Tennis is a sport that requires a high level of endurance, speed, power and core strength.
In this workout, we will look to develop power and strength, so that players can accelerate faster, change direction quicker, serve faster and jump higher.
For informational purposes only. Train with a supervised professional etc.
- Always warm up to mitigate the risk of injury
- Cool down to optimise recovery
- Ideally, have a program for the off-season and a different program for the tennis season
- This program doesn’t include agility of footwork drills
|Barbell Bench Press*||10||2|
|Plyometric Press Ups||6||3|
|Medicine Ball Overhead Throws||6||3|
|Medicine Ball Slams||6||2|
|Chin Ups||10 (or max)||2|
|Multi-directional Lunges||12 (total)||2|
|Rotating Plyo Jumps||6||2|
|Band resisted backwards walks||20 seconds||3|
*If you have any shoulder issues, consider replacing the standard barbell bench press with a floor press either with a barbell, dumbbell or kettlebell.
|Barbell Front Squat||8||4|
|Barbell Glute Bridges||8||2|
|One arm Row||10 per arm||2|
|Cable wood chops||10 per side||2|
|Hanging Leg Raises||Max||2|
|Plank hold||1 minute|
|Band Assisted Lunges||10 (total)||2|
|Band resisted sideways walks||15 seconds each direction||3|
|Hex Bar Jumps||6||3|
|Medicine Ball Slams||12||2|
|Medicine Ball Oblique throws||8 a side||2|
|Nordic Hamstring Curls||Max||2|
Rotator Cuff Exercises
With all the strain on the shoulders, it’s important to mitigate the risk of injury, with appropriate rest, stretching and rotator cuff exercises:
If you are training hard and playing tennis several times per week, you should stretch. I like to warm up with some steady state cardio before I stretch, to get a bit of a sweat on. I sometimes do some basic stretches in the bath, but that’s another story!
If you are stuck for time, “The World’s Greatest” stretch is a good all-rounder, as you’d expect considering the name.
Alongside plyometrics, Olympic lifts such as cleans and snatches are excellent for increasing hip extension speed and general power.
In this program I’ve only included high-pulls, as these are relatively simple to learn and carry a relatively low risk of injury compared to, for example, snatches.
Trap bar weighted jumps are also excellent for power generation, although they will place some strain on the discs in your back – so don’t go too heavy or too frequent with these.
Exercises in the Program
Some of the lesser well-known exercises in the program are shown below.
Barbell Glute Bridges
Medicine Ball Oblique Throws
Download the Weight Training Program pdf here:
Google Sheet Version:
Tennis Workout FAQs
What workout is good for tennis?
Circuit training provides a good all-around workout for tennis. Building strength, power and endurance a circuit involving – press ups, tricep dips, box jumps, planks, static sprinting, burpees, lateral bounds and rope/climbs or chin ups provides an excellent all-around tennis workout.
How often should a tennis player workout?
This depends on the time of year, the competitive season schedule and the number of hours put in on the court. Most professional tennis players will workout in the gym, 3 times per week in the off-season and twice per week during the competitive season.
Is HIIT or cardio better for tennis?
Cardio provides an excellent “base” of cardiovascular fitness, however, HIIT more specifically replicates the demands of a tennis match, and due to the SAID principle (Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands); HIIT style workouts are preferable over steady state cardio. A mix of both with a periodised program is the best approach, however.
What is the fastest way to get in shape for tennis?
Tabata intervals involving sprints and core exercises are a quick and effective way to get in shape for tennis. Tabata intervals involve 4 minutes of exercise, split into 100% max effort sprints for 20 seconds, interspersed with rest intervals of 10 seconds. Playing tennis, or carrying out fitness-related drills related to tennis (i.e. using a tennis racket and ball etc) are highly specific and arguably the most effective way of getting fit, quickly for tennis.