Tennis is widely played by young and old and by social and more serious players, but the fact is that correct warm-up and warm-down exercises should be observed.
Obviously, somebody who is a professional and getting ready for a grand slam game will have to work more on their fitness than somebody who is playing in the park for fun.
Because of the very nature of the game, tennis tends to use different muscle groups and strain different joints than most sport. Short bursts of rapid activity with many sideways movements means that attention must be paid to the muscle groups driving them.
Good clubs such as Tennis World Lane Cove have tennis coaching sessions that will guide you through the necessary stretching exercises.
Because of the amount of physical stress you place your body under when you play tennis, stretching is an important weapon in a player’s armoury when it comes to improving mobility, aiding recovery and reducing risk of injury.
Players should stretch daily, and certainly every time before and after playing.
Aim for active or dynamic stretching ahead of playing tennis, this will ideally support and supplement the nature of the movements that you are likely to make on court, as well as stimulate blood flow before you play.
- Forward Lunges
These stretch the hip flexors, and simulates playing a low volley. Place one leg behind you with knee touching the ground, and the other leg with foot flat on the ground; lowering your hips forward, bring your forward knee over your planted foot.
- Sumo Stretch
This stretches the abductors, and is simply an exaggerated simulation of the position you will adopt when returning serve; with your legs and feet wide apart, squat down slowly and push out your knees.
- Lateral Stretch
Keeping one leg straight, bend the other knee and sink into the stretch, this works your glutes and adductors.
At this time, you should be winding down after playing with static stretches.
Sitting down, stretch out your legs and reach for the toes.
Standing on one leg, grasp the other foot and bring it up to your glutes.
Leaning against a wall, put one foot out behind you, plant your heel and lean forward while keeping your planted leg straight.
Stretching is one of the most under utilised techniques for improving athletic performance, preventing sports injury and properly rehabilitating sprain and strain injury.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that something as simple as stretching won’t be effective. The above exercises are only a fraction of what top tennis players undergo every day.
Obviously they are the general muscle groups, concentration also needs to be applied to areas like feet, wrists, ankles, shoulders and elbows as these areas feature greatly during a match scenario.