Best Strength Training Exercises for Tennis Players

Playing tennis requires a lot of power. From sudden bursts across court to powerful serves and the sheer endurance needed for a long match, working on your physical strength will help all aspects of your performance. The good news is that there are plenty of tennis exercises you can practise to build up your strength and improve your game.

We have compiled the following seven exercises for tennis players which focus on different parts of your body. This can help build up your all-round strength. By weaving these tennis exercises into your training sessions, you’ll soon start to see the benefits.

7 best strength exercises for tennis players

There are many different exercises for tennis players, but the following seven drills should give you a full-body workout. They focus on all the core muscle groups you use when playing the sport. If there is one area where you feel your strength could improve, simply train more in this area.

It is possible to do many of these exercises on a tennis court with nothing more than your body weight. But to have the greatest impact, it's useful to use additional equipment. If you're a member of a tennis club, they may have all this equipment available in the clubhouse. If not, you can do these exercises at a gym.

Here are 7 functional exercises for tennis players.

Ball squeeze

This is a classic tennis wrist exercise. Grab a ball (a tennis ball will do!) in one hand and squeeze then release 20 times, before pausing and repeating in your other hand. This tennis wrist exercise will build up the strength in your forearm and improve your endurance when it comes to taking forehand and backhand shots.

Jumping exercises

This is one of the best leg exercises for tennis players. Either at your tennis court or a gym, line up a row of cones on the floor, a couple of feet apart from one another. 

To do the exercise, you jump rapidly over each cone, making sure you land and take off from the front of your feet as fast as possible. Once you reach the front of the row, run back to the beginning and start again. This plyometric exercise will improve your strength and explosive force. It is also a great tennis warm-up exercise.

You can vary this exercise by hopping over the cones with just one foot, or mixing the hops up with lateral sprints to the side and back. Check out our plyometric tennis exercise videos to learn more.

Recommended: Read about strength and cardio for tennis

Rope skipping

Skipping is one of the best exercises for tennis players. Pull-on your tennis shoes, grab a skipping rope and start jumping!

Try to set yourself a target - such as 150 rotations without stopping. As you get more confident with skipping you could also try different variations, such as hopping on one leg.

Rope skipping is a great all round exercise for tennis players but it particularly improves your cardio, reaction times and balance.

Lateral lunges

This is another great type of leg exercise for tennis players. Start standing up, then put one foot diagonally to the front and bend your knees forward, before pushing up and performing the lunge in the other direction. Repeat five times with each leg.

Lateral lunges will improve strength in your legs as well as in your core, and mirror a movement that you will frequently make on the tennis court.

Chest press/press-up

A chest press is a fantastic tennis exercise that will improve strength in your chest, arms and shoulders (if you don't have access to a workout bench, you can do press-ups instead). 

Performing a chest press is one of the best exercises for tennis players. It improves strength in your arms, chest and shoulders - which is of course vital when you are serving and playing tough rallies.

Cable rotation

Playing tennis frequently requires you to twist your core as you reach for shots. And this is why cable rotations can be a particularly effective tennis exercise.

At your gym, set the cable machine at around chest height and stand perpendicular to the machine. Grab the cable in both hands - much as you would hold a tennis racket. With your front foot leaning forward you then perform reps, pulling the cable across your body. This tennis exercise will improve your abdominal strength.

Medicine ball throw

To play tennis well, you need to make explosive movements with your upper body, and a medicine ball throw is a fantastic way to improve your strength here. At your gym, grab a reasonably heavy medicine ball and hold it with both hands at chest height. Find a free wall and stand a couple of metres away from it then simply throw the ball in a pushing motion against the wall with all your strength. Pick the ball up and repeat. 

Improve your game with tennis exercises

By taking the time to practise different exercises for tennis players, you will build up your strength, endurance and explosive power. And this can make all the difference in a long and gruelling match.