12 Best Tennis Workouts

For a lot of people, playing tennis is a work out all by itself. It is true that when playing the sport, a person gets pretty much a full-body workout when they are grinding on the court. However, to train to become better at tennis, there are some specific workouts worth mentioning.

Ready to see improvement with tennis? These 11 workouts are all very beneficial for players looking to improve not only to play, but their overall athletic ability.

1. Monster Walk


Focuses On: Hips and core

Equipment Needed: Elastic band

1. Stand in a typical athletic stance. Put the elastic band around the ankles.

2. Start by taking a lateral step in one direction while keeping the other leg stationary. It’s essential to keep the head up and maintain an upright posture with every single step.

3. After the step, bring the other leg over. That completes one repetition in a single direction with this exercise. The goal is to walk across about 10 to 15 steps in both ways.

Why It Works

Tennis relies heavily on lateral movement, and the first step requires strength in the hips and core. The monster walk helps strengthen those areas without putting too much stress on the body with heavy weights.

2. Clockface Lunges


Focuses On: Lower body strength

Equipment Needed: a set of hand weights (Optional)

1. Pick out the right type of weights that will provide a challenge. They should be fairly easy to handle at first, but heavy enough to make people feel the pain a bit later on. Use varying weights for an enhanced workout.

2. Stand with both feet and shoulder-length apart. Begin with a standard lunge straightforward, keeping an upright posture throughout.

3. After each completed lunge, reset by going back to the beginning position. Do every rep in a calm, slow-moving manner. There’s no need to rush during this exercise, as longer movements are more beneficial.

4. The second lunge should be at a 45° angle in either direction. Think of the body as being in the middle of a pizza. It needs sliced eight ways, and each step is one of those cuts.

5. If balance feels off at any time, reset quickly and go from there. It’s challenging to get all the steps down in the beginning, but it will be beneficial later on.

Why It Works

This is a very easy way to strengthen both the hips and the core, while also stretching out the body as well. Many tennis players will use the simple workout early on in the session to get the body ready for more intensive exercises.

Lunges are always a great work out for people who want to improve their lower body strength. It makes sense to do something that is a little more tennis-specific, especially with all the different movement in various directions.

Most people do lunges that only focus on going in a few set directions. By taking steps all over the place, it really helps out tennis players when they need those strong legs late in a match.

3. Chopping With Resistance


Focuses On: Strength and stability in the trunk

Equipment Needed: Resistance tubing

1. Attach the resistant tubing to something sturdy enough and around 6 feet high in the air. It’s essential to have the band high up so that a person can chop down when doing the exercise.

2. Stand in a normal athletic position, with the hands held high. Both hands should be on the grip of the resistant tubing, and ready to perform the movement.

3. Each movement should only last about one or two seconds. Keep the arm straight by pulling the tubing diagonally across the body, going from high to low. For example, going from the left shoulder to the right hip, or the right shoulder to the left hip. The bending and rotating should all be coming from the hips and torso.

4. After each movement, reset the body before going again. It is important to work on form and technique with this exercise, because not doing it the right way can cause harm.

5. Aim for about 10 to 15 repetitions on each side. This won’t be a completely strenuous activity, but it is beneficial for all tennis players.

Why It Works

The chopping motion might look a little weird at first, but it helps out with strength and stability through the trunk part of the body. It is essential to have strength in this area, because a lot of power comes from it in tennis.

So many people think that they might not need to do a workout like this, because it too closely mimics a standard tennis swing. Building strength and stability allows players to take their game to another level.

4. Hand Walk


Focuses On: Upper and lower body strength

Equipment Needed: None

1. Start by standing with the leg straight and in a generally athletic position. Bend over at the waist, and get set for starting the exercise.

2. With the hands on the ground, keep the legs straight. Walk the feet up to the hands by taking only short steps using the ankles. Do 10 of these at a time to complete a set.

