How to build fitness for rowing and tennis


I am 16 and training to improve my fitness levels for rowing. I have been training for tennis and would like to know what to do to include fitness training for rowing too.

Great question. Many people do multiple sports so can you double up on training to benefit both?

So the number one difference between Tennis and Rowing is that in tennis you get to rest between games and sets. In rowing you don’t stop.

So for rowing fitness you need long endurance training at low cadence.

  • Best ways to do this are
  • Running – jogging at a pace which you can talk to someone next to you while running. Build up from 20 minutes continuous to 45 minutes. Time your run or measure your distance and keep a record.
  • Cycling – road biking at a good speed (again being able to talk but still sweating a bit) build up from 30 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes continuous riding.
  • Ergo – rowing machine – or rowing on water. Rating 18 – 22. Build up from 20 minutes to 60 minutes. HOWEVER you should stop and stretch your back and ham strings after every 30 minutes on a rowing machine.

Tennis will also benefit from your improved cardiovascular fitness.

I hope this help you.
Do any readers have more advice?


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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Chris George

    Yes! Firstly, he/she is 16 and presumably studying and at a stage where she is growing. It is therefore vital to put sleep and good sleep at that top of her agenda. How hard is she training at tennis? I think she needs to limit the sessions to no more than 6 a week unless she has a basis of good endurance. What actions will help both tennis and rowing? Well you need to develop quick agility in tennis AND rowing so I would put in some speed work. How about starting off at 35 seconds on 25 off for 10 sets? then develop this to 1 min on 30 seconds off for 2 sets of 5 then build to the ultimate which is 15 x 1.5 with 30 secs rest which should take about 3 years to get to by which time she will probably have decided her sport. I would include lots of core stability work one session and on the water or the RP limit the rating to 16 – 18 and look for the joules which will develop speed and strength. For the tennis I would have a general agility circuit which would be similar to that for young rowers – no weights on the circuit I would have it on a fortnight rotation to get the various types of work in! Hey Ho!

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