Tennis Puts All Muscles in Play

It’s often considered an upper-body workout with all the swinging and hitting involved, but don’t forget all the sprinting required to keep those volleys going!

One thing to keep in mind is that your dominant side, determined by which arm you swing your racquet with, naturally becomes even more dominant the more you use it so it’s a good idea to develop the other side with strengthening activities like weightlifting or bodyweight exercises.


Your legs and feet really do the most work while you play tennis. Most players find themselves in a constant squat through the course of the game, and your quadriceps, hamstrings and calves steer movement and give the speed you need when changing directions and lunging for the ball. They’re also a big part of powering your swing.

Meanwhile your glutes rotate and extend your hips, and people who rely on these for power minimize their risk of injury to the quads in the front of their thigh.


This may be the most important muscle group of all in tennis, simply because it links the lower and upper body and is key for balance, agility and the strength needed for returning shots over the net.

Lower-back muscles like the extensors, flexors and obliques give you stability while the abs keep you constantly rotating to grab shots from either side.


Tennis is no slouch for promoting upper-body strength with constant opportunities to engage your arms, shoulders, upper back and chest.

Pecs are crucial to swinging your arms in the right direction. The rotator cuffs in the shoulders and the trapezius and rhomboids in the upper back power your strokes, especially for serves and forehands. The biceps, triceps, flexors and extensors of your arms extend and direct the power for your strokes.