Posted on July 17, 2017 by Kim Mead

Has watching the Wimbledon on the television given you the urge to test your skills on the court? Or maybe even intrigued you enough to want to take up the sport as hobby?

Well if that happens to be the case, take a minute or so to have a read of the many benefits to your health that tennis can bring! You can either join a club or play with friends or family to get a group of people involved as a social activity to do regularly – all you need are a few tennis balls, a couple of rackets and you’re good to go!

Finding a tennis court to play shouldn’t be too hard as many of them will be located at your local park. There are even sports centres that have state of the art tennis courts available or, if you happen to be the competitive type that wants to excel against other regular players, I’m sure there are clubs you can sign up to as well.

As mentioned before, there are plenty of health benefits to playing tennis to list a few such as:

· Lowering body fat
· Improving muscle tone, strength and flexibility
· Increasing reaction times
· Lowering resting heart rate and blood pressure

There are other benefits also such as:
· Helpful to reduce stress
· A non-impact sport
· Suitable for all ages and skill levels
· Great way to meet people and spend time with friends

If you happen to be someone who likes to have the upper hand when you play or if you’re thinking of playing competitively, I also have a few ideas of fitness drills and exercises that can help you improve your skills on the court.

Here are a few drills that can elevate your game to the next level

Drill #1: Shuffle Stops – In this drill place 2 cones 10 yards apart; the player shuffles sideways from one cone to the other. Once they have reached the second cone, they should sprint back to the first cone. Repeat these actions 3 times then reverse direction shuffling to the other side and repeat. (This is a good way to maintain side to side movement between long rallies.)

Drill #2: Sprint Stops – In this drill, again place 2 cones 10 yards apart; the player just has to sprint as fast as they can from one cone to another then jog back, this is done back and forth. Repeat this action 3 times. (This is a good way improve speed which is important for chasing down the ball.)

Drill #3: Back Sprints – With this drill, like the previous two place 2 cones to 10 yards apart, although this time the player sprints backwards as fast as they can from one cone to another and jogs back to the cone they started on. Again repeat this action 3 times. (Sprinting backwards for short distances is most valuable in matches when you’re trying to return a lob shot.)

Drill #4: Squat Jumps – This drill involves the player with their legs shoulder with apart. Next, go into a squat position then quickly jump up as high as you possibly can keeping the legs straight in this motion. Repeat this action up to 20 times. (This is a great fitness drill for improving explosiveness in the legs. This will greatly develop not only the ground strokes but your serve also.)

I hope these exercises and fitness drills will come of a great help to any of those who want try them. As you can see they will greatly improve your agility, power and speed while you’re in matches against others. Of course there are many of other exercises and fitness drills you can do to improve also, so have a look into them if you want to go even further to improve your game!

Ryan Scott, Gym & Spa Operative, One Tower Bridge