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Animated Tour of Tennis Footwork Exercises

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Backwards Skip
Backwards Skip
(C)2007 Jeff Cooper licensed to About.com, Inc.


These tennis footwork drills, adapted from a USTA sequence, are gentle enough to use as a first activity on the court. If you have two courts available, use the distance from the outer doubles line of one to the other. Most of the exercises go this full length, except where noted otherwise. If you only have one court, go to the net and back for full-length exercises.

Doing these in order is recommended, but not crucial. Use a relaxed pace throughout. These aren't races.

"I" am the coach leading the drill, doing each exercise along with you. You can do this sequence alone, with one person leading a group, or with each person in a group taking a turn as the leader.

To get your leg muscles started warming up, start with an easy jog all the way across and then a backwards jog to return.

Next, try the backwards skip, shown here, which is also easy on the legs. You'll probably never skip backwards during a match -- at least, not out of necessity -- but it's a good coordination exercise, and it helps to build the muscles used for backpedaling and jumping.

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