You’ve probably heard of many fitness crazes that have hit mainstream culture in the past five or so years, such as CrossFit, P90X, yoga, and Boot Camp. However, cardio tennis is a tennis-specific fitness class that steadily gained popularity since it was introduced by the Tennis Industry Association in conjunction with the USTA in 2005.
Cardio tennis intertwines overall body fitness and cardio health with practicing tennis skills on the court. Set to adrenaline pumping music, the one-hour class typically has between six and eight participants from a wide variety of skill levels. Females generally burn 300 – 500 calories while males burn 500 – 1,000 calories during the one-hour session.
So what, exactly, is cardio tennis? Each class is generally broken down into four sections: warm up, cardio drills segment, cool down, and sideline drills. Warm up exercises may include dynamic stretching, practicing volleying skills in pairs, high knee jogging, mini tennis up and over, and box run line touches.
And don’t worry if you’re new to tennis. The coach will ensure that each player is getting the most out of every activity. One of the main goals of cardio tennis, in addition to simply having fun on the court, is to keep participants within their target heart rate zone in order to burn the most calories and achieve the greatest level of fitness possible. This means that in addition to normal tennis gear, class goers should also be armed with heart rate monitors.
During the cardio portion of the class, your coach will rotate drills that are meant to be challenging, fun, and engaging for everyone. “Musical Chairs” is a drill where participants jog around the courts until one of the cardio players makes a mistake. In the play based drill “Triples,” participants play competitively in teams of three. The goal of cardio tennis is to get a great workout rather than solely focusing on improving your game.
In 2012, nearly 1.2 million people participated in cardio tennis, which has spread to more than 2,000 U.S. tennis facilities and is now practiced in over 30 countries. Everyone from country clubs and resorts to tennis camps now incorporate cardio tennis into their tennis-training regimen. To quickly locate a cardio tennis class near you, check out the “Find a Provider” tool. One way in which to improve your tennis game is to achieve greater fitness so you can sprint across the court in time to slam back that well-placed lob. Cardio fitness can be a fun and social way to achieve your fitness goals.