more in tennis fitness.
- Your body is your temple and you should respect it by giving training to it, and not just taking from it by constantly battling away on-court without the protection that tennis fitness training can bring.
- Get fit for tennis and reap the many great benefits it will bring you, like anything the more you invest the greater will be your return, giving you wonderful self satisfaction.
- Embrace it and enjoy all the training as well as all the tennis!