Lunges are great exercise that will improve the strength of your entire lower body, as well as your balance, coordination, and your overall tennis fitness.
Best of all, you don’t need any equipment or a gym to do your lunges. To make it more entertaining, there is a variety of different versions of lunges. I guarantee you will never get bored.
Step a big step far back with your right leg, and sink low. Make sure that your left knee is above your left foot, with pressure toward the heel. Feel how your left glute is working. Keep your right foot relaxed, pointing straight forward, with your heel lifted.
Make sure not to twist your right foot sideways -- even if you feel like it will give you better balance. Keep your upper body erect, vertical, with your chest and chin up. Sink low, then push yourself up, and feel the glutes working. Repeat 10-20 repetitions and then switch legs. For more intensity, carry weights in your hands or on your shoulders.
Just like in the previous version, step back with your right leg, keep your upper body erect, sink low, and then push yourself up to a standing position on your left leg. To add difficulty, lift the right knee high up toward your chest, then step back again without touching the ground. Perform 15-20 repetitions on the same side and then switch legs. An easier variation would be to alternate legs after each repetition.
Instead of stepping backward, you will step forward with your right leg, sink low (make sure your knee doesn't pass your foot) and then connect with your right glute and push yourself back to standing. To add difficulty, lift the right knee up high. Keep your posture erect at all times. Again, you can do all the repetitions (15-20) on one side and then switch, or alternate between left and right to make it a bit easier.
Just like stepping forward, you can step to the side or 45 degrees to the left or right. Make sure to sink low by bending your leg and not your hip. Always stay nicely erect. Perform 15-20 repetitions on each side.
Step forward with your right leg like in the forward lunge and then instead of returning to original position, you bring your back (left) leg forward. To add difficulty, lift the left knee high up before you begin stepping forward. Walk 20-30 lunges.
Walking Lunges with Twist
Each time you step forward and sink low, twist your entire upper body to the side of the front leg. Keep your straight arms in front of you for better stretch during the twist. To add difficulty, hold a medicine ball or weight in front of you.
Walking Lunges with Weight over Head
You can use a dumbbell or any other weight, but if you have access to kettlebells, you will get more intense and complete experience. Hold the kettlebell in one hand above your head. Keep your arm straight during the entire movement and perform 20 walking lunges. Observe and feel how the muscles in your shoulders and back work to stabilize the weight over your head. Switch your arms and walk 20 lunges back. If you don’t have enough space for walking lunges, you can do front or backward lunges with the kettlebell over your head.
Get into a deep lunge position, and instead of stepping back or forward to the start position, explode from both feet high up in the air, swiftly switch the legs in the air and land smoothly (like a big cat) on both feet into a deep lunge again. This is intense and improves greatly your explosive power, balance and stamina.
Find more tennis training and fitness tips in our Guide to Tennis Fitness.