Tennis is often stereotyped as a sport for the wealthy as tennis lessons are expensive and those who play the sport typically hail from well-off families who live in the suburbs. Though tennis certainly attracts members of certain socioeconomic statuses more than others, it has its merits in terms of exercise. If you are looking for a full body workout that makes the maximum, tennis is the answer. Here’s why.
Tennis Makes You Flexible
Pay the $100 or so for a tennis racket, pick up a few balls and find a public court to play on with a family member or friend. Once you make this initial investment, you will merely have to spend a couple dollars every month or so on new tennis balls. Start swinging the racket and you will notice it tests your flexibility. From forehands to backhands, lobs, volleys and overhead slams, tennis requires a wide array of shots, each of which demands flexible arms and legs.
This sport forces you to quickly adjust in order to reach the tennis ball before it bounces twice in your half of the court, execute the proper shot and move back toward the center of the court in anticipation of a return. Stretch for at least 10 minutes prior to your tennis match to ensure you do not pull a muscle during this physically taxing workout. Be sure to bounce on your toes rather than the balls of your feet as you anticipate shots. Keep your heels a bit off the ground and you will be able to return shots quickly and accurately.
Tennis Works the Arms
Play tennis for an hour or two and you will find it taxes your arms. This is why you need strong, well-toned arms to play a full set of tennis. Tennis works the entirety of the arms from the shoulders to the triceps, biceps, forearms and so on. Play consistently and you will find your arms become quite sculpted without lifting a single weight. However, if you want to improve your game all the more, start lifting weights with regularity. Free weights improve muscle mass yet tennis players are better served with lean and flexible muscle as opposed to comparably bulky muscle so consider incorporating some resistance bands as well.
A Core Workout
Returning tennis shots requires twisting, bending and flexing the core muscles. The trunk/core of your body will be worked in full during a tennis match. Everything from the ab muscles to the lumbar back muscles will be flexed as you contort your body to return shots. Though tennis will not lead to a rigid 6-pack as results from extensive ab workouts in the gym, this sport will certainly tighten up your core muscles and help you shed fat from your midsection.
Tennis Works the Legs
The best tennis players are constantly on the move, willing to run as fast as possible to return even the most difficult shots. Furthermore, your tennis shots prove that much powerful when you push off your legs for leverage. These explosive movements improve the strength of fast twitch muscles, helping you generate quick and forceful power when returning shots.
Give Your Muscles Some Time Off Between Tennis Matches
It is clear tennis taxes every “body site”, pushing players to the brink of exhaustion when played properly. Do not attempt to play two straight tennis matches across a period of two to three days. At most, you should play three tennis matches in a week’s time. Otherwise, you will likely strain or tear a muscle. Furthermore, you only have so much cartilage between your bones. Intense sports like tennis wear down this cartilage, creating the potential for bone-on-bone contact that causes considerable pain. Let your muscles relax with a comparably light workout between your grueling tennis sessions, obtain the restorative benefits and you will be able to play competitive tennis well into your golden years.