‘Cardio Tennis’ Extravaganza Has Players Burning Calories in a Fun Tennis Workout

June 23, 2008

After an hour and a half of striking forehands and backhands on the run, jumping to hit overheads, hopping over cones and shuffling through ladders, the 176 participants at Chicago’s Midtown Tennis Club Cardio Tennis extravaganza burned an average of 900 calories each. For the group, it was the equivalent of shedding about 45 pounds.

The fun but intense Cardio Tennis workout took place on 18 of Midtown’s courts. “All of the courts were in unison, doing the exact same drills at the same time,” says Butch Staples, head tennis professional at Midtown Tennis Club. “It looked very synchronized and orchestrated and that adds to the impact. It made people feel like they were part of a big happening.”

Midtown Tennis Club is no stranger to Cardio Tennis. Midtown was one of the first facilities in the U.S. to offer the program when it was created by the Tennis Industry Association (TIA) in 2004. Cardio Tennis is a fun group activity featuring drills to give players of all abilities an ultimate, high-energy workout that helps them get in shape and burn calories. Taught by a teaching professional, Cardio Tennis includes a warm-up, cardio workout, and cool-down phases. (To find a Cardio Tennis program in your area, visit

“When we started the program we offered a month of free Cardio Tennis to get people hooked. We held classes nine times a week,” Staples says. “Now we charge $16 a class and offer 20 classes a week. About 200 people participate in Cardio Tennis every week.” One Midtown participant, who has been doing Cardio Tennis for the last four years, has lost 103 pounds in that time.

Midtown hosts several Cardio Tennis extravaganzas throughout the year. For beginning players, there are two major Cardio outings, in May and June, which are part of Midtown’s “Tennis In No Time” program. The club also has extravaganzas in conjunction with all four Grand Slams. Members of the club pay $18 to participate in a 90-minute Cardio Tennis workout, followed by a free meal and viewing of the Grand Slam final.