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How to Warm Up for Tennis

Tennis is a game of routines and among all of them, nothing is more important than a pre-match/practice warm up. The warm up prepares the body and mind for exercise by increasing heart rate gradually, alleviating risk of injury and loosening your joints. It’s something simple that takes about 10–15 minutes to complete.

1.) Cardio

Aims to boost heart rate and circulation

· 3–5 minutes of jogging is the perfect start to warm up, this exercise can consist of forward, backward and sideways

· 3 minutes of skipping — great activity to coordinate arm and leg movement as well as keeping you on your toes. Remember to jump on the balls of your feet and land softly

2.) Range of Movement (ROM)/Dynamic stretching

To mobilize joints and lengthen muscles throughout the body. It is an active stretch to loosen up the body through chain of movements which can be done by rotating or moving a certain body part to replicate a motion. This is important to do in any sport to prevent injury

· Upper body: Neck, Shoulder, Wrist, Back and Chest

· Lower body: Hips, Groin, Hamstring, Glutes, Knees, Calves, Ankles


3.) Stretching/Foam rolling

Simple foam roller exercises and stretches can help release tight/problematic areas prior to exercise. It open joints up for correct movement patterns and help create wider range of motion in joints.

Image by Alora Griffiths

4.) Muscle activation — Tennis specific

Used to stimulate the correct muscles and encourage them to work. For example, activating your core or glutes by doing lunges to get them firing. Some use resistance band exercises for rotator cuff and shoulder exercises to activate and stimulate them for the serve. 

Muscle activation is different from muscle fatigue, these exercises are simply used to stimulate muscles and not tire them out

5.) Shadowing

Shadowing is to mimic the movements that will be performed on court such as forehands, backhands, serves, etc. Its used to mentally prepare yourself before you play and also fire up the nervous system and body by following specific tennis movement patterns. The intensity of shadowing should increase with each minute

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