How can you build endurance but still be quick around the court.

There are two types of muscle fibers, fast twitch and slow twitch,

Fast twitch are for sprints and explosive movements such as tennis.
Slow twitch are for distance running and endurance.

How can a tennis player be quick and agile while also have the stamina to play for 3 or more hours.

I have heard interval training where you run at a challenging pace for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds and repeat until fatigue

Can you guys give more details, Thanks!


Talk Tennis Guru
There are actually more skeletal muscle fiber types than two. Type I is slow twitch. This type produces relatively small twitch force but is highly resistant to fatigue. Type IIa is a fast (oxidative/glycolytic) fiber that produces medium twitch force. It is also is highly resistant to fatigue (but not high as Type I). Type IIx is a fast (glycolytic) fiber and is the fastest twitch fibers found in humans. This fiber type produces very large twitch force but only for a short time -- they fatigue fairly quickly.

Note that many (most) sources incorrectly refer to Type IIx as Type IIb. Early research identified muscle fiber types from animal studies. Later studies revealed that the very fast Type IIb fibers found in some mammals are not present in humans. Our Type IIx fibers are not as fast as true IIb fibers.

Tennis requires a mix of these 3 skeletal fiber types. The 2nd link above provides some clues as to how to train these various types.


Talk Tennis Guru
Rope skipping and other plyometric exercises are best for developing fast twitch fiber types.

Tennis players requires aerobic and 2 anearobic systems for competitive play. High level singles players might derive some 40-60% of their energy needs from their aerobic system. The 2 anaerobic systems will provide additional energy for burst mode activity in tennis. Interval training, such as HIIT, can develop these anaerobic systems. In some individual, HIIT might also adequately develop the aerobic system. However, for many (most?) athletes, some additional cardio (aerobic exercise) is often required to develop an adequate aerobic foundation for tennis.


Quite simply, you train all physical fitness components along with motor skills to achieve a good outcome. Physical fitness components should include:
1. Cardio vascular endurance
2. Muscular Endurance
3. Strength
4. Flexibility

Motor skills to work on include:
1. Speed
2. Agility
3. Reaction Time
4. Balance

Work on these attributes and you will be tops.