Playing a tennis match is considered a fully body workout, as virtually every part of the human body experiences some benefit from time on the court. Tennis works out a diverse set of muscles groups through the strength required to hit a ball and the cardio effort expended sprinting back and forth. The mechanics necessary for each individual shot enact a system in the body known as the kinetic chain, beginning with the feet and legs and moving up to the arms and shoulders.
Specific aspects of the kinetic chain that are stimulated during a game of tennis are the lower body and trunk muscles. A person’s calves are continuously engaged during play, as are the hamstrings and quads. In a professional tennis match players can run upwards of 5 miles, the majority of which is made at a full sprint. Trunk muscles that are engaged during tennis include the abdominals and obliques as well as the latissimus dorsi and erector spinae muscles. Repeatedly hitting forehand or backhand ground strokes gives the abdominals a particularly rigorous workout.