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The Leg Workout Tennis Players Should Use To Stay Fit Through The Winter

workout
(Image credit: Unknown)

Every sport has its off-season, and while it’s a welcome time to relax and recover after your efforts, it’s also a period when you can build up your fitness for the season to come.

Owing to the global nature of the sport, professional tennis players don’t get much of an off-season, but amateurs have a long winter to get through. To help you stay in shape during the winter, try this leg workout from the LTA (opens in new tab)’s lead strength and conditioning coach, Chris McLeod.

In truth, the workout is a great option for anyone keen on a sport that involves a lot of running, including running itself, and McLeod has also set six difficulty levels so you can scale up the session as you get stronger. It’s wise to support your legs workouts with some dedicated core and upper-body sessions too, but you’ve plenty of time to fit it all in – it’s a long winter after all.

When you’re not training, pass the time upgrading your kit. We have recommendations for the best tennis shoes, best tennis balls and best tennis rackets for beginners to start off your shopping.

How To Do This Workout

Pick your difficulty level from the list below or just start with level 1 and work your way up.

Level 1 – Do one circuit with 30 seconds’ rest between exercises
Level 2 – Do one circuit with no rest between exercises
Level 3 – Do two circuits with 3-4 minutes’ rest between circuits
Level 4 – Do three circuits with 3-4 minutes’ rest between circuits
Level 5 – Do three circuits with no rest between circuits
Levels 6+ – Repeat levels 3 to 5 with additional weight or resistance

Leg Workout For Tennis Players

Walking lunge

Reps 20 total

“Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands behind your head,” says McLeod. “Step forward, flexing your knees to lower your hips. Descend until your rear knee nearly touches the ground. Remain upright and keep your front kneecap facing forwards. Continue lunging forwards, swapping from left to right leg until you have completed the reps.”

Step-up

Reps 12 each leg

“Select a box that comes up to the bottom of your knee,” says McLeod. “Stand facing the box holding a 5-20kg weight plate close to your chest. Place one foot on the box and step up onto it. Return to the start position in a controlled manner.”

Side lunge

Reps 12 each leg

“Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart,” says McLeod. “Take a large step to the side and land with your foot facing forwards. Ensuring you keep your torso as upright as possible, lower until the knee of your leading leg is bent at around 90°, keeping your trailing leg straight. Return to the start position.”

4 Speed squat

Reps 30

“Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing forwards,” says McLeod. “Keeping your torso upright, push your hips back, bend your knees and lower your body as far as you can. Quickly push yourself back up to the starting position. Aim to complete each repetition as fast as you can.”

Jump squat

Reps 12

“Start at the bottom of a squat position,” says McLeod. “Hold for two seconds, and then jump as high as you can. Land bending your knees to return to a squat, and continue.”

Inspired to pick up a racket and get involved in tennis? Visit lta.org.uk (opens in new tab) to get started.

To keep up-to-date on how all the GB players get on in the ATP Cup and the rest of the 2020 season, follow @LTA (opens in new tab) on Instagram, @LTA - Tennis For Britain (opens in new tab) on Facebook or @the_LTA (opens in new tab) on Twitter.


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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.