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The Physical Capacities For Tennis

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For this profile, tennis is the sport chosen. Tennis is a game where players on one side of the tennis court run continuously to hit the ball on the opponent’s courtside. The sport is seen as aerobic because of the fast-paced movements required during play. Both the lower limbs and upper extremities are engaged throughout the game.

The profiled subject of this study is considered to have a BMI of 31.9 based on the above data, which is considered to be ‘Obese Class I’ (Ackland et al., 2003). This can be considered an issue as tennis is based on aerobics and the sport requires a lot of agility. The player ought to be light in order to move rapidly and breathe well throughout the gameplay.


Height and Body Mass

The profiled subject’s height is measured to be at 180.5 cm, which is ranked below the 20th percentile. This indicates that the subject could be disadvantaged compared to their opponents because height is an important factor in the success of a tennis player. Research by Vaverka and Cernosek (2013) came to find that there is a link between a tennis player’s height and the serving ball’s pace, the lower a tennis player’s height, the slower the player’s serving ball speed. It ensures that if a player serves the ball very fast, winning the shot becomes more challenging for the opponent leading to a loss of the point. This positions the subject’s height on the basis of the study results as making slower serving shots than players with heights varying from 200 to 210 cm (Vaverka and Cernosek 2013).

The profiled subject’s weight is measured to be at 103.95 kg, which is ranked below the 10th percentile. As the subject is heavier than other tennis players, they will find it harder to make fast-paced movements.


The profiled subject has a score of 0.5 for ectomorphy compared to a mean score of 3.0 in tennis. The elite players are typically ectomorphic, as per a study that looked at professional tennis players (Sanchez-Munoz, Sanz and Zabala, 2007).

The endomorphic score has been calculated to be 9, the score is extremely high and ranked in tennis above the 90th percentile. This very high score may indicate that measurement errors have occurred. Furthermore, the photoscopic method indicates the subject is 5.5 to 6. Which is still a cause for concern as the mean score in tennis is 1.5.

The mesomorphy rating was calculated to be at 6.5, The rating is good as its close to the mean score in tennis.

Body Composition

The subject had a cumulative measurement of 276.95 mm which is rated at the 10th percentile because it’s a very high number this indicates that a measurement error has taken place. A study reports that as fat disperses in the body, the speed, and ability of the player to respond drops, which will, in turn, increase the player’s likelihood of injury (Martinez-Rodriguez et al., 2015).


Brachial Index is the ratio of forearm length to arm length (Jenkins, 2005) the profiled subject has an index of 87.5 and that is ranked at the 90th percentile.

Crural Index: this is an index that shows the ratio of the lower leg lengths to that of the thigh). For the subject, the ratio is 104.65 which lies between the 50th and 60th percentile of tennis players. It is mentioned in a study that people who are involved in playing aerobic sports categories, such as tennis, typically have a high crural index (Stewart et al., 2011). Longer crural index means the calf tendons are longer and more elastic allowing players to spring sideways and jump higher (Stewart et al., 2011). This means that the profile subject is slightly above the average population of tennis players in this category.

Relative sitting height is the proportion of upper body height (for this subject it is 71.58%, which lies just below the 60th percentile. A recent study found that while height, in general, is an advantage in tennis, those with higher relative sitting height figures typically outperform their peers (Sogut, 2019). The study looked at junior female tennis players, but we assumed this finding would translate to the male gender as well.


Arm flexion/extension is a measure of shoulder flexibility. This measure is done through movement of the arm in an anatomical plane in that “the distal humerus moves ventrally” (Knipe, 2018) the profiled subject’s measurement was at 173 degrees. This figure is at the 10th percentile and is very poor in comparison to the average tennis players. A study found a ‘statistically significant’ relation between the flexion of the shoulder and the serving velocity of the player (Cohen et al., 1994), this means Higher flexibility of the shoulder allows players to swing further in their serve, giving them more momentum and higher serving velocity.

