Love Wimbledon? Take up tennis!
Wimbledon is in full swing and watching the world greats has inspired many to pick up a racket and give it a go.
You don’t need to be a pro to get out on the court – tennis is a fun and social way to get some exercise, meet new people and spend some time outdoors.
During an hour of tennis, the average player burns between 400 and 600 calories. And it’s not just the physical benefits; tennis requires mental focus and quick response times, meaning during a game your mind is just as active as your body.
If you’re inspired to take up the game, here’s what you need to get started.
Prep & warm up
It’s important to prep and warm up whatever our age or ability, but particularly as we get older these aren’t steps you want to skip – even minor injuries can be troublesome.
Proper shoes, good form and the right routine will all help guard against injury and help you make the most of your game.
Start each game with a warm up – a brisk walk or light jog for five minutes will get your heart rate up and get your blood flowing to your muscles. Next, take a few minutes to do some dynamic stretching – these are stretches as you move. Focus on the muscles you’ll be using most during the game – areas like your shoulders, wrists, arms, knees and ankles.
As we age our balance and muscle mass naturally declines. Tennis is a great way to strengthen both these areas, and doing a little supplemental work off the court can go a long way to improving your game. Aim to do some strength training at least once a week to help build muscle, focusing particularly on your arms, legs and back.
Balance exercises are another useful technique to help improve your game – try alternating balancing on one leg and then the other while you talk on the phone or cook dinner. Walking in a straight line – as if you were on a tightrope – is another good balancing exercise you can do throughout the week at home.
When you’re a beginner
If you’re a beginner, here’s a few tips to bring you up to speed:
- A relaxed rally back and forth with a partner will help you get to grips with following the ball and keeping your eye on it as it moves around the court. Start slowly and then increase your speed over time.
- The ‘ready position’ will help you react and move quickly to take your shot. Stand with both hands on the racket, feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
- Try and keep your swing as smooth as possible – practice extending your arm and racket in the direction of where you hit the ball and then bring it across your body in a smooth, fluid motion.
Brushing up on the rules
There are some great resources online to help you learn and understand all the rules of tennis – taking the time to learn them before you step on the court will help you make the most out of your game.
This simple introduction to tennis scoring on about.com is a great overview of how the complicated points system in tennis works. For an overview of the court and common tennis terminology, the Tennis for Dummies cheat sheet lays out everything you need to know.
YouTube is a great place to find informative videos about everything from mastering your swing to understanding the rules of the game.
Do you love tennis? When was the last time you picked up a racket?
Silversurfer's Assistant Editor
Latest posts by Silversurfer's Assistant Editor (see all)
- Clever uses for tea bags - January 18, 2018
- Malaysian Spiced Sea bass with Brown Rice - January 17, 2018
- Simple steps to increase your feeling of wellbeing - January 16, 2018
- Do you believe in Blue Monday? - January 15, 2018
- Small adjustments that make a big impact on eating habits - January 12, 2018
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!