Don’t let the unpredictable spring weather keep you from your favorite outdoor, on-the-court activity.
“Tennis is great cardio, and it’s a perfect way to keep your body moving as you get older,” says Anthony Blackburn, head tennis pro for the Portland Athletic Club and the Nike World Campus.
Plus, there are plenty of local places you can go to play your heart out indoors this season. Get into the swing of things with these expert tips.
“Jogging or running long, slow miles helps build endurance – but for tennis, you need to work on developing your fast-twitch muscles,” says Blackburn, who has taught tennis in the Portland area for over 20 years.
During your off-court exercise time, run sprints, perform upper body exercises like shoulder presses to help with your serve, and do lunges.
Warm up (for at least 15 minutes)
Off the court: If you’re at the gym, warm your legs up on the stationary bike for about 20 minutes, or hop on the rowing machine to activate your upper body, lower body and core.
“You want to get your blood circulating and bring heat to your muscles before you start playing,” says Blackburn.
On the court: Blackburn suggests focusing on three main areas: shoulders, legs and core.
- Shoulders: Do basic shoulder rolls (in both directions) or windmills.
- Legs: Do side step (or shuffle) drills around the court, jog a couple of laps and/or do a bunch of jumping jacks.
- Core: Put your hands on your hips and perform some torso twists.
Do some drills
Start with the Approach Shot drill, which helps improve your footwork and teaches you how to move into position, rather than just standing in one place and waiting for the ball; or the Five-ball doubles drill, which preps you for moving all over the court and taking all kinds of shots.
Find a court
In Portland, consider the Portland Athletic Club, The Racquet Club or the Irvington Club. In the Seattle-area check out the Seattle Tennis Club, Tennis Center at Sand Point or Central Park Tennis Club.
Find additional court options around the Northwest at www.playtennis.com.