Tennis Stretching Routine
A very important part of any tennis training program is a good tennis stretching routine. It helps athleticism, increases flexibility and guards against the risk of injury.
Tennis is a demanding sport that requires high levels of cardiovascular endurance, agility, strength and flexibility. Incorporating a tennis stretching routine in your tennis training program will improve your performance as a tennis player and help to minimize the risk of tennis injury.
Muscles used in Tennis
The primary muscle groups that come into action while playing a game of tennis are the rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder, the trapezius, the pectorals, the upper arm and forearm, the quadriceps, the hip, and the calf muscles.
The forehand stroke relies specifically on the pectorals, biceps and the deltoids as the hips and core muscles help to generate an internal shoulder rotation. The backhand stroke uses less of the hip and core muscles, while the serve depends more on the shoulder muscle than the forehand stroke. The rotator cuff is used more actively here.
The Benefits of a Tennis Stretching Routine
There are a number of benefits of scheduling a tennis stretching routine in your tennis training program. Trainers and players alike readily agree with the fact that an intense tennis stretching routine maximizes performance while minimizing the risk of injury. Here are some of the benefits of a tennis stretching routine:
A regular stretching routine is key to maintaining flexibility, which in turn fosters a good posture and reduces lower back pain and discomfort.
Stretching exercises in tennis training can increase a player's athleticism by controlling muscle imbalances, which cause pulled muscles and also contribute to clumsiness, which in itself can lead to injury.
Even the simplest tennis stretching routine, as part of your overall tennis training program helps to promotes blood circulation, which improves mental alertness and coordination.
A regular tennis stretching routine can help prevent injuries like:º Rotator cuff tendonitis, a condition that causes acute irritation in the shoulder tendons and muscles.º Knee tendonitis, a condition that causes irritation in the knee tendons and muscles.º Musculotendinous overuse injuries, generally of the shoulder and elbow.
Finally, even the most basic tennis stretching routine can just make you feel better. Glossing over it in your regular tennis training, however, could cost you dearly.
Despite the numerous benefits, it is important to bear in mind that stretching can have detrimental effects when done incorrectly. Improperly done stretches can over time cause permanent damage to ligaments and joint. When performing the stretching routine below, be sure to warm up first and if any of the exercises cause pain or severe discomfort, discontinue immediately.