Tennis is a sport that requires a lot of technique. In addition to technique, a tennis player must also be fit and in good shape. But do tennis players also need cardiovascular endurance?
Cardiovascular endurance is of great importance to tennis players. Tennis is played at a high intensity, where a player is constantly moving. Therefore, a tennis player needs to have good fitness and cardiovascular endurance. This makes players less likely to tire and allows them to endure longer matches.
As mentioned, cardiovascular endurance is very important in tennis. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at this topic, and I’ll explain why it’s so important and how you can train it yourself.
Cardiovascular endurance refers to any form of activity that facilitates aerobic metabolism. Aerobic metabolism is the way your body creates energy.
When performing cardiovascular exercises, your heart starts beating faster and pumping the blood through your body faster to create energy.
Your heart needs oxygen to be able to do so. In order to get enough oxygen to handle the increased heart rate, you take deeper breaths.
Suppose the acquired amount of oxygen is complimentary to your heart rate. In that case, you feel energized, and thus you won’t get tired easily.
If you don’t have enough oxygen, you will start breathing heavier and get tired.
This means that cardiovascular endurance is beneficial for a lot of different activities.
If you are going for a nice walk in the woods, you need cardiovascular endurance to ensure you don’t get tired within the first mile.
Suppose the elevator in your building is broken. In that case, you need cardiovascular endurance to make it up the stairs to your apartment without panting for air.
If you want to practice a sport, cardiovascular endurance is especially important.
Sport is something that requires plenty of energy and endurance. Tennis is no exception to this. The better your cardiovascular endurance, the longer and better you can play tennis.
If you don’t get tired easily, a match of tennis or practice can be much more valuable.
Being able to go on for a long time helps you get better as you get more practice, and it can even be a deciding factor in important matches.
Essentially, good cardiovascular endurance makes sure you don’t get too tired too quickly into a match.
Being more tired than your opponent, or being tired in general, can negatively affect your performance.
When you get out of breath too soon, you might start running to the balls a little slower. Maybe you will even let some balls go by.
This way, you can lose some points you could have won if you had better cardiovascular endurance.
Another negative effect of low cardiovascular endurance is making more mistakes.
If you are focused on your breathing due to not having enough oxygen, or simply if you’re tired, you won’t hit the balls as well.
You will get lazy and imprecise, resulting in shots that go out or end up in the net. This can cost you some crucial points as well.
If you have an opponent that is about as good as you, rallies might get longer, and the match overall can even end up taking hours.
This means you have to be able to play for a considerable amount of time. If you have good cardiovascular endurance, you can play longer matches.
The good news is that you can improve your cardiovascular endurance in many different ways.
The important thing is that you get your heart rate up. How far up is dependent on your age.
You should aim to bring your heart rate up to at least 50 percent of your maximum heart rate, but you should get your heart rate higher than just 50 percent for a good cardio workout.
To find out your maximum heart rate, you subtract your age from 220. So for a twenty-year-old, the maximum heart rate is 200, but for a 50-year-old, the maximum heart rate is 170.
One of the best-known cardiovascular exercises is running. It is also something that is accessible to a lot of people since you don’t need any special equipment.
Of course, you can do it on a treadmill at the gym, but going for a run is also possible in the park or on the sidewalk.
Cycling or climbing are good options as well, but running is especially good for tennis since it has extra benefits next to endurance.
Those benefits are improvement in footwork and speed.
If you want to mimic the intervals you have in a tennis match, you can run for about 200 meters at high speed and then stop.
The intervals might be short, but the intensity is high. This is what often happens during tennis rallies.
Make sure to do this a few times and allow about three times as much rest as you’re active.
If you want to do exercises that are more related to tennis, you can do several interval exercises. You can come up with these yourself.
The important thing is that you get your heart rate up quite a bit.
An example of an exercise you could do is having a coach hit some balls to you, but the direction changes with every ball.
So the first ball could be on the left side of the court and pretty close to the net, while the second ball might be on the right side, close to the baseline.
Don’t leave too much time between the different shots, so you will have to run a lot and therefore get your heart rate up.
Cardiovascular endurance is important for almost all activities. It prevents you from getting tired and helps you feel more energized.
There is a lot of interval activity in tennis, so if you want to improve your cardiovascular endurance for tennis, this is important to keep in mind.
You need to get your heart rate up to at least 50 percent of your maximum heart rate, but preferably you get it up even more.
To achieve this you can do exercises with the ball, but going for a run or even cycling, are good options as well.
(Click here to learn more about the different physical demands for tennis)