Match Point: Staying in the game
Part one in a series
Attention Tennis Players:
Do you want to play at the top of your game and avoid injury?
Tennis requires strength, endurance, power, flexibility, speed, control and balance. In order to play your best, you need practice, technique coaching and a conditioning program so your body can meet the physical requirements of the sport. Your tennis pro is the expert on technique. Your physical therapist is the muscle and movement specialist.
Do you tend to play tennis to stay in condition vs. doing conditioning exercises to play tennis?
Tennis is a sided sport, requiring a conditioning program to avoid muscle imbalance and reduce risk both acute and overuse injury. Most common injury sites in tennis include
• Upper body (shoulder, elbow and wrist) 26-31%,
• Body core (lower back and abdominals) 16-20%
• Lower body (hip, knee and ankle and foot) 39-51% .
Do you wonder what the best exercises are for Tennis?
The physical demands of tennis require aerobic fitness with short bouts of explosive movements, change of direction and sprints. Your style of play, court surface and type of tennis (singles vs. doubles) all have varying training requirements. In general, a well-balanced strength and flexibility program including stability and power drills specific to the sport is recommended.
Do you warm up and cool down after your tennis match?
The warm-up is essential in preventing injury. Warming up helps prepare your muscles, joints and body for the upcoming activity. The cool down is vital in minimizing muscle stiffness, tightness and cramping.
The warm-up will prepare your body for the higher intensity levels experienced during the match. The key is to focus on whole body movements taking the joints through the full range of movement and exercises to turn on the muscles in the same way they will be used in playing.
Common warm up exercises*:
Body weight squats
Lunge with trunk rotation
Upright arm circles
Standing W squeeze and reach
For a detailed description and photos of the recommended warm up and cool down exercises call 858-675-1133 and request your free copy!
During the match your body is constantly moving, when it is over the body works to return to normal and gets and instant shock. Because it is no longer under stress there is decreased adrenaline and increased tightness. Cool down essential to avoid cramping, joint stiffness and muscle tightness.
Recommended cool down:
1. Hydrate: drink a sports drink for lost electrolytes. Rule is for every pound of water lost you need to drink 24 oz. of water.
2. Immediately following keep moving, take and easy short walk 10-20 minutes or get on stationary bike without resistance for 10 minutes.
3. After moving stretch major muscle groups * 3 reps each holding each stretch for 30 seconds. Muscles you should stretch include quadriceps, hamstrings, groin, calf, gluts, back, chest and forearm muscles.
4. Within two hours eat a meal with healthy carbohydrates and lean protein.
These exercises are provided as general recommendations and do not replace medical advice. Consult your Physical Therapist before performing a new exercise especially if you are currently injured, experiencing pain, or have a medical condition that may limit your ability to perform these exercises.
For a detailed description and photos of the recommended warm up and cool down exercises call 858-675-1133
To get a specific program designed to meet your needs call 858-675-1133 and ask about our physical therapy movement exam and fitness program development.