Is doubles good exercise?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Steady Eddy, Apr 6, 2014.

  1. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    My plan to get in to shape was to do the tennis drop-in 3 days a week. Is that a good plan, or should I go to the gym to get fit, and allow being more fit to improve my tennis?
     
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  2. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    If played properly, doubles can provide some decent exercise. Many rec players, however, are too static at the net. They should be "following the ball" -- constantly moving forward and back as well as left and right. Will elaborate on this later if someone else does not.

    Jumping rope, wind sprints and some gym work is not a bad idea either.
    .
     
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  3. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    I will say this. When I'm 'at-the-net' and the ball is hit to my partner, I back up to the service line to see how he's handling it. If he rips on it, I'll move up again. So even if I don't get to hit a ball, I don't stand around.

    By the end of the hour and a half I've worked up a nice sweat. But I hear that playing tennis isn't a good way to get exercise.
     
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  4. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    I don't think doubles is that great of a workout compared to singles (or other sports like basketball or soccer). The points are too short. I can play 3 sets of doubles and still have fresh legs. Playing doubles 3x a week is still a decent amount of activity and is much better than doing nothing. Also, I could play doubles 3x a week and keep it up because I would not get bored with it whereas I cannot say the same for something monotonous like running on a treadmill.
     
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  5. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Doubles is less sheer exercise, but when played well, it works more start/stop quick movement than singles, so it he aids a different part of your game.
    Neither player ever stands there during any point. Both players move on every shot, netperson cheats and retreats as needed, and cover's his own overheads to mid NML, after that depth, it's defense and both players should be back.
     
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  6. GuyClinch

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    Doubles is for fun - its not really about the exercise. I never found tennis that good of a workout. Singles will wear you out but you get all beat up..I remember in NYC you would see all kinds of skinny old guys with three braces on and such.

    Like it or not but a good weightlifting session in the gym (with some aerobic at the end). will leave you feeling stronger and healthier.

    Tennis is good for keeping your athleticism though. The basic movement and throwing skills you use in most sports are present in tennis.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
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  7. Raul_SJ

    Raul_SJ Professional

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    In a good 60 minute doubles match, I perceive the effort to be about equivalent to 45 minutes of brisk walking.
     
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  8. 2ndServe

    2ndServe Professional

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    it's definitely no where near the exercise of singles, though singles at the lower levels isn't much exercise either. But once your body starts hurting, doubles at least keeps you active without killing all your joints. The past few months I've played it 1-2x a week and that rate I wasn't losing any weight. I've since been playing 5-6 times a week for the last 3-4 weeks and have lost ~5 lbs so it's definitely still some exercise.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
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  9. maggmaster

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    I have worn a heart rate monitor during 4.0/4.5 doubles and it estimated my calories burned at around 390 per hour. Not great but better than sitting on your couch.
     
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  10. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    Today I played a set of doubles, followed by a set of singles. Oh my! That singles set was excruciating. If I could get around more it would really help me in tennis. But after doing nothing for so long, any exercise is a shock.

    I think a combination of tennis and treadmill will be good. And I think doing some treadmill will improve my tennis.
     
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  11. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Still totally depends on what kind of singles you play, and what kind of doubles.
    If I play singles with one of my weekday doubles buddies, I'd barely break a sweat and my heartrate can stay well below 110.
    If I played doubles with the afternoon crowd, I'd need shorts, shortsleeve shirt, a towell, and my heartrate would be well over 120 most of the time.
    So, doubles CAN be exercise, but only if you move and participate.
     
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  12. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    its great exercise if you play it with your lover.Not with your wife
     
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  13. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Ever watch an ATP or WTA doubles match?
    BOTH teams are sweating, just like they played singles.
     
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  14. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Comparing pros with recreational players is like apple with orange. They are completely different. Pros have prizes to incentize them. On other hands, rec players, not only lazy by human nature, also have potential injuries to discourage them from playing hard. Completely opposite.
     
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  15. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    You want to stand around with your feet crossed and dangling your racket, or do you want to move wide with your partner, forward with your partner, back when your partner moves back?
     
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  16. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

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    I get a bigger workout from 7.0 mixed doubles than 7.0 men's doubles.

    Def was running more in mixed. Longer points from my short experience.
     
