Subscribe to our blog
Yoga Blog
6 Yoga Poses for Tennis Players

6 Yoga Poses for Tennis Players

Tennis is a physically demanding sport that requires agility, strength, and mental focus. As tennis players, we constantly strive to improve our performance on the court, whether it's mastering powerful serves, executing precise volleys, or maintaining endurance during long matches. While traditional tennis training focuses on technique and conditioning, integrating yoga into your regimen can offer a multitude of benefits, especially for the shoulders, spine and legs, that can elevate your game to the next level.

In this article, we'll explore how specific yoga poses can complement your tennis training by enhancing flexibility, balance, core strength, and mental resilience. Whether you're a beginner looking to prevent injuries or a seasoned player seeking to optimize your performance, these yoga poses are designed to support your journey towards becoming a more well-rounded and resilient athlete on the tennis court.

Join us as we explore yoga poses for tennis players, uncovering the transformative effects it can have on your game, both physically and mentally. 

Top 5 Yoga Poses for Tennis Players 

Cat-cow Pose

Release tension in your spine with a few rounds of Cat and Cow pose. Expand the range of motion by incorporating lateral side bends—bring your right shoulder and hip towards each other in a C-shape, then switch to the left side. Enhance spinal mobility further with rotations—extend your right arm towards the ceiling, then thread it underneath your body, drawing the right shoulder towards the mat. Repeat the movement on the left side for a comprehensive spinal stretch.

Cat-Cow Pose

How to do cat-cow pose 

  • Come onto all fours with the palms directly under the shoulders and knees underneath your hips. Ensure your weight is equally distributed on all fours. 
  • Inhale and fill your abdomen with air as you let your belly drop towards the mat. There will be an arch in your back as you do this. Look up towards the ceiling and lengthen your neck and throat.
  • As you exhale, pull the naval towards the spine, curve your back and tuck your chin into your chest as you lift up. 
  • Continue this movement for a few breaths. Let your breath guide you through the movements. 
  • After a few rounds, release and come into child’s pose.  

Downward-facing Dog Pose

Enhance wrist strength, shoulder mobility, core stability, and hamstring flexibility with the Downward-facing Dog pose. Given the asymmetrical movements in tennis, Downward-facing Dog serves as an excellent post-play practice to realign the spine. Experiment with bent knees to emphasize spinal elongation. If your arms are fatigued from tennis, opt for a modified version by placing your hands on a wall or the back of a chair, alleviating weight-bearing pressure.

Downward-facing Dog Pose

How to do Downward-facing dog pose

  • Come onto all fours with the hips above the knees and shoulders above the wrists. 
  • Bring the hands slightly ahead of the shoulders with the middle finger pointing forward and finger spread. 
  • Tuck your toes and as you exhale, engage the core and press the hands down lifting the hips back and up to bring yourself into an inverted V-shape. 
  • Adjust the length of the spine and slowly straighten the knees and bring feet flat on the mat. You can alternately peddle the feet on the mat until it is possible to keep them flat on the mat. 
  • The shoulder blades should remain inline with the back and neck relaxed. 

Cow-Face Pose

Prepare your shoulders for powerful serves with the Cow Face pose, also known as Gomukhasana. Opt for an active variation to enhance flexibility: rather than aiming to touch your fingers together, use a yoga strap or band between your hands. Engage both hands to pull the strap apart, simulating resistance. Repeat the movement on both sides, allowing for relaxation between repetitions.

Cow-Face Pose

How to do Cow-face Pose

  • Begin in Dandasana (Staff pose).
  • Bend your right knee and bring your left foot to the outside of your right hip, threading it under your right knee. Simultaneously, place your right foot on the outside of your left hip, aligning your right knee over your left knee.
  • Ground through your sitting bones. Inhale as you lengthen your spine, extending your arms sideways with palms facing forward.
  • Internally rotate your right shoulder, turning your palm towards the wall behind you and pointing your thumb downward. Move your right arm behind your back, guiding your hand up between your shoulder blades with the palm facing outward.
  • Extend your left arm upward, fingertips reaching towards the ceiling, keeping the palm facing forward. Bend your elbow and reach down for your right fingertips, intertwining your fingers if possible.
  • Your right knee is now positioned on top, and your left elbow points upward.
  • Engage your shoulder blades by pressing them against your back ribs, creating an open chest. Hold the pose for a few breaths.
New to Shvasa? Learn holistic yoga from India's best! Get personalized feedback & motivation. Attend classes that are a perfect fit for you. Sign up for free to start 7 days free trial.

Chair Pose

Energize your legs and enhance ankle stability with Chair pose, also known as Utkatasana. This posture not only strengthens your core and back but also promotes shoulder openness. For added intensity, incorporate a block or cushion between your thighs, engaging them further for a heightened challenge.

