If you want to improve your speed, strength and endurance on the court then these kettlebell exercises for tennis players are for you.
Tennis is a very dynamic and multi-disciplined sport that requires good movement skills.
A good tennis player should have the ability to move in all directions with ease, the strength to drive through the ball and the resilience to avoid getting injured during those hard to reach shots.
Due to the dynamic and full body nature of kettlebell training this exercise tool will enable you to improve your tennis is all aspects of the game.
Let’s take a look at 14 kettlebell exercises for tennis players that will deliver the best results:
Kettlebell Exercises for Tennis Players | Warm Up
Before you get stuck into the more demanding kettlebell exercises for tennis players I recommend you perform a few warm up exercises.
A good warm up should accomplish two things, first increase your body temperature and second help prepare your body for the activity you are about to perform.
Below I’ve listed only the kettlebell warm up exercises but adding a few multidirectional bodyweight lunges will go a long way to warming up the hips and legs.
Here are 4 kettlebell exercises for tennis players to use as a warm up:
1 Kettlebell Slingshot
The kettlebell slingshot exercise is a great introduction into kettlebell training and makes an excellent warm up exercise.
You will strengthen your grip for holding the racket with this exercise along with warming up the shoulders.
Keep your hips nice and still by bracing your abs and keep your chest up.
Pass the kettlebell from hand to hand while maintaining an upright posture.
Practice: 50 – 100 repetitions changing direction every 10 reps.
Want more? Why I love the kettlebell slingshot
Watch the Kettlebell Slingshot exercise below:
The kettlebell halo warm up exercise will open up the shoulder girdle and upper back.
Rotate the kettlebell around the head keeping it as close to the neckline as possible.
Keep your eyes looking forwards and chest up.
Use a light kettlebell for this exercise because you don’t want to develop bad technique. The objective is to complete a nice fluid movement around the head.
Practice: 10 rotations clockwise and then 10 in the opposite direction.
Watch the Kettlebell Halo exercise below:
3 Kettlebell Good Morning
The Kettlebell Good Morning exercise will help mobilise the hips, warm up the hamstrings and improve low back alignment.
The objective of this kettlebell exercise is to keep your lower back inline with the rest of your back while you bend forwards.
Keep your legs slightly bent and push your hips backwards until you feel your hamstring are at full stretch.
Your chest should be lifted and your weight back on your heels.
Practice: 10 slow and controlled repetitions.
Watch the Kettlebell Good Morning exercise below:
4 Kettlebell Bottoms Up Clean
The kettlebell bottoms up clean will improve your full body alignment, excite your nervous system and develop your racket grip strength.
Beginners should practice the regular kettlebell clean before attempting this exercise.
Clean the kettlebell keeping the bell close to the body and elbow tucked in. Work towards good alignment with the forearm vertically underneath the upside down kettlebell.
Hold the kettlebell in the bottoms up position for as long as possible before taking it back down to the floor.
Care should be taken during this exercise because the kettlebell does travel quite close to the face.
Practice: 10 repetitions on each side.
Watch the Kettlebell Bottoms Up Clean exercise below:
Kettlebell Exercises for Tennis Players | Stabilisation
The tennis player is very active as they move around the court playing shots from all angles and positions.
Developing full body stabilisation enables the tennis player to firmly root themselves while playing a shot.
Stabilisation requires the development of the chassis of the body allowing the larger prime mover muscles a solid foundation to perform off.
A well developed stabilisation system will reduce the potential for injuries while at the same time increasing the potential for strength and power.
Below are 3 kettlebell exercises for tennis players to improve stabilisation:
5 Kettlebell Single Leg Deadlift
The kettlebell single leg deadlift is the ultimate sports stabilisation exercise.
Not only will you develop single leg strength during this exercise but also the core sling system which connects the hip to the opposite shoulder.
Tennis requires a tremendous amount of rotational movement both when playing a shot and during movement around the court.
The kettlebell single leg deadlift will develop this rotational strength while at the same time balancing out your left and right side often an issue with racket sports.
As with the kettlebell good morning exercise the hips need to do all the work with the back kept in a nice straight line throughout.