Why It Works

This might be the most simple start to a work out any person can think of. It requires no equipment, and the movement is pretty easy to understand. The best thing is, it works in so many unique ways to improve how a tennis player plays. Not only does it help with upper body strength, but lower body strength as well. 

As a player does this more and more, it becomes a little easier, but it still adds a level of flexibility that makes it very hard to overlook.

5. Medicine Ball Tosses


Focuses On: Developing power, strengthening the core, explosiveness

Equipment Needed: Medicine ball

1. Find the right size medicine ball. It needs to be heavy enough to provide a challenge, but not to the point where it sacrifices form.

2. Stay in an athletic position to begin each exercise. Don’t overcompensate by putting stress on one particular part of the body. It should be a full-body exercise when throwing the medicine ball around.

3. Alternate exercises when possible. Instead of doing one set after another of the same medicine ball exercise, switch it up. Move from overhead slam to a parallel throw, and then possibly to a granny toss as well.

4. Aim to do at least 10 reps per set. Depending on how many types of medicine ball workouts there are, most people will stick to two or three sets per exercise.

Why It Works

Using a medicine ball can mimic a lot of movements in tennis, adding weight to the mix to make it that much more challenging. It not only helps with developing power, but stamina as well on the court. There are countless ways to maximize the effectiveness of a medicine ball workout.

6. Knee Hugs


Focuses On: Glutes, hamstrings and hip flexors

Equipment Needed: None

1. Start in a normal standing position. Lift one knee to the chest by grabbing below the knee with one hand.

2. Continue pulling towards the chest as high as possible, keeping the other Gluth contracted.

3. Hold each hug for at least 5 seconds, and alternate between each side. Doing reps of 5 to 10 is sufficient for most.

Why It Works

This simple exercise seems like it is something that wouldn’t be that strenuous at all, but it’s more about getting the body ready for all the strenuous activity on the court. This does a great job of stretching the glutes and hamstrings in the front of the leg, as well as the hip flexors in the back. Being just a little bit more flexible and mobile in the lower body helps a player stay sharp.

7. Planks


Focuses On: Core strength

Equipment Needed: None (mat optional)

1. Lay on the ground and proper body up by using toes and elbows.

2. Keep the core of the body as parallel with everything else as possible.

3. Hold a plank for as long as possible, keeping track of the time to monitor any improvement.

Why It Works

One of the best ways to develop core strength is to use the body in strategic ways. This is one of the best exercises to not only test current strength, but build up strength as well.

For a slight variation, there’s also the opportunity to do a plank using the hands for support instead of the elbows. It works out slightly different muscles, but the concept is the same. The goal is to build-up to the point where a plank can be held for two minutes or longer. For people who already surpass that, coming up with new goals is essential to help with motivation.

8. Planking With Variation


Focuses On: Core strength, balance

Equipment Needed: None (mat optional)

Arm and leg lifts

1. Get in a planking position on hands and toes. Keep the body as straight as possible to begin.

2. Lift the left arm and right leg at the same time. Focus on going slowly at first, adding to the length of the exercise movement.

3. After completing one rep, do the same thing with the right arm and left leg. When holding at the top position, aim for two or three seconds for the right amount of pressure.

Planking With Hip Twist

1. Start in a planking position with forearm support

2. Twist the hips to both sides of the body while touching the ground. Keep the elbows on the ground at all times.

Why It Works

A standard plank works to a certain degree, but a lot of people like adding some variations to things as well. These two exercises work very well for tennis players, as a focus on specific muscle groups needed to excel on the court.

Balance is needed quite a bit on tennis courts, as players are moving in different directions all the time. Strengthening the core in different ways can help players as well. Added flexibility always helps players as they try to take their game to the next level.

9. Bicycle


Focuses On: Core, stamina

Equipment Needed: None

1. Lie down on the back with leg straight and hands underneath the head. Keep the feet slightly off the ground and in the air the entire time.

2. Mimic the peddling of a bicycle by bending and lifting the left leg towards the chest. Crunch the upper body to bring the chest up towards the knee as well.

