TENNIS STRETCHES AND EXERCISE TO STRENGTHEN AND PROTECT
There’s a reason so many people love to play tennis. It’s fun, it’s competitive and it’s a great form of exercise. However, injuries can occur while playing tennis because it requires your whole body and the tennis court is a pretty unforgiving surface.
One of the most common injuries is what we call tennis elbow, a painful form of tendinitis that can cause pain in the elbow joint and forearm muscles. Shoulder, wrist, neck, lower back, knee, hip and ankle injuries are also common among avid tennis players. One of the best things you can do before you start your tennis match is to stretch and warm-up. This will help get your joints and muscles ready for physical activity, which ultimately goes a long way toward preventing injuries on the court.
Here are a few tennis preparation tips from the physical therapy experts at CORE Physical Therapy:
Do stretches aimed at the joints and muscles you use most when playing tennis. Here are a couple of examples:
Tennis Elbow Stretch – Extend your arm in front of you, palm down. Gently pull your hand toward your body while keeping the arm extended. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds.
Cross-Shoulder Stretch – To warm up your shoulders, place one arm directly across your chest and then hold it in place with your other arm for 15 to 30 seconds.
2. Off-the-Court Training
If tennis is your only form of exercise, that could be why you experience more injuries. Top tennis players also train off the court, working on core training, strength training, and cardiovascular health. An amateur doesn’t need to match a professional’s entire workout regimen to get the advantages that come from small, extra steps. Look for other ways to improve your body and health outside of tennis and you will notice a major difference when you are playing.
3. After-Match Treatment
Post-tennis stretches, massages, icing joints and heating the muscles are all good ways to treat yourself after you finish your match. These treatments help keep things from tightening up and can help with long-term injury prevention.
4. The Right Equipment
Having the right racket and shoes will really help, so get fitted for your racket and find shoes that are comfortable, stable and supportive while allowing you to move freely on the court. If you have existing joint problems, consider wearing protective braces or KT tape to help prevent further injuries.
5. Understand Common Injuries
Tennis elbow, rotator cuff tendinitis (shoulder pain) and lower back pain are probably the three most common injuries associated with tennis players. Developing a better understanding of potential injuries is a good way to improve preparation and cool-down routines, and can also help you recognize when soreness might be an indication of something more serious.
CORE Physical Therapy for Tennis Injury Prevention and Recovery
If you have suffered a tennis injury such as tennis elbow and/or you play a lot of tennis and want to stay as healthy and active as possible for many years to come, contact CORE Physical Therapy. When it comes to injury recovery, we can help eliminate pain and improve your joint and muscle strength with custom physical therapy services. We can also design a therapy and lifestyle plan that will allow you to play tennis and prevent potential injuries that can happen on the court.
The right physical therapy can make all the difference, whether you play tennis or any other sports activity. Call CORE Physical Therapy today to learn more and to schedule a consultation.