Chair Pose

How to do Chair Pose

  • Stand straight with your feet a little less than shoulder width apart. 
  • Stretch the hands out with the palms facing downwards. 
  • Now gently bend the knees and push the pelvis down as if you were sitting on a chair.
  • Take deep breaths and hold still. Gaze in front of you. Try to imagine you are reading or working on a laptop if this helps you hold still! 
  • Keep the spine long, sit straight and try to relax. 

Side Plank Pose

Side plank, or Vasisthasana, is a comprehensive strengthener for the entire body, with a particular focus on engaging the obliques. Enhancing these muscles not only fosters better balance but also improves overall stability. Transitioning from Side Plank, ground the foot of your top leg in front of you while lowering your hips toward the floor. This motion alleviates tension and tightness in the outer hips, promoting greater flexibility and comfort.

Side Plank Pose

How to do Side Plank Pose

  • To come into the pose, start in the Plank pose. Press the hands firmly on the mat and ensure the shoulders are over the wrists. 
  • Now, roll both the feet to the right, keeping the core and legs engaged. Place the left foot on top of the right. 
  • Keep the legs together and the right foot pushed onto the mat. Simultaneously, keep the right hand also pushed onto the mat and raise the left hand. 
  • Look up towards the raised hand or look straight ahead. 
  • Continue to keep the abdomen and legs engaged. 
  • Stay here for a few deep breaths. 

Supine Spinal Twist

Among the top yoga poses beneficial for tennis players, the Supine Spinal Twist stands out. This pose excels in alleviating tension across the torso, arms, shoulders, and neck. Additionally, it aids in releasing tension from the hips and outer thighs, areas prone to tightness during tennis play. By targeting these key areas, the Supine Spinal Twist offers comprehensive relief, enhancing flexibility and comfort on and off the court.

Supine Spinal Twist

How to do Supine Spinal Twist Pose

  • Lie down on your back. Bend your right knee and place the sole of your foot on the floor, with the knee pointing towards the ceiling. 
  • Press the foot to lift the hip slightly off the floor and shift it an inch to the right. 
  • As you exhale, extend your left leg flat on the mat and keep the left foot flexed. Pull the right knee towards the chest. 
  • Inhale and as you exhale again cross the right knee over the midline to the floor on the left side of your body. 
  • Now your hip right will be stacked above the left hip. You can also hook the right foot behind your left knee. 
  • Open the arms on either side such that your body forms a T with the arms. You can also place your left hand on the right knee. 
  • Turn the head and look towards the right, gazing at the right fingertips. 
  • Hold the posture for a few minutes or 5-7 deep breaths. 

In conclusion, yoga poses tailored for tennis players offer therapeutic benefits aimed at improving balance and reducing stress, ultimately aiding in injury prevention. It's essential to approach yoga with seriousness and consult a doctor before starting any new practice. Furthermore, it's advisable to avoid intense yoga sessions on the day of or before matches or practices. When practiced correctly, yoga can benefit athletes of all kinds, enhancing flexibility, expediting recovery, and elevating overall performance levels. Embracing yoga as part of a comprehensive training regimen can lead to lasting benefits both on and off the court.

Can tennis players practice yoga?
Yes, yoga is an extremely beneficial practice for tennis players.
How does yoga help tennis players?
Yoga poses can complement your tennis training by enhancing flexibility, balance, core strength, and mental resilience.
What are the top yoga poses for tennis players?
Tennis players should practice cat-cow pose, downward-facing dog pose, cow-face pose, chair pose, side plank and easy spinal twist.
6 Yoga Poses for Tennis Players
Pradeep Sattamaya

Pradeep is the Global Head of Yoga at Shvasa. He is currently pursuing his studies in Yoga texts, Ayurveda and modern Neuroscience. Pradeep successfully built a chain of yoga studios in Bangalore which was later acquired by a major Health/Fitness brand. He currently resides in Mysore, a heritage city with a close connection to Yoga traditions. Pradeep Sattwamaya (Deep) had the blessed opportunity to be accepted as a disciple by his guru, ParamhamsaSwami Niranjanananda Saraswati ( In the Sanyasa lineage of Shri AdiShankara, Swami Swami Sivananda, Swami Satyananda ). Pradeep spend two full years living and imbibing yoga at Gangadarshan, a traditional Yoga gurukula along the banks of river Ganga in Bihar. He completed first 12 year phase of discipleship in 2016. Pradeep has also practiced and closely studied the Mysore Astanga Yoga and Iyengar Yoga.

Related Articles

Practice yoga with the world's best teachers - LIVE
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.