Are you looking to get in a good workout today? The kind of workout where you sweat your ass off and end up feeling like a whole new person afterwards? Most people would turn to the gym for this kind of work out. Sure, you can run in place on a treadmill or on a track with no end in sight. We’ve all been there. It might bet the job done, but damn is it boring. If you are looking for a bit more excitement you should get on the tennis court. Believe me when I say you don’t have to be an advanced player to get a proper sweat in.
Reason 1: You are always, and I mean literally, always on the move. Think about it like this. Once you hit the ball, depending on where you hit it, you have to move to anticipate your opponent’s shot. Then you have to move to get to their shot, and so on and so forth. Each type of shot requires a different kind of movement. If it’s a long ball compelling you to cross the baseline again, you have to try to step back to have room to hit the ball. If someone hits a drop shot suddenly a forward sprint is required. Not only do you have to get to the ball and hit a shot but you either have to sprint back to the baseline or scramble back to the “T” and get in position for a volley. All in all, you can say tennis is like a dance. Observe, anticipate, react.
Reason 2: At the same time you are moving your feet, you are also utilizing your entire upper body, including your arms and shoulders. It is very important that you are relaxed and try not to overswing the stroke you are about to perform. First, you are rotating your upper body so that you have the perfect position towards the ball. That means your abdominal and back muscles come into use. Once you are in position to swing the racquet, the focus is on your arms and shoulders. You don’t have to do curls or shoulder shrugs to get ripped. Get out on the court a few days a week and you’ll be shocked at the definition of your arms, shoulder, and back.
Reason 3: Do you also want to have a workout that is not only working every portion of your body but is also challenging your mind? Think of a chess match with extreme lateral movements, where one shot can set up your move 10 shots down the line. You also might have to get to and hit 20 balls in a row, which requires not only physical persistence but sound strategy. If you are a beginner you may be more inclined to simply focus on reaching each ball with proper footwork and get it back over the net. You should try and challenge yourself however, and get on the court with someone a bit more advanced than you. Not only will they help sharpen your game, but they will surely run you all over the court with more advanced shots. Hey, if it’s a workout you’re looking for this is one way to go about it.
Reason 4: Last but definitely not least, tennis is freaking fun. You always have at least one partner you are playing and competing against, bringing some human interaction into your workout. Just being on the court with friends will enrich your day from a social and physical standpoint. There aren’t too many sports where you don’t need more than two people to get the full experience. So if you’re having one of those days where you’d rather stay in bed or on the couch watching a bad movie or a football game, visualize being on the court. Hanging out with a friend and getting in a full body workout will trump vegging around the house every time.