Whether you’re a pro or an amateur, starting out new in tennis, warming up doesn’t feel like much fun and can feel like quite a chore when you aren’t in the mood. Most amateurs skip pre-match warmup. If you don’t have a coach running the session, telling you to warm up, it can be very tempting to just jump straight onto the court without breaking a sweat.

While you might think it’s a good idea to skip the routine entirely and “get on with it”, this piece will explain to how and why you should always reserve, an important, even if tiny, portion of your time for warming up.

Warming-up isn’t an exercise in futility:

Any successful pro will tell you hitting the court cold is never a good idea. Warming up helps you get your blood flowing, your heart rising and your skin perspiring profusely. All of this raises adrenaline levels in your bloodstream and helps you come out of the gates quickly without any early match blues.

This is the reason why qualifiers have an advantage over Top-ranked players who get a bye into the first round. This is also why sometimes a match plays out very lopsided at the start, stabilizes as it progresses. But if you don’t hit the ground hard and running against good players, the early deficit that you fall behind might prove unassailable. In a competitive setting, warming-up well could mean the difference between winning and losing.

Sample tennis warm-up routines:

The common warm-up sequence that has stood the test of time is briefly explained below.

  • Arm Circles: The exercise targets your back, triceps, shoulders and biceps. You can do them while working on your desk as it requires lesser concentration.

  • Arm Swings: Pulmonary function improves while doing this exercise.

  • Carioca Drills: Strengthens hips, groin and abdomen and increases agility and coordination.

  • Lateral Lunge: Strengthens quads, hamstrings and glutes.

  • Knee Hug: Helps reduce lower back pain and tones thighs, calves and ankles.

  • Quad Stretch: This exercise claims to reduce stress, and increases blood circulation and flexibility.

You might also like: Why Should You Warm Up Before Playing Badminton?

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Aurobindo Dharsaun

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