Improve Your Tennis Game With this Cardio Conditioning Workout

Tennis Performance Specialist and Personal Trainer Rhod Kelly

Tennis Performance Specialist and Personal Trainer Rhod Kelly

Try this 20-minute high intensity cardio routine to boost your tennis performance. With the right effort, can accomplish all you need for a boost of cardio conditioning in just a few 20-minute sessions a week.  Your MyZone can help you measure that effort. Below is an example of the zones you should be aiming for on your MyZone during a cardio routine. Try this on one of our bikes or treadmills.

After three to four weeks of this routine, you should start to notice the difference with how you feel on the court. 

To really see the results, wear your MyZone during matches to get data on how you are progressing.  You should feel yourself recovering from tough points much faster, and see a consistently lower average heart rate at the same intensity of play.

Ultimately, this training will help you stay in points that you would have given up on before, and wear down your opponent with your ability to play at 100% each and every point!

MZ Tennis Cardio.png

Details for cardio routine:

  • Start with an easy warm-up of 5 minutes to get your breathing slightly elevated and into Zone 2 (Green; 70-80% of max HR).

  • Next, complete 8 rounds of 10 seconds at high speed, followed by 20 easy seconds.  On a bike, you can add a few gears for those 10 seconds, and take them off for 20. On the treadmill, increase your speed to a hard run, then down to a fast walk. When it’s “heavy,” it should be really hard.  Challenge yourself. You want to get your heart rate into high Zone 3 (Orange; 80-90%) and low Zone 4 (Red; 90-93%).

  • Follow this with 2 minutes at an easy pace, to drop your heart rate back to Zone 2.  The quicker you see this drop, the better.  This facet of heart training is crucial to keep up your energy throughout a match. If you can’t catch your breath and your heart is still racing during the side changes, you are going to be in trouble once the next series of points begin.

  • Your next set of intervals works on longer points. Complete 20 seconds hard work followed by a 20 second recovery.  Again, go hard for 20 seconds to make it very hard, then go easy for the 20 seconds recovery. Repeat 4 times.

  • Recover for 1 minute 20 seconds at an easy pace/tension.

  • You’re almost there! The last set of intervals are 5 seconds long, pushing even faster than before.  Rest for 10 seconds on an easy gear and repeat 8 times.

  • Finally: recover for 3 straight minutes at an easy pace, tension. Keep the legs moving quickly to help heart rate drop in a controlled fashion.

As you progress, you can make this routine longer by doubling one, then two of the interval sets.