Tennis as a Physical Activity
Tennis is a great indoor and outdoor sport. But now that spring is here to stay, it is a great activity to play outside. You can enjoy the beautiful weather while getting a great work out in for your day. When playing singles or doubles, tennis is a great social activity to get involved in. You can call a buddy or 3 to hit with, join a team, or find a place/coach to take lessons from. This is a sport that you can continue playing as an older adult.
Tennis is a great sport for all ages. It is a fun heart pumping cardio activity that involved strength, power, and endurance from the legs, core, arms, and cardio respiratory system. This sport involves agility and coordination (hand eye coordination) to help you time and get to the ball.
I decided to write a post about tennis because the weather today was perfect for playing outside. I met up with a friend today to hit around and play a game. I was glad I did so. I got a great work out in, had a fun time, and really enjoyed the perfect weather.
I worked up a sweat and really worked my muscles while running around the court. It was great to get back into the game.
I was introduced to the sport when I was about 7 years old and played until college. During high school I started off playing doubles and then moved to singles. I always had a great time with the girls on my high school team as well as the friends I made in clinics I took. I don’t play as often, but when I do - it’s always fun.
When playing tennis, the entire body is involved. Your legs, your core, your shoulders, and your arms. This sport focuses on the strength, power, and endurance of all your muscles involved.
Legs: This is where most of your power comes from. When setting up for a shot, you have to be squatting “sitting” before and as you hit the ball. The lower you sit, the more power is transferred to the ball. Also you need to use your legs to shuffle and run around the court.
- Gastrocnemius and Soleus are the muscles that deal with your explosive
movements in your calves.
- Hamstrings are involved in knee flexion.
- Quadriceps are involved in knee extension.
- Gluteus Maximus is involved in hip extension and adduction. (When
Shuffling and running)
- Gluteus Medius is involved with hip abduction. (When shuffling)
Core: Your back and abdominal muscles are very important in this sport for balance, support, and power as well. The more you turn for a shot, the more power you can transfer into the ball.
- Rectus Abdominus is involved in spinal flexion – but acts as a stabilizer
as the body remains straight.
- Obliques deal with flexion and rotation. There is a lot of rotation involved
in the sport, so the obliques are worked a lot through out the game.
- Erector Spinae involved in extension and rotation.
Upper Extremity: You are dealing with muscles that are involved in circumduction of the shoulder and use a lot of push movements.
- Pecoralis Major is the chest muscle that allows you to push your arm
forward through the action of your forehand and backhand. The muscle
actions that is involved is shoulder extension and internal rotation.
- Deltoids There are 3 heads of the deltoids. The anterior, middle, and
posterior deltoid. All three are involved in this sport. When setting up for a
shot, the posterior deltoid helps bring the arm backwards, and when
extending the arm it is the anterior head that is involved. The middle
deltoid is involved in a serve and overhead shot.
- Triceps are involved in elbow extension. This happens during a serve,
forehand, and backhand shot, because the actions require the arms to be
- Pronator Teres is involved in forearm pronation, which is important on
your forehand and backhand.
Try tennis as a physical activity
Get involved. The weather looking great,
go outside and have fun.
Invite your friends - join a group/club
take lessons - just play!
Jenna Webster, ACSM, ACE – Personal trainer specializing in empower busy women to live healthy and active lifestyles!”