Article  FS807                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Cross training for tennis .

Cross-training is divided into two distinct sections:

1/. It can mean the effect that training on one side of the body has on the other side

2/. It is an activity used to provide a break from the regular training programme for our particular sport.

Under the first section it has now been recognised that it is essential to balance up the training on both sides of the body and therefore
training in another sport can be used to balance the growth of the body equally.

I do not intend dealing with that particular area in this article, other than to say, that some coaches train their juniors to play both left
and right handed. This is a separate subject.

For the purpose of this article I intend looking at cross-training by using another sport, activity or training technique to assist in the
improvement of the player’s primary sport.


Cross-training provides great improvements to your aerobic and anaerobic , muscle strength and endurance, plus flexibility and agility
and each of these will help improve your performance as a tennis player.

Looking at each of these individually:

1/. Aerobic endurance.  Activities such as distance swimming, distance cycling or jogging in water are very effective in increasing the
ability of the cardiorespiratory system to supply oxygen to the working muscles.

2/. Anaerobic endurance.  For speed, sprinting and power sports.where energy is required to power short bursts of maximum performance,
relies on energy for stamina without the need of  oxygen.  The body depends on the energy stored in the muscles. Rowing machines and
plyometrics are excellent cross-training for enhancing anaerobic endurance.

3/. Muscular strength.  Muscular strength and power provide the basis for the majority of sport activities, especially those (such as tennis)
that rely on quick, explosive movements. Training only in the primary sport may not provide strength gains required. Cross-training
activities are needed that can overload the muscles by subjecting them to a greater than normal level of stress.

4/. Flexibility. Practically all sports require flexibility and this is gained by using a wide range of joint movement or using specific stretching
programmes. Doing flexibility exercises, specifically after a work out, reduce the chance of aches, pains and inflammation of the joints.

Cross-training allows an athlete to perform additional work within the primary sport with less risk of over training and burn-out and also
injury. It is also important, within the training programme, to have a rest period, and during that time the tennis player should do some
other form of training.

Weight training.

I do not intend to go into weight training here; it is a very specific area of training and can benefit all sports participants - however, it is
essential that the athlete has a programme organised specifically to them and for their sport – peridisation should be taken into
consideration, as it affects tennis and the only person who can effectively advise you, is your tennis pro.

Cross training for Tennis.

Tennis is a physically demanding game especially if a player wants to play competitively and reach  a high standard, the sport requires
a great deal of conditioning .  Tennis requires an appropriate diet, adequate rest periods, a good mental attitude plus exercises designed
to develop musculer strength and endurance, agility, flexibility, balance, speed and co-ordination.

Cross-training activities should include stretching and agility drills including forward and lateral running. Work on the core muscles is
essential as strong abdominal muscles protect the lower back when performing lateral movements. Plyometrics such as medicine ball
throwing, side-to-side ankle hops. Standing jumps and cone hops lateral to front are also beneficial . Short sprints, rope jumping, circuit
training and distance running (at the right time) are recommended for anaerobic and aerobic systems; both used in tennis.

Before providing some charts to help – I just would like to mention that I personally found Basketball to be a great cross-training
sport. It has many similarities to tennis, is an enjoyable additional sport incorporating all of the requirements physically needed in



                                                                                                                                                        Go back to Articles