Tennis requires a lot from the body. So it is important to be fit as a tennis player. This will benefit your performance. But is muscular endurance also important for tennis players?
Tennis requires a lot of strength and endurance to move up and down the court. Muscular endurance ensures that players recover quickly between points and are ready for the next point with minimal rest. Good muscular endurance can mean the difference between winning and losing during long matches.
As mentioned, muscular endurance is of great importance to tennis players. In the remainder of this article, you will learn why this is the case and how tennis players use it.
Tennis matches can be very long. It’s often said that tennis matches take an hour and a half on average. Especially professional tennis matches can last way longer.
A match of five sets takes a while, and when a tiebreak does not decide the fifth set, the match can sometimes last the better part of a day.
This means your whole body needs to be ready to be active for a long period of time. After all, you don’t want to start out playing great and then see your performance decrease over time.
The match itself is not the only thing that can last for a long time. On average, points are not that long. However, there are always exceptions.
Muscular endurance makes sure you can hit the last shot of a rally just as good as you hit the first shot.
Especially if your opponent is more of a defensive player, and you are as well, rallies might last longer than when an aggressive player is involved.
If you are of the same level, muscular endurance might even end up deciding who wins the match.
One way tennis players use muscular endurance is by making sure they are always ready for the next point, no matter how long the rally before was.
There is relatively little time for the muscles to rest and recover between points, and every point can be important. The more muscles can endure, the easier it will be for them to recover in time for the next point.
Professional players often mention that they focus on one point at a time, so when they have a bad rally, they forget it and make sure the next one is good.
Ideally, you want the same for your muscles. The rally before should have little to no impact on the next few rallies.
Muscular endurance is important in all tennis matches, especially in longer matches.
When two opponents are of the same level, rallies can go on for what feels like forever, especially with two defensive players.
Ideally, you’re able to hit the last shot of a rally just as good as the first shot. You need muscular endurance to do so.
If your muscles start to hurt, or you simply can’t bring yourself to run a little faster or hit the shot a little better, this might end up being fatal for your performance.
Besides long rallies, games and matches can also take quite a while. In games, it happens regularly that the score comes to deuce, after which the game can go on for a while.
Additionally, best-of-5 matches can last several hours. On average, a best-of-5 match lasts for two hours and 45 minutes, but if players have to play all five sets, the match often exceeds this timespan.
So you can imagine why muscle endurance is so important for tennis players.
Tennis does improve muscular endurance. For amateur players, especially matches can help. Amateur players often have a set amount of time for practice, but matches can exceed this.
If all of your practices last one hour, a match of two hours can be different on your muscles than what you are used to.
You want to make sure your muscles can perform for a long amount of time, so you need to train your muscles for a longer amount of time.
Besides that, the more you play, the more your muscles will get used to it.
This means that playing tennis for an hour might be really hard on your muscles at first, but it will slowly become easier after doing this more often.
If your muscles are used to the movements and timespan, it will take less effort and energy for the same performance.
Muscular endurance is important for a lot of sports. Fortunately, there are many ways you can work on building your muscular endurance.
There are some basic exercises that you can do.
Those are not necessarily focused on tennis, but they help with your general muscular endurance, leading to better performance on the court.
Those exercises include planking, pushups, squats, and walking lunges.
Suppose you want to practice endurance while also working on other aspects important for tennis. In that case, there are some on-court exercises you can do.
Cross court rallies are a great example.
You usually have to run towards the ball with cross court rallies, as they might not come straight at you.
You can use this to warm up your muscles and try to keep the rally as long as possible without making the shots too easy.
Stroke intervals are a good form of exercise as well.
Have someone throw or hit the ball to you. You then hit the ball as if you are playing a match, adding all the speed, power, and effect you would in an actual match.
Make sure you hit the different balls relatively quickly after the one before. After about ten strokes, you can have a small break before starting again.
A very important note is to warm up before playing tennis.
This is important for several reasons, such as preventing injuries, but it can also help with your muscular endurance.
If you jump right into the action, your muscular endurance will be less good than when you allow your muscles to ease into it.
Muscular endurance is important because it can make or break your winning streak.
If you face an opponent that is about as good as you are, the match might go on for several hours before someone wins.
By improving your muscular endurance through planking, walking lunges, and playing a lot of tennis, you might get a little bit of an advantage over your opponent.
Muscular endurance helps you hit the last ball of the match just as powerfully as you hit the first ball.
(Click here to learn more about the different physical demands for tennis)