Tennis is a very vigorous sport where matches can last hours on end, so to be successful you must have tip top tennis conditioning. A lot of coaches, trainers and websites will tell you that if you want to improve upon this area you need to do a lot of running and other conditioning exercises. They are right on one aspect of this; you do need to do a lot of conditioning exercises, but those don't need to be exclusively based on running. If you want to have top notch tennis conditioning then it is essential to have a nice balance of several types of training. The types of training you need to focus on to improve your level of conditioning include plyometrics, high intensity training drills, and functional training drills. A good balance of drills within these three areas will have you hitting the court in peak performance shape and destroying your competition.
If you have been playing tennis for quite some time then you know that there are a lot of explosive movements in this sport. Plyometric drills will aid your tennis conditioning by giving you a boost when you need to explode to the ball or drive home a killer shot. The worst thing you could do is not train plyometrics, as it is a very common part of a lot of sport training routines.
When you are standing across from your opponent you are waiting for him to make a move so you can react. Performing a shuttle drill is a solid tennis conditioning exercise that will simulate reacting to an opponent's shot and trying to make it there in a set amount of time. Have your coach set up cones that are roughly the same as the distance you would have to move on the court. Then have him time you as you run the drill all the while trying to improve your time each go around.
High Intensity Training Drills
Running is an important part of tennis conditioning but that doesn't mean you need to run miles on end. High intensity training drills that have you moving at maximum speed for short bursts of time will do the trick and give you the boost you need down the stretch.
You may only associate this drill with football or soccer but running the stairs in short bursts at a time is a very effective tennis conditioning drill that will get your heart pumping, work your legs, and can be done almost everywhere. All you need is a moderate amount of stadium stairs to run. Start at the bottom and sprint as fast as you can to the top. Repeat this for 30 or so seconds and then rest. The key to high intensity drills is to perform them for an amount of time such as 30 to 60 seconds and rest. You will build up the amount of times you can do this, thus improving your tennis conditioning level.
Functional training is going to improve your tennis conditioning through actual drills that simulate different scenarios that you might see in your match. One good drill for tennis is to hit tennis balls nonstop. You could have two machines set up shooting balls and this drill would almost be like the shuttle drill except you would have to hit a ball. First you would work on hitting the ball and moving to the one and as you progress you work on accuracy. Drills of this manner are going to be beneficial for any level of tennis player.
Article Title: Three Steps to Improve Your Tennis Conditioning