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Forearm flexion/extension is a measure of elbow flexibility. The subject’s flexion was measured at 135 degrees which ranked him at the 60th percentile. While not as impactful as shoulder flexibility, wider range of motion at the elbow could assist the player to hit faster serves and forehands due to more accumulation of momentum (Cohen et al, 1994).

Foot-dorso plantar flexion is a measure of ankle flexibility. This is done by bending the foot at the ankle upwards and then downwards. The angle of foot flexion was recorded to be 75 degrees for the subject. This means the subject is at the 90th percentile in comparison to other tennis players. Studies suggest that higher flexible ankle joints are less prone to injuries especially in sports that require sudden stopping such as tennis (Elliot et al, 2003).

Leg flexion: this is a type of flexibility test whereby the subject is laid down on their belly and the leg is bent upwards at the knee. The subject was able to bend the leg of up to 112 degrees, which is ranked only slightly above the 20th percentile. Tennis being a sport that requires lower limb movement, the subject having a low leg flexion could result in a lesser leg-drive when hitting the ball which in turn could load the shoulder and elbow joints with larger torques in order to compensate this (Elliot et al., 2003). These high loads, if done consistently towards those joints, especially during the servings of the ball, can lead to injuries (Elliot et al, 2003)


For the profiled subject, the grip strength measurement is 54.5 kg which is ranked in the 90th percentile for tennis players. This indicates that the subject possesses remarkable strength and doesn’t need altercation.

As it is mentioned in Roetert and Kovacs (2011) that the more grip and forearm strength a tennis player has, the less stress they will place on their wrist and elbow joints. Sufficient forearm and grip strength also can reduce the likelihood of shoulder-related injuries (Merlin Van de Braam, 2019). A player who has a weak grip or forearms may try to overcompensate with the shoulder, increasing the risk of injury.

Power/ Agility/ Speed

Jump and Reach test: This test involves the measurement of power and according to research, this test is key to measure how well a person is skilled at playing tennis (Roetert et al., 1996). For the subject, the score is 52 cm which is in the 70th percentile. This means the subject could generate a maximum power of 164.33kgm/s.

40 metres dash: This exercise is all about measuring how fast a person can cover a distance of 40 meters. The mentioned subject completed the task within 6.60 seconds. As stated in a study, speed can be thought of as a way to predict how well a person is good at playing tennis if the person is playing at a high level (Roetert et al., 1996).

Illinois agility Run: For the profiled subject, this test took a time of 18.54 seconds. This agility test involves running at least 10 meters from a specific point to the end then performing a slalom run twice between the cones and finishing the running between two 10 meter points (Sekulic et al., 2017).

Recommendations and remedy

Intervention programs that use strength and power training and/or nutrition can be used to assist the subject to reach appropriate body composition levels for Tennis. General stretching before playing sports would help improve flexibility. This is especially true when done consistently.

There are specific exercises that target shoulder flexibility. The study suggests doing shoulder pullovers could increase shoulder flexion mobility and flexibility (Behmg, 2018). To do this exercise needs to lay on a bench with the abdomen upwards. Using bands or weight extends the arms behind the head so that they are parallel to the body. Then move the arms vertically so they are perpendicular to the body and repeat this movement 8-12 times. Another exercise that has been shown to improve shoulder mobility is the shoulder external rotation (Behmg, 2018). The subject needs to stand up straight with arms relaxed by the side of the body. The forearm is then bent upwards at the elbow, so it is perpendicular to the body. Using bands or weights the forearm is then moved externally sideways, away from the body, and then move it back towards the body internally. Repeat this 8-12 times.

The flexibility of the knee is often also affected by tightness in the hamstring muscles. Four sets of 15-20 seconds hamstring stretches have been shown to help with leg flexion. 5 weeks of daily hamstring stretches have been shown to improve the range of motion by 12-20% (Behmg, 2018).

In order to increase speed, proper sprint techniques and endurance training, mainly focusing on speed can assist the subject and a coach towards improvement.

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The Physical Capacities For Tennis. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from
“The Physical Capacities For Tennis.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
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The Physical Capacities For Tennis [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2023 Jan 30]. Available from:
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