Elite players make tennis look so easy and effortless, but the game of tennis is much more than just striking a cloth-wrapped rubber ball. When you watch matches you will see many different types of hitting styles, a variety of strategies, and lots of diversity in movement on the court depending on which player you’re watching. With a few exceptions, top tennis players are quick on their feet on the court.
Tennis Increases Strength & Flexibility
Engaging in the sport of tennis requires strength, flexibility, power, endurance, and speed. Each of these components need a well trained muscular system to execute them. Tennis is a lifelong sport and for many of us, the goal is to continue to better our performance and overall health while avoiding injury. Proper foot movement and eye-hand coordination skills are critical to be successful at tennis. A player must be able to get to the ball early and set up their shot properly. This requires quite a few modification steps as you recognize the path, spin, and pace of the incoming ball. Matches or tournaments can last several hours, which requires plenty of stamina and aerobic fitness. Training the legs is also vital for efficient movement on the court. Studies have shown that the muscles in both legs are stressed equally in tennis, so training should reflect this. There is no replacement for mobility, espcially as we age.
Muscular balance is the key for all players regardless of playing style. When planning a training program for tennis players, it is important to balance upper and lower body, left and right sides, and front and back. This way it takes you through each of the body parts and provides proper exercises for the most advantageous performance.
Great Workout & Calorie Burner
Tennis also helps to burn calories. Studies have shown that three hours of moderate aerobic exercise every week can cut the risk of developing heart disease by 50 percent. Playing tennis from a reasonable to vigorous strength on a consistent basis is a good way to get your exercise. Tennis can even help lower your blood pressure. All of this helps reduce your risk of developing heart disease or of having a cardiovascular episode, such as a heart attack or stroke. Research has further shown that a person will burn more calories playing three hours of tennis per week than doing three hours of golfing, light weightlifting, or bowling.
So pick up that racquet and tennis ball, have some fun, and while you’re at it, improve your mobility! You never know, you may just discover a sport that you’re good at and more importantly, that you enjoy doing!
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