Get Fit with Athletics
7 Olympic Sports to Jumpstart Your Fitness
Don’t let this racquet game fool you: It’s not all about the upper body. If you swing the racquet correctly it’s actually a total-body workout, says Mark Kovacs, PhD, FACSM, CSCS, executive director of the International Tennis Performance Association and senior manager of coaching education and sport science for United States Tennis Association Player Development. “Tennis is great for toning and muscular endurance because you do hundreds of repetitions a day of very light weight,” says Kovacs. Plus, it’s a fun way to get in some intense interval work. “You’re moving for 20 seconds or so and resting for 20 or 30 seconds and you’re doing that over and over and over again,” says Kovacs. “It’s more beneficial for losing body fat and increasing muscular power than long, slow distance work like running on a treadmill.”
Get Started: Before you hit the court with your friends, Kovacs recommends visiting your local tennis club to learn proper technique from a pro. Usta.com also has a wealth of resources, including visual explanations of tennis basics and databases to help you find courts, partners, and programs near you.