Effective Tennis Training for Well-Rounded Performance

One of the best ways to improve your tennis game is to incorporate multiple methods of training into your workout regime. All too often aspiring athletes forget to develop areas of fitness other than strength and endurance, such as dexterity, agility, speed, power, balance, co-ordination, and reaction time, yet with simple and creative workouts you can enhance all of these aspects and improve your tennis performance. 

Speed and Power

A successful tennis player is able to adapt to unexpected situations, whether it's a change of weather that makes the lawn slippery or physical fatigue from over-training. Being a well-rounded player requires a comprehensive approach to be taken. To develop speed, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) in the form of suicide runs or sprints is highly effective, not just for building power (the ability to move weight from one position to another in as little time as possible) but also for burning fat from the EPOC Effect, which will cause you to burn calories long after you finish training. 

Agility, Reaction Time and Co-ordination

To enhance your agility, reaction time and co-ordination, try placing different numbered cones on the court floor spaced out as you see fit, and get a partner to call out different numbers to you as you sprint from one to the other. Moving quickly like this will build your ability to change directions instantaneously and co-ordinate both your arms and legs for balance to maintain your centre of gravity. To make your training more realistic, try facing the net at all times and practice strafing and running backwards with a racket in your hand. You can even get your partner to throw the occasional tennis ball at you to further enhance your reaction training, as you return the ball and aim it at a fixed point on the opposite side of the net. Doing this on synthetic grass tennis courts during the winter is safer, as there is less chance of slipping in wet conditions, whilst using real grass in the summer will prepare you for a more realistic playing surface.


Along with the exercises above, a balance board can strengthen the muscles surrounding the ankle for additional stability. They come in different forms and look like a wooden or plastic circular platform with half a Swiss ball or wooden sphere underneath. Incorporating some balance exercises a couple of times a week can help to prevent rolling your ankle, as the sensors leading to the brain that cause the muscles to contract to prevent this become stronger and can react quicker. This is an important area to focus on, as tennis requires quick high-speed changes in different directions, which can result in injury.