Tennis Training Exercises for Advanced Players

People who believe that tennis is not a physically demanding sport have obviously never played even on the club level. Anyone who is even a little serious about their tennis and plays opponents near their skill level will soon find out that 2+ hours on the court can take a lot out of any person, even the fit ones. To gain the edge that you might need to win that 3-setter, you need a recipe for the best tennis training exercises.

The benefits of getting into better shape off the court could not be more clearly evident than in today’s game.

Novak Djokovic went from a player who frequently withdrew from tournament matches with assorted injuries to someone who had tremendous energy even after four or more hours on hard courts. His improved fitness level was a crucial element that helped him to rise to number one in the world.

Tennis Training Exercises For Advanced Players Are Not Just For Tennis Pros

Does the fitness routine of Rafael Nadal even need to be debated? It is quite evident that Rafa works out hard in the hours he spends off the court, another key to him gaining the slight advantage he needed to unseat Roger Federer as the world’s number one player in recent years.

In short, your routine of tennis training exercises off the court could end up being as important as your match play, mental toughness or overall strategy.

The time you put in at the home or in the gym will reap abundant benefits when you step on the court knowing that you are in the best shape of your life and have a superior fitness level to your opponent. That will not always guarantee a win, but in a match that is close and lasts several hours, you will most likely come out on top due to the thousands of tennis training exercises that you have performed long before that tournament final.

Tennis is rare among most sports in that it requires a large mix of fitness measures. Tennis players need to be flexible and coordinated, they must have a super high level of aerobic fitness and a decent strength level. Tennis necessitates short bursts of speed and outstanding lateral movement with little recovery time. It also calls for an excellent endurance level because matches can last longer than three hours.

Why Tennis Training Exercises For Advanced Players are Important For Skill Development

To improve your fitness level, which will not only gain your more wins in the next tournament but also make the sport more enjoyable as you weather the storms of prolonged matches, a variety of tennis training exercises are needed. For starters, your endurance can be greatly improved by a minimum regime of 30 minutes of intense cardiovascular activity three times a week or more. Do not make one of those times the hours leading up to a match. You do not want to overdo it; you need to save all of the physical resources that you have for match play, even if you think a quick run will help you to settle down. Don’t do it! Save your energy for the competition.

Popular choices for cardiovascular exercise include swimming, biking and rollerblading, all of which are easy on the joints, which is good because your lower back takes a pounding on the tennis court anyway.

In addition to cardiovascular work, some strength training should be added to your tennis training exercises, such as lifting weights and doing explosive leg work like short sprints and plyometrics. Your sprints should be limited to one day per week because of the demands of such exercise. If you currently have a low fitness level or any type of injury, save sprints for a later date in your fitness routine.

Tennis Training Exercises For Advanced Players – Strength Training

Strength training for tennis

First, let’s consider the some tennis training exercises for advanced players that build strength without weights and can be adopted by men or women. For tennis, you need power for serving and returning the ball, thus a strong core must be created. Following any good regimen of simple exercises that will strengthen your abdominal muscles will serve this purpose.

As for gaining lower and upper body strength, here is a recommended plan for you to follow two days a week (but not on match day).

Perform each of these exercises slowly and with sound technique for 30-45 seconds. Rest for a minimum of 15 seconds before performing the next exercise. Once that you have done all of the movements, walk for 1-2 minutes, take a drink of water and repeat the workout again. Here is the menu of tennis training exercises for advanced players covering the lower body:

Tennis Training Exercise For Advanced Players #1: High knee run—

either running in place or running a short distance, lift your knees above your waist with each movement.

Tennis Training Exercise For Advanced Players #2: Wall squat—

holding onto a pole with each hand, squat with your back against the wall to a slightly lower than sitting position. Hold for 30 seconds.

Tennis Training Exercise #3: Jumping jacks

Tennis Training Exercise #4: Front/rear lunge walk—

from an upright position, lunge both forward and back, being sure to bend your knees until one nearly touches the ground.

