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Alternatives to a tennis partner: 5 tennis activities for fitness

Lana Bandoim's picture

Tennis is a great form of exercise because it encourages running, increases upper body strength and uses jolting activity that can reduce the likelihood of hip fractures in the future. Tennis is also a fun way to burn calories, so you can lose weight and focus on getting fit while building muscles. Practicing the sport can also improve hand-eye coordination and develop muscles that improve flexibility and the ability to stop quickly.


Contrary to popular beliefs, one of the advantages of tennis is you do not need a partner to get these benefits. You can engage in tennis activities on your own and reap all the fitness rewards. The following five activities are some of the best solo tennis exercises you can try.

1. Field balls from a tennis ball machine

A tennis ball machine can help you exercise without a partner and allow you to work on your skills. These machines are designed to shoot the ball according to preset settings. If you are just beginning, you can set it to shoot straight for an easy target. As you continue to practice, have it shoot the ball faster and in different directions to practice dexterity and work different muscles.

2. Engage in different court drills

You have the opportunity to work a variety of muscles when performing various court drills. In sports like basketball, drills are used to improve muscle memory and hand-eye coordination, and the same ideas can be applied to tennis. Plus, it helps improve your stop muscles, which can be useful in burning calories and helping your core. You can use a tennis ball machine for some of the drills to improve agility while hitting the ball.

3. Join a cardio tennis class

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Cardio tennis is designed to help you get a better workout from your tennis practice. It is a high energy fitness activity that combines tennis movements with cardiovascular exercise. It is a full body aerobic workout where you can expect to burn approximately 500 calories for every hour. This is the perfect class for those who want to improve their tennis game, and those who want to get fit and lose weight.

4. Do strength exercises

If you are planning to play tennis, you will need to strengthen certain muscles, so you are in good shape. You will naturally gain strength in your arms and legs from your drills and practice, but you will want to work on strengthening your core to improve your balance, speed and agility. Yoga is great for building core muscles, and you can also do crunches, planks and other ab workouts.

5. Run the ball

When the ball bounces out of bounds, you should make yourself run to retrieve it. First, it will build up your endurance and cardio fitness. Second, it will encourage you to keep the ball inbounds, so you do not have to run after it. You can achieve two goals with one exercise.

Tennis is a great way to improve your fitness and lose weight at the same time. By engaging in this activity regularly, you can also boost your stamina. Tennis is one form of exercise that can change your outlook on fitness as a whole.

Image from Pixabay.com and used with permission.