As exciting as tennis is, it’s a demanding sport. That means that you’re at high risk of injury if you have lost general fitness conditioning or you haven’t played in years. Deconditioning, followed by a sudden spike in tennis play, can lead to muscle strains. You can potentially overload your joints and tendons as they aren’t used to this amount of physical activity.
But don’t let us deter you from playing tennis! In addition to physiotherapy, there are many things you can do to prepare your body for tennis season.
Prepare for tennis
Ease back into tennis slowly to avoid overloading injuries such as tennis elbow. Furthermore, people often underestimate the number of muscles being used while playing tennis. It puts repetitive stress on the forearm muscles, and also, the feet and calves will need to get used to the rapid and sudden change of direction. Easing into tennis will give your body time to adapt to this.
One mistake people make is jumping straight into the car after a match. Although you don’t see professionals doing a lot of stretching on the court, we can guarantee they do a significant amount of stretching after every match. Aside from the usual quad, calf and hamstring stretches, it’s also important to release the upper back.
Tennis involves a lot of twisting and rotation when serving and hitting. If you don’t have the flexibility, your shoulder might try to compensate, potentially resulting in injury. Your lower back might also be affected as well, as the twisting and rotation occurs in this section of the spine. Our Sports Focus physios can show you which stretches will help alleviate these issues.
Avoid injury this tennis season by:
- Warming up well
- Building up to more intense play (e.g. serving at your maximum pace)
- Having adequate rest and not overloading your body by playing too often
- Performing stretches before and after tennis.
Enjoy the tennis season!
For additional information on how to avoid injury or perfect your technique, contact Sports Focus for tennis physiotherapy services.