Keep your weight on the mid foot and heel to fully activate the muscles down the back of the body especially the hamstrings and glutes.
Try to avoid rotating the rear foot outwards during the movement, keep those toes pointing down.
Practice: 5 slow and controlled repetitions on each side.
Want more? How to Master the Single Leg Deadlift
Watch the Kettlebell Single Leg Deadlift exercise below:
6 Kettlebell Windmill
The kettlebell windmill is our first overhead stabilisation exercise and is used for strengthening the shoulders, core and opening up the hips.
Tennis requires an overhead shot each time you serve and having weak or unstable shoulders can lead to reoccurring injuries.
The kettlebell windmill will strengthen the deep stabilisers of the shoulder.
The first challenge is to just hold the kettlebell overhead, try 30 seconds.
Don’t hunch your shoulders, keep them down in there sockets and away from the ears.
Next, practice the windmill movement without a kettlebell. Keep your weight back on the one leg so you feel the tension through your hamstrings.
Only reach down as far as your hamstrings will allow you to keep your rear leg straight.
Practice: start with holding for 30 seconds on each side, next progress to 5 repetitions of kettlebell windmills on each side.
Watch the Kettlebell Windmill exercise below:
7 Kettlebell Turkish Get Up
The kettlebell Turkish get up is the ultimate full body stabilisation strengthening exercise.
During the full Turkish Get Up you will improve your core strength, stabilisation strength, and full body mobility.
If you want to avoid getting injured on the tennis court then the kettlebell Turkish Get Up is an important exercise to master.
Keep the kettlebell arm straight at all times and move slowly through the 7 phases of the movement.
Try to be mindful during the exercise of areas that you find the most challenging.
The get up can be thought of as an assessment tool so if you struggle with certain phases of the exercise then these are the areas where you should spend more time improving.
Practice: start without a kettlebell and get used to the movement. Progress to 1 repetition on each side, repeat certain parts of the movement that you find the most challenging.
Watch the Kettlebell Turkish Get Up exercise below:
Kettlebell Exercises for Tennis Players | Dynamic Strength
Tennis players move in all directions around the court, often exploding in and out of positions as they reach for the ball.
If you want to improve your tennis game then you need to have the dynamic strength to cope with the movement demands.
The list of kettlebell exercises for tennis players I’ve included within this section combine multi-directional movement patterns to simulate your movement around the court.
Plus, there are also exercises to help develop more power for stronger more focused shots.
Below are 7 kettlebell exercises for tennis players to develop dynamic strength:
8 Kettlebell Forward Lunge
The kettlebell forward lunge is one of the most fundamental movement patterns and very important for tennis.
If you consider how you reach and move in towards the net you will understand the cross over with the forward lunge.
Gaining strength in this important movement patten will increase your speed around the court plus your ability to change direction quickly.
Be sure to practice this exercise by lunging so the back knee kisses or comes as close to the floor as possible. Shallow lunges will fail to activate the buttocks effectively.
Beginners unfamiliar with the lunge should first start with the reverse lunge and use no kettlebell.
Practice: start without the kettlebell, when you can comfortably complete 15 reps on each side then start to add the weight. Keep repetitions higher 15 – 20 reps per side.
Watch the Kettlebell Reverse Lunge exercise below:
9 Kettlebell Bob and Weave
The kettlebell bob and weave exercise introduces some very important sideways or lateral movement skills which are very important for tennis players.
If you think about your movement along the baseline or at the net then you’ll understand how the bob and weave can help.
Keep your chest up and back nice and flat as you move from side to side.
Your weight should be kept back on your heels and mid-foot in order to fully activate your buttocks and hamstrings.
Be careful not to lunge too deeply at first, allow your hips and legs to warm up before gradually getting deeper and deeper into the exercise.
Practice: start without a kettlebell to familiarise yourself with the movement before gradually adding a kettlebell. Work up to 20 total repetitions.
Watch the Kettlebell Bob and Weave exercise below:
10 Kettlebell Lunge with Rotation
The kettlebell lunge with rotation will help to develop strong legs, hips and core muscles.
The rotation added to this kettlebell exercise will improve your strength as you drive through the tennis ball.
Rotational lunges will also improve your hip and trunk mobility reducing the potential for injury during your tennis game.