3. Alternate between the left leg and the right leg, doing at least 10 pedals on each side. Some people will go with reps, while others will do it for a set amount of time.

Why It Works

This is one of the best core exercises because it does more than just a simple crunch. It keeps an athlete moving continuously, and that increases stamina as well. Core strength is essential for tennis players, and doing the best exercise is the best way to go.

10. Dumbbell Chest Press


Focuses On: Chest, arm strength

Equipment Needed: Dumbbells & a bench

1. Pick out a comfortable weight for the first set so that it isn’t too strenuous.

2. Lay down on the bench. Press the dumbbells up, then go down again and repeat (Look at the video for correct form). Start with a set of 10 reps in the beginning.

3. Move up in weight appropriately before the next set. Most people strive to do at least three sets, so don’t make too much of a jump that it becomes impossible.

4. For a slight variation, go one arm at a time instead of moving together. It’s a great way to isolate the muscles a bit more. It also helps with balance and explosive power.

Why It Works

One of the most common weight exercises at any gym is the chest press. Many people have had success in the past building up their strength for one sport or another, and tennis is no different.

Instead of a traditional bench press with a single bar, it is better to isolate the left and right arm as much as possible. That’s why using dumbbells or cables is recommended. A person will still benefit some from a traditional bench bar, but try to isolate both sides if possible.

11. Interval Sprints

Focuses On: Speed, explosiveness, agility

Equipment Needed: None

1. Warm-up and stretch before starting any full sprints.

2. Run 90% of your full speed for 15 seconds, then jog slowly for another 15 seconds. After jogging for 15 sec, run 90% again for another 15 sec. Repeat this for 5 minutes.

3. After 5 minutes, rest for 1 minute. Then repeat the sprints for another 5 minutes. Aim to repeat this workout at least 3 times.

Why It Works

Each tennis point is what many consider to be a sprint. A few shots are trading, and eventually, someone comes out on top. That means a tennis match is made up of numerous sprints throughout hours of play. One of the best exercises to focus on off the court is to do sprints instead of long runs.

That doesn’t mean that long runs should be avoided completely, but sprints are going to provide just a little more value. Being able to move quickly and start from a standard position is essential to excel in the sport.

12. Foam Rolling


Focuses On: Deep compression

Equipment Needed: Foam roll

1. Find an open area that has at least a little bit of padding and bring the foam roller along.

2. Start with a bit of exploration, using the roller to locate where some of the targeted areas are.

3. Gently roll those areas with the foam roller, providing a bit of pressure if necessary.

4. Continue rolling back-and-forth until that part of the body feels a little better.

Why It Works

The final tennis exercise to consider is essential for recovery. It makes sense for people to go out there and put their body through a lot of wear and tear on and off the court, so if foam roller helps to get things back in shape quickly.

Think of foam rolling as a bit of a personal massage. The goal is to use deep compression to help roll out any imbalances with the muscles that have developed through all the workouts. Compression helps to relax nerves, and break up tight muscles so that the body recovers at a quicker rate.

How Working Out Takes Tennis Players To The Next Level

Tennis training is more complex than ever before, and it takes more than just a lot of play to reach full potential. Players are looking for ways to gain an edge, and working out specifically for tennis is one of the best ways to do so.

It’s advised to work out often, but also taper things down if there is an important match coming up. The last thing a person wants to do is deal with soreness from working out right before a match.

No one wants to be passed up in any type of rankings simply because they are not putting the work in off of the court. Working out, and then properly recovering is essential to keep up with everyone else. Having just a little bit more added strength can be the difference between playing at a high-level, and struggling in those tough weather conditions after hours on the court.

Here is the full list of the best tennis workouts

  • Monster Walk
  • Clockface Lunges
  • Chopping With Resistance
  • Hand Walk
  • Medicine Ball Tosses
  • Knee Hugs
  • Planks
  • Planking With Variations
  • Bicycle
  • Dumbbell Chest Press
  • Interval Sprints
  • Foam Rolling

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