This is a guest post by Ben Walker.
Tennis has been around for years and used to be seen as a sport for higher class society, but more people are picking up a racket and giving it a go as a way of keeping fit.
There are no limitations to playing with the opposite sex when it comes to tennis, and in terms of fitness it provides an excellent aerobic and anaerobic workout.
The professional game has never been better with the likes of Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams and Andy Murray taking the sport to incredible new heights of skill and performance. And this interest has filtered down to local club level, where youngsters are being encouraged to play on a daily basis and more people of all ages are taking to the courts.
How does tennis actually improve your fitness?
As you are constantly moving and running around the court, your cardiovascular fitness and your flexibility will increase as you are burning off fat and calories. Another improvement will be your hand to eye co-ordination with repetitive hitting of the ball.
Specific Tennis Fitness
There are a host of exercises or fitness drills that you can do on a tennis court depending on how serious you are training.
A great way of keeping on the move to burn off the calories on court is to play with just one ball. This will keep you running after the ball and should improve your accuracy, especially off your serve as you won’t want to keep running to the net if your serve is too short.
Ball machines are a good way to keep you on the move too. If you doctor the settings to fire balls at you from different angles, you can be running across the baseline all day if you want.
For the more adventurous, who are looking for some rigorous training there are many on-court drills to help you achieve peak fitness. Lots of these drills will involve running between lines in shuttle’s, such as from the base line to the service line, back to the base line and then to the net and back to the base line again. Another drill involves standing in the centre of a service box with your racket and touching the left or right service box line followed by the central service line in a left and right motion for 30 second stints. Be warned, this may sound easy but it is actually extremely tough. Murray has been known to use this drill in his training sessions.
A few years ago it was very difficult to play tennis without becoming a member of a club or paying excessive court fees. Although it is still a work in progress, there are many more free courts across the UK and there has also been a large increase in the number of accredited coaches.
If you want to significantly improve your fitness through tennis then there is no doubt that joining a club would be the best option. Most will provide club sessions, coaching opportunities and reduced court rates. And if you take to it like a duck to water, you may have the opportunity to play for a team or join a local league.
Tennis is a great way to get fit and is rapidly becoming one of the most socially enjoyable games on the planet. Not only will you improve your game, you will rapidly lose calories if you play on a regular basis and it is becoming easier to grab a game with more courts available up and down the country. So why not pop down to your local club this weekend to try it out for yourself.
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