Be sure to lunge deep enough so the back knee gets as close to the floor as possible without resting on the floor.
Keep your chest and ribcage lifted and eyes looking forwards.
Practice: progress to a total of 20 repetitions, changing legs each time.
Want more? See 16 Kettlebell Lunge Variations
Watch the Kettlebell Lunge with Rotation exercise below:
11 Kettlebell Swing One Arm
The kettlebell swing is perhaps the most effective full body kettlebell exercise and one that should not be neglected by the tennis player.
The One Arm Kettlebell Swing will develop your grip strength, explosive power in your hips, strengthen your buttocks and hamstrings.
Just this one kettlebell exercise alone will improve your movement and strength on the tennis court.
The kettlebell swing is not the easiest exercise to master, the back needs to be kept isometrically flat while the hips generate the power for the swing.
Stand tall at the top of the swing and brace your abs tight to protect your lower back.
Keep your chest and ribcage lifted and shoulder back and down in its socket.
Practice: 10 reps on each side before taking a short rest and then repeating.
Want more? Ultimate Guide to the Kettlebell Swing
Watch the Kettlebell One Arm Swing exercise below:
12 Kettlebell Side Lunge
The kettlebell side lunge is a strong leg and buttocks developing exercise that will also help to improve your hip mobility.
Developing strength with the kettlebell side lunge will improve your ability to push off and change directions from one leg to the other.
The added mobility benefits that your will achieve from the kettlebell side lunge will also help to reduce injury potential when moving around the tennis court.
Keep your weight back on your mid-foot and heel in order to fully activate the buttocks and hamstrings.
Practice this kettlebell exercise without a weight first in order to assess your movement and mobility skills.
Try to progressively sink deeper and deeper into the lunge as your hips and legs warm up.
Practice: 5 – 10 repetitions on each side will be enough to develop strength from this exercise. Work up to 3 sets.
Watch the Kettlebell Side Lunge exercise below:
13 Kettlebell Thruster
The kettlebell Thruster is a full body exercise that will improve your explosive strength around the tennis court while also taxing your cardio.
The squat is one of our fundamental movement patterns. As you powerfully explode around the court you will often use a variation of the squat in order to move from one position to the next.
Most of your movement around the tennis court will come from lunging variations that we have covered above but developing your squatting will help too.
The addition of the overhead press will help you to connect the lower body movement with upper body control via the core muscles.
Be sure to squat down so your thighs reach parallel with the floor in order to fully activate your buttocks.
Drive from the bottom position of the squat by pushing the floor away from you, then use the momentum to push the kettlebell overhead.
Practice: start with the two handed thruster before progressing to 10 repetitions on each side. Work up to 3 sets.
Want more? How to Master the Kettlebell Thruster
Watch the Kettlebell Thruster exercise below:
14 Kettlebell High Pull
The kettlebell high pull is a highly cardiovascular full body exercise that works your grip strength too.
Just like the kettlebell swing the high pull relies on explosive hips which will help you to move quickly around the court.
The kettlebell high pull has the added benefit that it works into the back of the body helping to strengthen your backswing.
Your forearm will be close to horizontal with the floor as you quickly pull the kettlebell back. Keep your wrist tight.
Care should be taken when practicing this exercise that the kettlebell doesn’t flip over and hit you in the face.
Practice: 10 – 20 repetitions on each side. Work up to 3 sets.
Want more? How to Master the Kettlebell High Pull
Watch the Kettlebell High Pull exercise below:
Conclusion to Kettlebell Exercises for Tennis Players
Kettlebells are an excellent training tool for tennis players.
Above I have listed 14 kettlebell exercises for tennis players and broken them down into Warm Ups, Stabilisation and Dynamic Strength.
You do not need to use all the above exercises you can choose 1 from each category and progress slowly.
As with all resistance training start off by mastering the movement without a kettlebell before gradually adding load.
Everyone responds to kettlebell training differently so remember to take a days rest whenever needed.
Enjoy these kettlebell exercises for tennis, with regular commitment they will go a long way to improving your performance on the tennis court.
Have you tried any of these kettlebell exercises for tennis players? Let me know below….