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  17. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Lot of rec players have simply not learned how to play properly=actively. Many who have, can get a decent workout. Those who haven't tend to play very statically and only move when the ball comes near them. Intermediate players who have developed some semblance of control/consistency should learn or take classes on strategy, positioning and movement for doubles. Doubles drills can help to develop these skills.
     
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  18. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Last edited: Apr 10, 2014
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  19. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Playing properly very much equates to playing hard. If you play easy and win and think you play properly, you're playing wrong opponents.

    Playing hard is injurious, antithesis to recreation. Pros do not have this dilemma at all.

    People are smart. They adjust and do accordingly to their scenario.
     
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  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Basically, doubles is a different kind of exercise than singles.
    Good doubles, even rec 4.0, all 4 players are moving on every shot, both guys move back to cover lobs, both players move forwards when attacking, both move to left, while other team moves right, or if the ball is hit to the other side, the opposite.
    There is no standing around on any shots.
    Netperson cheats towards middle, but if he doesn't cut off the shot, immediately moves back into position to allow his partner to hit to the CC open court.
    If netperson poach's, backcourt person get's ready to move into the vacant position, to cover the spot poacher just left.
    Doubles is short, quick movement for volleying position, and precise, accurate low groundstrokes.
    Different benefit, but still beneficial.
     
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  21. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    Agreed with LeeD here, doubles can be great exercise if you are constantly moving! You should be constantly adjusting based on where the ball is, how aggressive your opponent/partner are being, etc.
     
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  22. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    I'm certain I'm getting a benefit. I play doubles for 90 minutes to two hours. The treadmill I'd usually do for 30 or 40 minutes. I watch how my partner is returning a shot. If he's aggressive I move up, if he seems to be struggling with it, I drop back. I don't park myself in one place and watch.

    At the end of it I've worked up a good sweat. My running ability has really returned after a month of this. I hope to keep doing this for another two months, when it gets really hot in AZ for tennis.
     
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  23. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^^ Guess you missed the part where I brought this up in post #2, kingcheetah.

    OTOH, many rec, amateur or NTRP players don't play proper doubles (with a lot of movement) either because they are lazy or they don't know any better. I have seen many intermediate players who have great reflexes and like to hug the net. The have not learned to play doubles properly but will often get away with this style because of their reflexes and the fact that many of their opponents do not know how to take advantage of their extreme proximity to the net.
     
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  24. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    The exercise calorie calculators typically peg doubles as half the calories of singles. That makes sense as you don't run anywhere near as far in doubles and the points are shorter making for overall less activity time.
     
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  25. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    You don't play doubles to burn calories, you play singles or run/swim.
    Doubles, you learn quick movement, quick recovery, efficient first step movement, accuracy of hitting, net play, and accurate returns of serves.
    Benefits from doubles are different than just calorie burning mindless running, like some of you do for singles play.
     
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  26. hawk eye

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    Yes doubles can be pretty fatiguing. Especially if you play three rounds of at least one hour each, with a ten minutes break between them. Wich i did yesterday. If you keep moving with the ball, (left/right, back/ forth) an look for a good poach all the time the net person also gets a decent workout.
     
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  27. goober

    goober Legend

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    Doubles is not great exercise. Going to gym for an hour is much better than playing doubles for an hour. But you really have to look at long term picture. Are you really going to the gym regularly 2-3 years down the road? Tennis is fun and going to workout is not (for most people). So I say play doubles since you will stick with it and try to sneak gym workouts once or maybe twice a week.
     
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  28. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    You want exercise? Go swimming for an hour.
     
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  29. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    As usual it depends. What's the goal and what are the options? If you currently do little to nothing and you hate working out, then doubles (which is way, way more interesting than working out) is more than you are doing now and you are likely to continue with it over the long haul. OTOH gym training is much more efficient, but boring in the extreme and only the most motivated will do it for more than a handful of times before reverting to what they were doing before, likely not much.

    You know yourself best...
     
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  30. Egoista

    Egoista Professional

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    If you are playing with a weaker partner against a strong doubles team then yes it can be

    in humid conditions
     
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  31. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Who want's exercise?
    I play doubles to keep my movement quick and sharp, hit a FEW accurate shots, and have some fun.
    You want to raise your heartbeat? Go swim, go run, go wrestle someone big.
     
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