Have you been inspired by the Serena Slam? Has Andy Murray convinced you that tennis is the sport for you? Or do you just want to be as fit as Novak Djokovic?
If you’ve been bitten by the Wimbledon bug and want to try out tennis, you might be curious about its actual fitness benefits! Is it just a bit of fun, or can you class it as serious exercise?
Well, when you a play a 5 set match that lasts for 4 hours, it definitely counts as your cardiovascular workout for the day.
Here are some of the main benefits of playing tennis on a regular basis, and why you should pick up your racket and take to the court:
1. Develop key skills
Improve your speed, your acceleration, your balance and your coordination when you perfect the art of tennis, with lots of sprints, reaching and aiming for the ball! Run fast one way, stop instantly and quickly change direction, and you’ll be developing all of these key skills.
2. Strengthen and condition your legs
With lots of lunges, shuttle sprints, jumping and crouching, Tennis is ideal for toning and strengthening those legs.
3. Burn calories
The average amateur player will burn around 300 calories for every 30 minutes of time spent on the court. Improve your game, and that number will only grow.
4. Work your abs
Tennis requires lots of core strength, and with constant turning when you swing for the ball, it’s also great for your trunk, working your lower back and obliques.
5. Train your brain
Playing tennis is a sport that really makes you think, as you anticipate the next move and plan ahead accordingly. It’s not boring or repetitive; it requires focus, which gives your brain a workout too, making new connections with nerves and constantly developing your mind.
6. Boost your self esteem
Research has shown that tennis players have much greater optimism and self-esteem than those who play other sports, and are also less likely to suffer from anger, depression or anxiety issues.
7. Improve your gross and fine motor control
Those big hits and drop shots all combine to help improve your gross and fine motor control, as your brain and hands coordinate to pinpoint those volleys and swing for the baseline.
8. Enjoy a HIIT workout
The stop start nature of a tennis match, as you swap ends or wait for you opponent to serve, make it like a form of HIIT training, with short periods of intense work followed by quick recovery times. It will help boost your anaerobic capability as well your aerobic!
Next time you’re considering a workout, give tennis a try! It’s not just fun, it’s got plenty of exercise benefits too!