Tennis is so much more than swatting a racket on the court! With its fast-paced play and simple rules, tennis is an incredibly fast-paced sport that can keep your body and mind intensely engaged. If you’re wondering if tennis is a good form of exercise- we’ll tell you now that it is. Tennis incorporates numerous types of exercise at once and can result in many health benefits. Read on to see if tennis could align with your exercise goals. 

What Kind of Different Exercises Are There? 

Physical exercise involves exerting oneself physically to enhance health and fitness. While no official classification exists, people generally group exercise types into five different categories:

  1. Flexibility Training
  2. Balance Training
  3. Strength Training
  4. Cardio/Aerobic/Endurance Training
  5. Anaerobic Training

In most activities, you’ll recognize different types of exercise happening simultaneously. For example, when someone is rock climbing, they can experience endurance training, strength training, and balance training at the same time. 

What Type(s) of Exercise is Tennis?

Tennis is a physically demanding sport that involves a range of movements and requires various types of exercise at once. Here are four different types of exercise that occur when playing tennis. 

Aerobic Exercise

Tennis involves a lot of running and moving around the court, which makes it an excellent form of aerobic exercise. It can help improve cardiovascular endurance and increase stamina.

Anaerobic Exercise

Tennis also requires short bursts of intense activity, such as sprints and quick changes of direction, which require anaerobic energy. This type of exercise can help improve speed, agility, and power.

Flexibility Training

Tennis can improve flexibility in the upper body, lower body, and core due to twisting, reaching, and turning. Stretching exercises, such as hamstring stretches, hip flexor stretches, and shoulder stretches can help improve flexibility and reduce the risk of injury for tennis players.

Balance Training

Tennis players need good balance to move quickly and change direction effectively. Tennis can help you improve your balance by using precise footwork, stabilizing your core, and encouraging quick changes in direction and reaction time. Exercises such as single-leg balance drills and bosu ball exercises can help improve balance and stability.

Group of teens with tennis rackets

What are the Health Benefits of Playing Tennis?

Lacing up your shoes, grabbing a tennis racket, and heading to the court can provide you with many different health benefits. Tennis is a “holistic” or “total body” sport- providing tennis players with benefits that can help include physical fitness, mental health, and overall well-being. Let’s take a look at the different health benefits of playing tennis in detail. 

Improves Cardiovascular Health

Tennis is a great form of aerobic exercise that can improve cardiovascular health by increasing heart rate, improving circulation, and reducing the risk of heart disease.

Enhances Physical Fitness

Tennis requires a range of physical movements, including running, jumping, and hitting, which can improve overall physical fitness, including strength, agility, and coordination. As previously mentioned, cardio training can elevate your heart rate and help regulate blood pressure, control blood sugar, and maintain healthy arteries. 

Promotes Weight Loss

Tennis is a high-intensity sport that can burn a lot of calories, making it an effective way to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. According to the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise journal, here are the average calories burned playing tennis based on doubles vs. singles games. According to these charts and the CDC’s average weight of American males and females, men can expect to burn about 550 calories per hour in a doubles game and 720 calories per hour in a singles game. The average American female can expect to burn 485 calories per hour in a doubles game and 645 calories per hour in a singles game. 

Calories Burned Playing Tennis (Doubles)

KG/LBs Calories burned per hour
60kg/132lbs 354 calories
70kg/155lbs 422 calories
80kg/176lbs 490 calories
90kg/198lbs 558 calories

Calories Burned Playing Tennis (Singles)

KG/LBs Calories burned per hour
60kg/132lbs 472 calories
70kg/155lbs 563 calories
80kg/176lbs 654 calories
90kg/198lbs 745 calories

Strengthens Bones and Muscles

Tennis involves a lot of weight-bearing activity, such as jumping and running, which can help strengthen bones and muscles, reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

Improves Mental Health

Tennis can help reduce stress and anxiety by providing a physical outlet for emotions and promoting the release of endorphins, the body’s natural mood enhancers.

Increases Social Connections

Tennis is often played in pairs or teams, providing opportunities for social interaction and connection, which can improve overall mental health and well-being.

With regular practice and commitment to honing skills on the court, tennis players can experience the many benefits of this complex sport. If you’re a tennis player looking to become better or adjust your current exercise plan accordingly, reach out to ISMI for help in advancing your game! Whether it’s flexibility training or balance exercises, we can help you improve your performance on the court.

*Please always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider.