With Wimbledon well under way, thousands of Brits will be dusting off their rackets and heading to their nearest courts in a bid to emulate Federer, Nadal and home favourite, Andy Murray.
Of course, not all of us will have the fitness, skill or dexterity of these Grand Slam champions, many people will be looking to enhance their performance on the court in the coming months. With stats suggesting that players can run up to three miles during the course of a match, cardiovascular endurance is an element that shouldn’t be ignored when it comes to training.
Tennis is a tremendous form of fitness – regardless of the level of that you play at. Combining explosive movement around the court with the fine-motor skills to execute those precise groundstrokes – being able to rely on your cardiovascular endurance over a two-hour match is crucial for match play success, be that against your mates on a park court or on the grass courts of SW19.
High intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions can be hugely beneficial to driving your cardio fitness to the next level, especially if you are able to fit them in before work or during your lunch-break. Instead of sticking to traditional machines like the treadmill, try something that is specifically designed to improve cardio fitness, such as the Versaclimber, which offers a full body workout.
The fact that cardio exercise helps to shift excess body fat is another reason why tennis players such as Murray and Kyle Edmund dedicate so much time to it. A 30-minute Versaclimber session, for example, can burn as many as 800 calories, making it a highly efficient means of tuning performance.
For tennis players, the impact of on-court training and match play can have a significant strain on joints so it’s important that low impact elements of training are incorporated whenever possible. During the tennis season, try incorporating this 30-minute Versaclimber session into your cardio training:
- Warm up: Spend 10 minutes warming up, building a steady rhythm.
- Interval sprint climbing: Alternate 15 seconds of power climbing, speed climbing and lower limb climbing as many times as possible, with an active recovery climb in between each one – you should aim to reach approximately 80 per cent maximum heart rate (MHR). During recovery, you should reduce the pace so you reach 60 per cent of your MHR. Repeat this circuit for 15 minutes.
- Cool Down: Ease off the pace for the final five minutes of your session, bringing your heart rate down slowly to its resting rate.
It is always worth speaking to your doctor and a qualified trainer or coach before embarking on a new fitness regime or training programme.