Let’s face it. As we grow older, we also grow slower. As tennis players, as we age, we also play more doubles. Unless you are among the cowards who stay back all the time, you’re going to spend a lot of time at the net.
If you have a slow reaction time, you’re going to lose a lot of points at best. At worst, you may catch a ball or two in places you don’t want (or need) if you can’t react fast enough!
1. Boxing and Kick Boxing as Fitness
I love kick boxing, and I also love boxing for fitness. Nothing trains the hands quite like boxing does. Boxing (and by extension, kick boxing) are total body workouts, too. You will bob, weave, duck, feint, parry and throw loads of punches.
You will develop lightning-quick reflexes at any age. As a side benefit, you’ll be better at defending yourself. As a further side benefit, you’ll be a superstar at the net in tennis!
2. How Does Boxing Translate to Tennis?
A boxing fitness routine will make you fitter and faster. Your reflexes will improve and so will your hand-eye coordination. Also, in the modern game of tennis, you do not hit the ball straight on in a groundstroke. You are deflecting the ball off its path.
For further reading on this concept, refer to Oscar Wegner’s article on Martial Arts and Tennis. The same is true in boxing. You parry punches. The last thing you want to do is meet force with force.
Women do have a smaller bone structure and especially do not want to take a shot full force. If you’re boxing correctly, you won’t, either! This same parrying/deflection can be used on groundstrokes in tennis as well as for net rallies.
Since you really want to hit the ball into an open space on the court (not right at the opponent unless you can’t help it), deflecting the ball is the optimal solution. For more on this subject, read Steve Tourdo’s article on how to play fearlessly at the net.
I’ve got a special inspirational video for you. Although not technically fitness boxing for tennis, this video should show you several things. First off, anyone can box at any age. Secondly, watch the hand speed. Can you see how that will help you at the net? Thirdly, this is just cool as can be! So watch the video, then go out and start your own boxing fitness workouts!