Cardio tennis, everyone?

Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:36am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - As the pros hit the courts for the start of the U.S. Open, tennis beginners and aces alike are burning calories and practicing their lobs, drop shots and backhands with cardio tennis.

The non-stop group fitness class is based on tennis moves, so everyone can get a workout while improving their strokes.

And there is no need to retrieve that errant ball. With cardio tennis, the balls just keep coming.

"Cardio tennis is a great workout using your tennis skills," said fitness expert Denise Austin. "It's almost like interval training, or a boot camp class on the tennis court and it encourages people to play tennis."

Cardio tennis is played on a tennis court and led by a tennis pro. But unlike a traditional tennis lesson, the emphasis is on movement rather than technique.

"They blast a boom box on the tennis court and you just start doing these fun drills to music," Austin said. "You've got running, sprints, squats, side-to-side shuffles and great tummy strengtheners with the different strokes. You're moving the whole time."

Austin, who has been in the fitness industry over 30 years, says for the beginner, it's a better workout than a traditional tennis game.

"If you're not a really good tennis player it's hard to get in a good workout (in a traditional game of tennis) because you're always missing the ball," said Austin, a member of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.   Continued...

<p>A cardio tennis class at Club Med in Ixtapa, Mexico, in a 2007 photo. REUTERS/Handout</p>