Whether you’re watching an Insanity DVD, crushing your latest CrossFit WOD, or flipping tires at an outdoor bootcamp, you are engaging in HIIT. Fitness fads, such as HIIT, jogging, or even “Buns of Steel,” appeal to the masses by promising improved overall health, wellness, and physical appearance. But what about those of us who want to improve our athletic performance? Even more specifically–those of us who want to improve our tennis game? In comparison to many other workout regimens, HIIT will more significantly improve athletic performance. Here’s three specific examples of how HIIT will improve your tennis game:
1. Increase VO2max
- The vigorous anaerobic workouts used in HIIT has been proven to illicit greater improvements in maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) than steady-state cardio.
- Your increased VO2max will give you the endurance to chase down more balls in the rally AND help you recover faster for the next point!
2. Develop Fast-Twitch (Type II) Muscles Fibers
- HIIT workouts will target your Type II, or explosive muscle fibers, while steady state cardio will target your slow-twitch (Type I) muscle fibers
- Tennis is a “first step game,” therefore by training your Type II muscle fibers you’ll improve your quickness around the court.
- Also, by performing explosive upper body movements during HIIT, like taking a sledgehammer to a tire, you can add some firepower to your groundstrokes and serve!
3. Improve Body Composition
- Between calories burned during your workout and the “afterburn effect,” HIIT will help you lose fat.
- By incorporating total body resistance training into your HIIT workout, you can also increase lean muscle mass.
- Reduced body fat and increased muscle mass will improve your speed and stamina on the tennis court!
While this blog is predominantly focused on how HIIT will improve athletic performance, quite possibly the best part about HIIT workouts is how efficient they are. An HIIT workout can be completed in 20 minutes or less, minimal equipment is required, and they can be done practically anywhere. Not only can every tennis player benefit greatly from a HIIT workout, it looks like you’re all out of excuses!
At FM Tennis, we incorporate the principles of HIIT into our inTENNSity clinic. Over the years, our players have not only enjoyed the challenge of such a vigorous workout, but they have also seen the positive changes take effect in their tennis games. If you haven’t tried it yet, come check it out!