6 best arm strength exercises to help your tennis game


Arm strengthening exercises help ensure arm mobility, endurance and strength. It’s especially important for tennis players to maintain a good game. Tennis requires vigorous use of the arms and shoulders, not to mention a fair amount of force for a good serve or backhand shot.

Strengthening your arms and upper body in general will increase your mobility and strength in these areas, helping to improve your tennis game. It will also reduce your risk of injuries and muscle tears. Read on to learn some arm strength exercises you can perform to improve your tennis game.

Arm strength exercises to boost your tennis game

To train your upper body especially for tennis, you will need to strengthen your shoulders, chest, back and arms – wrists, forearms and upper arms. It will dramatically improve your game and give you the strength to swing a racquet with conviction.

Check out these six best arm strength exercises to boost your tennis game:

1) Bench press

The bench press is a powerful compound exercise that targets the chest, triceps, and shoulders, all of which are essential parts of a powerful tennis serve. Few exercises build upper body strength as effectively as the bench press, when done correctly.

Here’s how to do this arm-strengthening exercise:

  • Lie on your back on a bench while grabbing a barbell, holding the barbell with your hands directly above your shoulders.
  • Maintain an engaged core and a neutral spine position during the movement. Avoid the arched back posture.
  • Lower the bar towards the chest, approximately at nipple level, allowing the elbows to bend 45 degrees from the body.
  • When your elbows are barely below the bench, stop lowering yourself. When you press your feet into the floor and push the bar up, you will return to the starting position.
  • Perform three sets of five to ten reps.
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2) Wrist flexion

This exercise works your wrists and forearms. You can use dumbbells, light dumbbells, or the EZ bar to do this exercise.

Here’s how to do this arm-strengthening exercise:

  • Place your upper forearms on a bench and grab an EZ bar slightly inside shoulder width (or any comfortable flat surface).
  • Let your hands hang over the edge.
  • Flexing your wrists, lower the weight to the floor.
  • Continue until you feel an obvious stretch under your forearms.
  • Raise the bar by contracting your forearms to complete one repetition.
  • Repeat for two to four sets of 8 to 15 repetitions.
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3) Reverse wrist bend

Most people have undeveloped forearm extensors (i.e. they never train them). By strengthening your extensors, you can make them more resistant to muscle sprains that can occur during racket strokes. It will improve your tennis performance.

Here’s how to do this arm-strengthening exercise:

  • Assume an overhand grip on a light barbell.
  • Place the undersides of your forearms on a weight bench while allowing your hands to hang over the edge.
  • By bending your wrists toward the floor, you can bring the weight down to the ground.
  • Go down until your extensors feel a moderate stretch.
  • Come up by flexing your upper forearms and be sure to raise the bar above the level of your forearms and hands for a powerful contraction.
  • Repeat for two to three sets of 15 to 25 reps each.
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4) Tighten the handle

A hand gripper is a great option for incorporating forearm exercises into your tennis training.

Here’s how to do this arm-strengthening exercise:

  • Hold a grip trainer between your fingers and palm.
  • Firmly compress the gripper by pressing your fingers and palm together.
  • Keep squeezing until the two ends of the pliers meet.
  • Controlled release of the gripper grip.
  • Repeat for two to four sets of eight to 15 reps each.
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5) T raise

T raises primarily strengthen the upper back and shoulder muscles. This includes the rear deltoids and lower traps. Overall, this will help improve the range of motion in your arms.

Here’s how you do this arm strength drill to improve your tennis game:

  • With your feet hip-width apart and dumbbells at your hips, maintain a standing position.
  • Bring your torso parallel to the floor by deeply bending both knees, moving your hips back, and aligning your thighs with your feet.
  • Engage your heart at all times. Raise the weights to shoulder height with straight arms.
  • As you lift, bring your shoulder blades together. Return the weights to the starting position and repeat the exercise.
  • Perform ten repetitions.
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6) Side Plank with Side Raise

This is a compound exercise that strengthens many important muscle groups in your body. It targets your arms, shoulders, and lateral deltoids. It also strengthens your obliques and hip muscles.

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Here’s how to do this arm-strengthening exercise:

  • Roll onto your side, stacking your feet and placing your right forearm on the floor.
  • Make sure your right elbow is under your shoulder and your hand is directly under your elbow.
  • Push your hips skyward and raise yourself as high as you can. Hold a single dumbbell in your left hand, with your arm extended straight from your shoulder.
  • Extend your arm squarely above your shoulder and lift yourself up. Return to the center and repeat the movement. Perform ten repetitions on each side.


Include the aforementioned arm strength exercises in your routine to improve your tennis game.

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