With the right on-court training, you can improve conditioning at the same time you are working on your serve, return, or swing. Here are a few of our favorite on-court exercises to boot endurance.
Dynamic Warm-Ups are a type of flexibility training that help prepare the body for the physical demands of tennis. Effective warm-ups help the muscles work efficiently, prepare the heart and lungs for intense activity, and “awaken” the nervous system. Dynamic warm-ups differ from many traditional stretches by mirroring the demands of a tennis match. Shuttle runs, lunges, and jumping jacks are a few basic examples of dynamic warm-ups (you can find a more complete list on the USTA website).
Cross Court Rallies
Cross Court Rallies are a specific type of dynamic warm-up that mimic the movements of playing tennis and help prepare you for actual matches. To do this, players organize themselves into pairs, and compete against each other by hitting the ball into an isolated area. The receiving players hit a winning ball to score points.
Ten Stroke Intervals
Ten Stroke Intervals are a way to improve your form, accuracy, and hand-eye coordination while focusing specifically on upper body conditioning. Have a partner toss a ball and hit it as if you’re in an actual match. Repeat 10 times, switch places, and repeat.
Four Ball Pickup
Four Ball Pickup involves placing four tennis balls at different points down the sideline: at the net, the service line, and in between. Players run from the baseline to pick up the first ball, run back to put it down, and then run to get the next ball, as if it’s a shuttle run. Change from sprints to side-shuffles to develop your footwork: another key part of your performance on the court.
Quick Hand Exchange
The Quick Hand Exchange involves hitting the ball against a hard surface, such as a wall, using only one hand. Gradually move forward towards the wall to decrease the distance the ball travels—and how much time you have to react—to tune up your hand-eye coordination. Like 10 Stroke Intervals, the Quick Hand Exchange can improve upper body conditioning and help you maintain swing and volley strength hours into a match.
While stretching is typically done before conditioning exercises, it’s just as important to stretch after a hard workout. Post-exercise stretching helps prevent injuries, supports faster recovery, and enables your body to better “power up” during a game.