Because tennis is a fast-paced game, you’ll find both your upper and lower body being used extensively with an emphasis on cardiovascular endurance. The motions required to move about the court put high strain on the musculoskeletal system—especially the legs, midsection, upper body, and arms. To avoid injury when on court, you’ll want to understand the anatomy of your body and make sure to stretch properly before tackling a game.
Muscles used during tennis play:
- Leg (quadriceps, hamstring, gluteus muscles, and the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles of the lower leg)
- Chest/upper body (pectoralis major, latissimus dorsi, and deltoid muscles of the torso)
- Shoulder/arm (rotator cuff, shoulder adductor, biceps/triceps of the racket arm, and the rotator muscles: teres minor and infraspinatus and subscapularis muscles)
- Wrist/hand used during the tennis swing
- Lower back (spinal erectors)
- Abdominal (rectus abdominis, right internal and left external obliques)
- Neck (flexor and extensor)
For competitive players, it is essential you include strength training and flexibility exercises targeting all of the above areas in your routine. One of the most under-utilized techniques for improving athletic performance, preventing sports injury, and properly rehabilitating sprain and strain injury is . . . stretching.
Three of the most popular stretches;
Rotating Wrist Stretch
Place arm straight out in front and parallel to the ground. Rotate your wrist down and outward, then use your other hand to further rotate your hand upward.
Assisted Reverse Chest Stretch
With your back toward a table or bench, stand upright and place your hands on the edge. Slowly lower your entire body while bending your arms.
Kneeling Heel-down Achilles Stretch
Kneel on one foot while placing your body weight over your knee. Keep your heel on the ground and lean forward. Hold.
As mentioned in previous posts, your body is the most important tool you have in your arsenal so you need to take care with it. Proper nutrition, hydration, wardrobe, and especially warm up will translate into hours of good times on the court.
The professional tennis instructors at Elysium Tennis in Columbus Ohio are always available to offer tips, advice, and instruction. Make an appointment by calling or visiting the front desk.