Tennis enthusiasts are increasingly taking to group exercise classes called cardio tennis because it lets them find players as skilful and fit as they are, says an expert.
Chris Chopra, assistant tennis professional at the Indiana University Tennis Center, describes cardio tennis as exercise classes that combine tennis drills with coaching and 40 minutes of constant motion.
Just like other group exercise classes, he adds, cardio tennis adds a social element to a strong workout.
"The network of people they can play with really increases. They know they're going to have a good workout and a good time, finding people with similar skill levels," he says.
Chopra says that the hour-long class usually begins with a 10-minute warm-up that includes dynamic stretches, shuffling, the grapevine and other movements designed to get the heart pumping faster.
Thereafter, he adds, participants are in constant motion for 40 minutes, performing fast-paced agility drills to improve footwork, jumping rope and doing sit-ups and other strengthening exercises.
Participants often participate in fast-paced point play, which involves playing an opponent or doubles for one point and then quickly moving on to more drills.
Chopra says the class ends with a 10-minute cool down, often involving easy volleys or practice serving, and then stretching.
According to him, cardio tennis is suitable for all ages and abilities, but requires some experience of playing tennis.
"The program is designed to get people back into the game -- or started, " Chopra said.