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Fit for Tennis – Fit for Life!© Tennis Strength Training

By LaRue E. Cook, BS, MHS, JD, CPT

Tennis strength isn’t about moving heavy objects or having huge muscles. Tennis requires the strength that allows your muscles to absorb the impact of hitting the ball, and being strong enough to generate power - a combination of strength and speed. Strength and power in tennis means generating racquet head speed, or making quick sprints to the ball.

Tennis players can develop good upper and lower body strength through regular resistance or strength training. Below, are three of my favorite exercises. Try these to help improve your strength for tennis.

Use a weight that you can perform 12-15 repetitions with. Lift arms no higher than shoulder level.

Front Shoulder Raise Starting

Starting Position

Front Shoulder Raise Exercising

Exercising Position

A good exercise for your legs, and your core muscles. Use a weighted medicine ball and rotate your torso, first to the right, next to the left – this is one repetition. Perform 12 repetitions on each leg.

Lunge Right

Lunging Right

Lunge Left

Lunging Left

This is an exercise to strengthen your lower back muscles. Bring your upper body off the mat no higher than 5-6 inches and hold for 2 seconds. Exercise slowly!

Back Extension Start

Starting Position

Back Extension Exercising

Exercising Position

As with all exercise programs, always check with your physician before performing any of these exercises or beginning an exercise program to make sure that they’re appropriate for you. The reader performs any of the exercises highlighted in this article at his or her own risk.

LaRue E. Cook is a certified personal trainer, fitness programming consultant, and writer, with over 14 years training experience. He works with individual tennis players, tennis teams, and tennis clubs on improving players’ strength and conditioning for tennis through his Tennis Fitness Program. He also conducts seminars and teleconferences on the subjects of tennis fitness, exercise and health related to weight and body fat loss, and general fitness. LaRue can be reached at:, or

Copyright 2004-2006 by LaRue E. Cook All Rights Reserved