Does Tennis Give You Abs? [The Answer Might Surprise You!]

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From Novak Djokovic and Grigor Dimitrov to Serena and Venus Williams, it seems like every pro tennis player has rock-hard abs. Therefore, it’s logical to assume tennis has some natural ab-strengthening benefits, right? Or do these players only have well-toned abs due to their grueling training schedules? If you’re curious whether tennis could give you the abs you’ve always dreamed of, please keep reading. For this post, we’ve focused our research on whether tennis could get you shredded. 

Playing tennis can help naturally strengthen a player’s core and midsection. While tennis on its own probably won’t give players six-pack abs, it could help sculpt this muscle region. When combined with an exercise routine focusing on core training, tennis will likely give athletes abs. How well-defined your abs get depends on how often you train and play tennis. 

Tennis may not be the best sport for developing abs, but it’s a fantastic way to condition your core. Plus, since tennis involves so many muscle groups, it’s likely to give players a well-defined body. To learn more about the health benefits of tennis, you’ve got to check out the FAQs below. 

Sexy male tennis player in black background, Does Tennis Give You Abs? [The Answer Might Surprise You!]

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Does Tennis Give You Abs?

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Arguably, tennis is one of the best full-body workouts. Tennis players must rely on multiple muscle groups to serve, sprint, and slam that fuzzy yellow ball across the court. The abdominals are one of the many muscle groups that get a workout during a tennis match. 

Tennis experts claim players will give their abs an intense workout every time they perform a backhand or forehand. Both of these moves require a ton of core stability, which automatically sculpts your abs. 

While tennis can strengthen abs on its own, most athletes see the most significant benefits when they start a dedicated training routine. Multiple targeted sessions in the gym will rapidly improve core strength and help define your abs. 

By the way, if you want more details on performing a perfect backhand shot, be sure to watch this popular YouTube video:

Is Core Training Important For Tennis Players?

Developing a strong core should be a major focus of every tennis player’s training routine. The primary reason core muscles are crucial for tennis is that they provide athletes with superior stability. When you’re running across the court and constantly hitting a tennis ball, you need core strength to provide the power to follow through on your shots.

Tennis players who have a firm core are also less likely to experience lower back injuries during their games. Recent surveys suggest that almost 40 percent of tennis players canceled a tournament due to low back pain. The best way to reduce the odds your tennis matches will trigger low back pain is to develop a solid core. 

What Are The Best Ab Workouts For Tennis? 

Man uses laptop to lean plank position

The plank is the ultimate core exercise all tennis players should get comfortable with. In fact, most of the best core exercises for tennis players are variations on the standard forearm plank. 

To perform the classic plank position, go on the ground and lift on your elbows and toes to isolate the abdominal muscles. Your shoulders should be over your elbows.

Ideally, you should be able to hold this for between 1-2 minutes, but start slow and gradually work your way up. If you find the regular plank position is too intense, you could start with a modified plank with your knees on the ground. 

As you gain more confidence in your plank position, you could add alternating leg and arm lifts to your plank routine. Pro tennis players should strive to raise their arms and legs for a few seconds at least 20 times

Side planks are another great exercise that targets your core. As the name implies, a side plank forces you to support yourself with one arm while you’re on your side. This position is a great way to focus on your hips and obliques. 

You should use either a yoga or pilates mat to provide stability and comfort for all of these plank positions. To learn more about the differences between exercise mats, be sure to read our post on “Yoga Vs. Pilates Mats.”

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For a visual explanation of all the exercises listed above, you’ve got to check out this tennis workout video: 

What Sport Is Best For Abs?

Young muscular man exercising on gymnastic rings

While tennis can help sculpt abs, most fitness pros claim gymnastics is the best activity for building abs. This is especially true if you’re specializing in rings.  

However, that doesn’t mean you need to be a gymnast to experience abdominal benefits. For instance, many fitness pros claim volleyball is a great way to tone your abs. Soccer is another fantastic sport for people who want to work their abs. 

For those who don’t enjoy playing competitive sports, you could consider joining a swimming class or giving kayaking a try. If you’re a winter sports enthusiast, skiing and snowboarding are also remarkable ways to improve your abdominal strength. 

Does Tennis Make You Gain Muscle?

A senior black couple piggyback together on the tennis court

Regularly playing tennis could lead to some muscle gain, but players shouldn’t expect a massive increase in muscle mass. While tennis works for many muscle groups, it requires players to be agile and lean rather than large and muscular. Tennis is excellent for sculpting the body, but it isn’t the best sport for people concerned with gaining big muscles. 

Most of the workout routines associated with tennis are more focused on endurance and stability rather than building muscles. Therefore, people who get serious about tennis shouldn’t expect to gain a ton of muscles while playing this sport. 

Can You Get In Shape Playing Tennis?

Tennis Player Hitting Ball

Playing tennis with friends isn’t just a fun activity; it’s also a great way to stay in tip-top shape. In fact, recent research found that people who regularly play tennis decrease their risk of a heart attack by 56 percent. 

You’ll certainly feel your heart pumping as you sprint across the tennis court. Doctors and nutritionists consider tennis to be one of the best cardio routines. For more details on this topic, you’ve got to check out our post examining “Tennis As A Cardio Exercise.”

But not only is tennis great for your heart, but it can also improve balance by strengthening your core and improving hand-eye coordination. Tennis also gives your arms and legs a phenomenal workout as you run and swing. 

Is It Bad To Play Tennis Every Day? 

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Even if you’re under 30, it’s not ideal to play tennis every day. Although tennis is a phenomenal workout, it places a great deal of stress on your body. It would help if you gave your muscles enough time to recover from all of those explosive sprints, slices, and serves. 

Everyone who plays tennis should consider their age and fitness level when planning weekly games. In general, people under 30 should play no more than four tennis matches per week. Those above 30 shouldn’t play about two or three games every week. 

After every match, be sure to listen to your body to determine how long you need to recover. You may also want to speak with your doctor to figure out the ideal tennis routine based on your health. 

As a side note, there’s no evidence that playing tennis every day will affect your height. If you want to learn more about this weird myth, you can read our previous post, “Does Tennis Make You Taller?” 

Is Tennis A Hard Sport?

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Most athletes consider tennis to be one of the most challenging sports to learn. Even at an amateur level, tennis requires a lot of endurance, coordination, and agility. As we’ve mentioned above, tennis is a full-body workout, which can be incredibly draining if you’re not used to it.

If you’re new to working out, it may be a good idea to practice cardio and resistance training in a gym atmosphere before hitting the tennis court. This initial training period will make you feel more confident as you learn the intricacies of this demanding game. 

Also, please know there are starter tennis training kits that will help you develop your skills. You may want to check these out if you’re a total newbie.

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For more tips on getting started in tennis, be sure to watch this video:

Tighten Those Abs With Tennis!

Building abs isn’t the primary reason most people get into tennis, but it is a side benefit of this sport. While playing tennis alone may not give you a six-pack, it will help strengthen your core and define your midsection.

The more practice you put in at the gym, the more likely you will get awesome abs while playing tennis. Please be sure to follow the proper technique and take a few days to recover for the best results. 

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