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Life in Motion

Ease into it: Tips for starting Tennis

Sports & Exercise

Feeling inspired to pick up tennis while watching the 2016 Rio Olympics or the US Open? Tennis is simple to pick up and can be a sport you can enjoy at any age. Whether you’re playing doubles, singles or hitting the ball against a wall, tennis is a great form of exercise, and can help you build endurance, speed and strength.

Tennis is great for improving your anaerobic fitness, due to the short but intense bursts needed to get across the court. These consistent quick bursts followed by rest force your muscles to utilize oxygen efficiently. Additionally, tennis helps to improve general body coordination due to the different forms of reaching and stretching needed to hit the ball accurately. Lastly, tennis helps to increase our bone density and overall strength. This can prevent osteoporosis and other bone weakening diseases.

Picking up a new sport can be intimidating in the beginning, so here are some tips to ease into it from Paul Weitzel, MD.

  • Take a few clinics – in a group or alone. In order to get yourself started, you may want to sign up for a few clinics. You can also do group clinics, which cut the price and can be more fun!
  • Understand the lingo – ace, lob… love? Tennis lingo can be a little weird, but in order to be able to play correctly and understand what is going on we suggest you consult the knowledgeable internet for some lingo explanation. Also, watching televised tennis matches can help you quickly catch on.
  • The good thing about tennis is most cities and towns have public courts for everyone, so it doesn’t have to break the bank. Additionally, these courts tend to be pretty social and can allow you to meet some fellow tennis players in your area.
  • Get your body in shape. Tennis requires full body strength, agility, and core stability. Click here for some tennis specific training tips.
  • The majority of tennis injuries are due to overuse, so you will want to make sure to strengthen your body properly and get enough rest between playing.
  • Make sure you have the right equipment. Properly fitting, supportive shoes can help to support your ankles and legs throughout your practice.

Remember to always check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. If you have any type of persistent pain, be sure to see a doctor.

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