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Fitness classes to improve your tennis game

posted on Wednesday, 27th April 2016 | find under Fitness
As spring turns into summer, tennis comes to the fore of the fitness scene. The first step for dusting off your racket is to invest in the right kit, and Sweaty Betty’s new standout tennis collection does not disappoint. Combining classic tennis whites with bright Brazilian floral prints, this fashion-forward technical collection features everything you need for on-court style. Once your tennis clothes are sorted, now is the time to improve your match. Alongside on-court practice, a number of professionals mix up their workout routine to improve power, movement and upgrade their game. Here are their secrets.

classes to improve tennis
Model Karol wears the Baseline Tennis Sweat and Advantage Tennis Skort

Tennis is a high-speed, high-impact game, requiring rotation and extension on the spine. To decrease the chance of injury, a number of tennis players have added Pilates into their workout regime. British number one Andy Murray even credits Pilates strengthening abilities with helping him return to form after back surgery in 2013. During a game, much of the power comes from rotation and extension through the spine, and Pilates will help loosen the typically tight muscles through the chest, shoulders and upper back. The increase in the strength of the rotator muscles and the range of motion combines to generate more power through your strokes.

Where to go: Heartcore in London, SLT in New York and The Studio MDR in Los Angeles.

Boxing, like tennis is all about balance, good footwork and agility, so incorporating the sport into your training regime can improve on-court progress. Keeping you light on your feet, improving hand-eye coordination and increasing speed, the boxing ring has surprising similarities to the tennis court, plus, once you can spar three-minute rounds, you’ll discover that you have excellent stamina for long matches.  

Where to go: KOBOX in London, Shadowbox and DogPound in New York and Prevail LA in Los Angeles.

No matter what level of tennis you play, the high speed and high impact nature of the game means joints take a lot of pressure, particularly on hard surfaces. Regular yoga classes increase strength and flexibility in vital areas for on-court success including the core, shoulders and hips, reducing the risk of injury. Venus Williams told Shape she includes yoga in her weekly workouts for ‘a limber and mindful match’.

Where to go: The Power Yoga Company in London, Lyons Den in New York and Wanderlust in Los Angeles.

Wonder how Serena Williams stays fit? The grand slam champion has credited her return from injury to dance. Alongside, more traditional cardio she adds the exercise to her training to ensure working out stays fun. Staying light on the feet and focused on learning steps can also translate to better co-ordination on court. Alternatively, try a ballet barre workout to focus on the glutes, a key stabiliser for tennis players. Isolating and strengthening these muscles protects the knee and produces power when lunging laterally.     

Where to go: Paola’s Body Barre in London, AKT in Motion in New York and Body by Simone in Los Angeles.  

Endurance is critical for a tennis player, especially in matches that involve long rallies. Because tennis is a sport in which periods of intense exercise are followed by rest periods, HIIT (high intensity interval training) is ideal for helping improve heart rate recovery between points. Try everything from interval sprints to more traditional HIIT exercises (hello burpees).

Where to go: Barry’s Bootcamp in London, Exceed in New York and Burn60 in Los Angeles.
Shop Sweaty Betty’s fashion-forward tennis collection here for style on and off court. 
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