Tennis Training Exercise #5: Plie lunge—

with your arms crossed and resting on top of each other in front of your body, squat to a sitting position.

Tennis Training Exercise For Advanced Players #6: Leg squat thrusts—

in a sprinter’s position, move your legs quickly back and forth as if running in place. These are also known as “climbers.”

Tennis Training Exercise For Advanced Players #7: Lying abductors—

as you lean on one arm with your body resting on the ground, raise your outer leg straight up in the air, then lower. Repeat this movement with the leg closest to the ground as the outer leg drapes over the body to give stability.

Be sure to give yourself enough time between each exercise to recover. If you are not in excellent shape, start with just four of these exercises and work your way up to all seven. Four times through this progression will give you an outstanding lower body workout that lasts 30 minutes.

Upper Body Tennis Training Exercises For Advanced Players 

Here is the progression for a good upper body workout. Again, seek to do each exercise for 30-45 seconds as you concentrate on good technique. Repeat as many times as you can.

Tennis Training Exercise #8: Punching—

The tennis lunge

in an upright position, quickly thrust each arm outward in a punching motion, alternating between left and right arms.

Tennis Training Exercise #9: Tricep dips—

placing your hands on an elevated surface, such as a small pile of exercise mats, lower your body towards the ground as you face out from the mats, thus working your triceps. Do not allow your bottom to touch the ground. Be sure to keep tight technique for this movement.

Tennis Training Exercise #10: Supermans—

with your hands and knees on the floor in a rested dog-like position, extend one arm and the leg on the same side, then the arm and leg on the other side to alternate.

Tennis Training Exercise #11: Wide arm dips—

in a similar position to the tricep dips but with your hands placed much wider on a stack of mats, lower your body slowly down, then elevate again.

Tennis Training Exercise #12: Speedball—

in a normal upright position, extend your arms in front of your body and then whirl your hands in a sort of blender motion.

Tennis Training Exercise #13: Pushups—

do these either in the standard way with your chin touching the ground each time, or from your knees for a ¾ pushup.

Tennis Training Exercise #14:Swimming—in an upright position-

lean over slightly and mimic the breaststroke movement vigorously with your arms.


Of course, all of these tennis training exercises can be made more difficult by the inclusion of weights in your workout. You can also see other sources for the proper movements to build muscle for tennis, as slight variations of standard bench presses, bicep curls, etc. are needed.

In closing, the last set of tennis training exercises that need to be done are wrist work. Be sure not to over-train your wrists—you will regret it for weeks afterward. Work up slowly to attain greater strength of these vital parts of the body for the tennis player.

Using Tennis Training Weights

If you are in an area that has free weights, grab a light disk and rotate it for 30 seconds in each direction, using only the wrist. With a heavier disk, simply grasp it between your fingers and hold it for 30 seconds or more, forcing the wrist to do the work. Finally, grab a bar or broomstick and hold it at your side. Gently raise and lower the bar using only your forearm and wrist. Repeat 10-12 times.

Speed and On-Court Quickness Tennis Training Exercises for Advanced Players

As for the place of sprints in tennis training exercises, the variations of them are simple. It is best if you do spring on the court you play on, in the shoes that you play in. You can do shuttle sprints from baseline to serving box and back, then up to the net and back, repeating with no or short rest. It helps to run with a partner to keep your speed up.

You can also place balls at different points of the court and sprint to retrieve them back to the baseline. Try to time yourself and improve with each set of sprints.

A final set of helpful sprints in your tennis training exercises are the north-south/east-west sprints where you run from baseline towards the net then move laterally towards the east sideline, then spring north and run backwards to the edge of the service box, followed by lateral movement to the west sideline, then one last run backwards to the baseline. This type of zig-zag sprint will work many of the leg muscles used all of the time in tennis.

A consistent use of tennis training exercises for advanced players will build muscle, explosive strength, cardiovascular capacity and particular muscles used almost solely in tennis, such as the wrist. Do what you can as you begin, then set goals for yourself to work out longer and harder. Soon, you will understand the distinct advantage that fit players have over those who only play tennis for their workouts.

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