MTL Workout: Exercises to Supplement Your Tennis Lessons

You’ve just had your first tennis lesson. Or maybe it’s your 100th. Either way, you need to be doing some sort of exercise between now and your next lesson. What should that be? If you’re in doubt, ask your instructor if he or she has any “homework assignments” to improve your game. But in case you need more ideas, we’ve also compiled a few of the best exercises for your speed, serve and agility no matter the level at which you’re playing. So don’t worry if you’re on your first lesson or your 100th. There’s always something you can do off the court to keep developing as a player.

Cat and Mouse

In order to work on your lateral movement, grab a partner and a few tennis balls for this basic drill. If you’re on the tennis court, position yourself at the center mark on the baseline. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart on the balls of your feet with knees bent. Have your partner stand about 10 feet in front of you with tennis balls in hand. Your partner will simply roll one tennis ball several feet to your left or right and your job is to run and grab the tennis ball, roll it back to your partner, and side-step back to the center mark. Repeat several times without stopping and ask your partner to increase the distance and speed at which they roll the ball in order to maximize results. Want a better understanding of how this works? Watch these guys:

Football Throw

Did you know throwing a football is the same mechanics as a service motion? The desired spiral in a football throw requires the same rotation that you need to achieve spin on a serve. The follow-through in throwing the football is the aspect you should focus on. As you release the ball, rotate your wrist so that your palm is facing out from your body and your thumb is turned down and pointed at your hip opposite your throwing hand. If you’ve started to learn the service motion or are working on a kick serve, think about how this motion is similar. In order to achieve spin you must rotate your wrist so that the serving hand thumb points downward and follow through with your racket at your opposite hip. Need a visual? Watch Peyton Manning demonstrate a proper follow-through in this video.

Corner Sprints

Good tennis players are agile and have good footwork. The best place to work on your agility is the tennis court, but you don’t need a racket or ball. The lines on a tennis court give you a perfect measure for various short sprinting distances. Take a look at the diagram of a tennis court below. If standing at the center mark on the baseline, you can sprint to either corner of the ad side or deuce side service boxes, the center mark of the service line, the center of the net, either corner where the service box and net meet, and all four corners of the court. Start at the baseline center mark; sprint to one corner then backpedal to the center mark. Repeat for every corner without taking a break.




I grew up in a tennis family with three younger sisters as doubles partners. If you enjoyed a blog post of mine or want to know more, feel free to email me at Thanks for reading and staying connected with MyTennisLessons!
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