Missouri Valley / Heart Of America

Cardio Tennis Provides Exciting Way to Work Out

Jerod Fox | May 21, 2020

Cardio Tennis is hardly a new phenomenon. It was invented in 1995 by Mir Rahim, and adopted as a national program in 2005 by the Tennis Industry Association in partnership with the USTA. However, in 2019, the USTA took over Cardio Tennis nationwide with the goal of promoting it as an up-and-coming fitness trend.


Cardio Tennis is a group fitness activity that gives people an alternative way to do cardio workouts. It is generally an hour long class, separated into warm-up, workout and cool down phases.


“I would not call Cardio Tennis a ‘tennis class,’ it doesn’t involve as much instruction as a normal lesson,” said Thiago Santos, National Cardio Tennis Director of Genesis Health Clubs and Cardio Tennis Global Trainer. “I like to compare it to other group activities such as Zumba or a spin class. It’s a cardiovascular activity, a fitness class. Tennis is the avenue for cardiovascular activity.”


The program combines the physical activity of tennis with the community of group lessons and turns it into a great workout. In an average class, a female can expect to burn anywhere between 300 and 600 calories, while a male might burn up to 1000 calories.


“There are so many benefits to it. In Cardio Tennis, there is a very high social and fun aspect to the class. You get a great calorie burn, too,” Santos said. “I think this is a huge benefit for people who are looking for an alternative way to work out. To burn 600 calories on a treadmill, not only would that take me a while, but chances are I would probably quit before getting there.”


Cardio tennis is great for beginners and experienced players alike. It is played with the Stage Two orange tennis ball, which not only allows for longer rallies, but also encourages players to move to the ball, rather than letting it come to them.


“A lot of it is not your tennis level, but your fitness level. It’s a great entry point for beginner players, as well as returning players,” Santos said. “If you used to play but haven’t done much recently, Cardio Tennis is a good way to get back into the game.”


With the USTA now in charge of the Cardio Tennis program, Santos is excited to see the direction that things are going. He sees a world of opportunity for it to expand the reach of the game across the country. Not only this, but he sees that Cardio Tennis taps in to some of the newest trends in fitness.


“I see great things coming up in the future for Cardio Tennis to continue to grow our game,” he said. “Out of the top three fitness trends in 2020, which are wearable technology, high intensity interval training and group training, Cardio Tennis has them all.”


Cardio Tennis can be found at many clubs around the Kansas City area, not just at Genesis. As a Global Trainer, Santos is also available for clubs and groups that are not yet involved in Cardio Tennis, but are interested in finding out more. He can be reached at TSantos@genesishealthclubs.com.

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