Tennis for cardio with Wimbledon on the way!

With the longest day having passed and July approaching we can now look forward to seeing the greatest tennis tournament in the world. The strawberries are in season and the supermarkets have stocked up with Pimms, so there can be no doubt that Wimbledon is fast approaching.

A lot of people rely on a chosen sport to provide them with the necessary cardio training that they need, freeing up time in the gym that can be focused on weight training. And while the gym is not seasonal, a lot of our favourite sports are. Now that the rugby and football seasons have drawn to a close how are its players supposed to keep up their high levels of cardio work?

Tennis doesn’t need to just be a leisure activity reserved for holidaying. It can be the summer sport that provides you with the cardio you might be missing out on now that the football season has ended. Who didn’t wish they were on Centre Court as a child while hitting a tennis ball back and forth against the wall? Especially when Wimbledon is on our screens.

When it comes to sports there aren’t many that are as active as a game of tennis and it is that high intensity that makes this the ideal cardio workout. If you are trying to design the perfect cardio workout (if there even is such a thing) then the one thing you need to ensure is that you are working at a high intensity. The next thing you might try to include is short bursts of this intensity with regular breaks along the way. Well is that not provided with each game of tennis that you play? Every point requires a high intensity workout, followed by a short break.

Trying to include a range of movements in your cardio is important too and this can be the hardest thing to guarantee. The truth is that you can be quite restricted in terms of the movements that you can undertake when you are indoors. Even a short game of tennis will have you running backwards and forwards, side to side and every other way that you can think of.

So why aren’t more of us looking to other forms of cardio like this then? Well firstly, it isn’t easy to find the time to fit in a game of tennis every day or night and even if you do find the time, how many of us have the equipment lying around that is needed? Then you need to think about where you are going to play. If you aren’t the member of a club then you will probably have to pay to use any court that you can find. So there are some problems that can arise if you are thinking about trying to become the next Andy Murray.

But in reality you aren’t going to ditch the gym and take to the court to include cardio in your workout and I’m not suggesting that you should. The point is that there are hundreds of forms of cardio out there and you shouldn’t restrict yourself to just one. That would be like eating the exact same food every day!

So if it is a possibility for you then pick up a racket, find someone to play with and have a few games. Wherever possible you should try to experiment with different workouts that test your body in different ways. Trying sports that you otherwise wouldn’t fund yourself playing is a great way to do exactly that!

Ollie Lawrence
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