Developing a Tennis Workout Plan: Top Tennis Exercises

Tennis Exercises

You can enjoy playing tennis from the time you can walk to the time you can’t. A lifelong tennis career is all about learning the proper technique, conditioning, and avoiding injuries. Developing a workout plan for tennis exercises is crucial to all of the above. You can get a tennis body that is strong, flexible, durable, and fit. We’ll show you some exercises for tennis players and ways you can avoid getting tennis shoulder or elbow.

Why Create Workouts for Tennis Players

Tennis is good exercise and a lot of fun.  Playing tennis well requires practice and coaching to learn proper form and technique for serving, ground strokes, and strategy. It also requires you to be in pretty good shape. A tennis exercise plan is crucial for any player, regardless of your skill level, fitness, or age.

Establish Goals: Figure out what your goals are. For instance, do you want to play on your school team or in a league? Do you want to have fun with friends and stay in shape? Do you want to play in an upcoming tournament? Establishing goals will guide your workout regimen.

Workout Vs. Training: Your plan should include both. You must develop your fundamental tennis skills and also do exercises that build overall tennis fitness.

Workout Requirements: Identify what you need to work on and select exercises that focus on your fitness needs and goals. You need strong legs, core, shoulders and arms. What do you need to work on most?

Tennis fitness training begins with a workout plan. Set it up, stick to it, and your tennis game will improve in a short time.

Best Workouts for Tennis Players

Playing a good game of tennis is about form and technique. Small adjustments make a big difference, like a quarter turn on your grip to change the position of your racquet head and changing feet position for ground strokes. Increasing your strength and speed will help you control the ball better, cover the court faster, and last longer during rallies. Here are some tennis conditioning exercises for your legs, core, and shoulders.

Tennis Squat

Get your tennis player legs with this isometric and plyometric variation on the squat.  

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Slowly bend your knees, keeping them above your toes.
  • Stop when you’re halfway down and hold it for 10 seconds. This is an isometric hold.
  • Go as low as you can with your arms out parallel to the floor. Slowly raise back up to standing position.
  • Repeat 10 times.

To increase your explosiveness, try adding a plyometric move. Instead of raising slowly back up to standing position, leap into the air with your hands stretched up high. If you’re indoors, make sure you don’t hit the ceiling.  Land on the balls of your feet for a soft landing.

Trunk Rotation

Isometric Exercise

Powerful forehands and backhands require a strong core. Combine this exercise with a standard crunch.  

  • Place your left palm on your right shoulder.
  • Keep your right arm relaxed by your side.
  • Keep your back straight and both hips square. Rotate your torso to the left as you push your left palm into your right shoulder.
  • Hold this for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side.
  • Do this complete exercise 10 times.

Isometric Shoulder Press

Isometric Shoulder Exercises

Strong shoulders are crucial to your tennis game, especially your serve. This is something you can do at home with no equipment.

  • Stand up straight and bend your left elbow by your side, fist up.
  • Place your right palm on top of your left fist. Your right arm should be parallel to the ground with your elbow bent about 90 degrees.
  • Press your right palm into your left fist and hold this for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
  • Do this complete exercise 10 times.


Avoid Tennis Shoulder or Tennis Elbow Forever

There are lots of repetitive motions in tennis, which lead to inflammation, strains, and even tears in your elbows and shoulders. You can help avoid these kinds of injuries with a few simple exercises. We prefer isometric exercises because they are zero-impact and you can do them anytime with no equipment.

Shoulder External Rotation

Isometric Shoulder Exercises

  • Bend your left elbow by your side to 90 degrees.
  • Reach your right arm over and place your right palm on the outside of your left forearm.
  • Press your palm against your forearm, squeezing both shoulders and upper back.
  • Repeat with your right arm.

French Tricep Press

Shoulder Rehab Exercises

  • Bend and lift your left elbow to eye level.
  • Make a fist with your left hand.
  • Place your right palm over your left fist.
  • Press your left fist and right palm together, as you squeeze your shoulder muscles.
  • Repeat with your right arm.

Tennis elbow is a nagging injury that often never goes away. Always ice after playing, consider an anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen), and try these exercises.  

Fist Clench

  • Rest your forearm flat on a table.
  • Slowly squeeze a towel and hold for 10 seconds.
  • Release and repeat 10 times.

Towel Twist

  • Clench the towel with both hands and twist, as if you’re wringing out water.
  • Do it in the opposite direction.
  • Repeat 10 times for each hand.

Wrist Extensions

  • Sit down and rest your arm flat on your leg.  
  • Hold a light dumbbell (2lb or so) in your hand, palm up.  
  • Flex your wrist by curling it toward your body.
  • Repeat 10 times for each hand.

Wrist Flexion

  • Turn your arm over with your palm facing down.
  • Extend your wrist down and pull it back up.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Improve Your Game With Tennis Exercises

Tennis exercises are designed to improve your strength, stamina, and flexibility, while at the same time help you avoid injury. You should also focus on your ankles, knees and hips because of the high-impact nature of sprinting and jumping on a hard-court surface. Isometric exercise is a safe way to get in a full body workout.  Consider Activ5 which has over 100 gym-based isometric exercises that can improve your strength, flexibility, balance, and power. Activ5 makes workouts fun, tracks your progress on a sophisticated smartphone app, and functions as a game controller.

Remember to consult with your physician before beginning any exercise routine.

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