Thursday, October 16, 2014

Top 5 stretches for tennis

Kristianne Bontempo | Towpath Tennis Employee | Online Store Manager

How many times do you get off the court only to realize you forgot to stretch? Stretching is absolutely key to preventing an injury, encouraging elasticity and flexibility and most important, helping you become a better tennis player. We know it's unrealistic to ask you to stretch every little muscle we use while hitting, so here are the top 5 stretches you can't play without. 

For every stretch, hold for at least 30 seconds.

Forearm - This stretch doesn't prevent tennis elbow, but it certainly helps minimize any pain associated with it by loosening up the surrounding tendons and ligaments. Simply stand up straight and keep your arm perpendicular to your body while pushing your hand towards your chest. You should feel stretching along the top of your forearm. You can reverse the stretch, with your fingers toward the sky and your palm facing out. 

Shoulder - We exert tremendous pressure on our shoulders when playing tennis, so this is a very important stretch that will help prevent a strained muscle or tear. Stand straight and cross your arm over while maintaining a straight line. Push your arm toward your chest. You should feel stretching on the topside of your shoulder. Next grab your racquet and with the same grip you swing with, pull the head with your other hand. This will stretch along the underside of your shoulder as well as your bicep. After you finish with one arm, make sure you stretch the other in the same fashion.

Back - I know when I get off the court, the next day my back is reeling if I forget to stretch. Your back is the glue that holds everything together, so stretching is a must! Cross your right leg over your left and slowly reach for your toes while looking at your knees--not the floor. You will feel stretching from your lower back all the way to your neck muscles. Reverse by crossing your left leg over your right. If you have time, stand with both feet side by side and reach down. 

Ankle - Did you know the ankle is one of the most common tennis injuries? This is because it can occur in just one mis-step. You can have the right shoes and a brace, but you shouldn't ignore the fact that a good stretch is the best preventative to an ankle roll. Stretch along a fence or court post to help loosen your achilles tendon, as well as stretch your calf muscle. Also, try slowly rolling your ankle onto its side.

Quad - Our knees take a lot of pressure when sprinting side to side on the court, not to mention constantly stopping short and changing direction. But how exactly do you stretch a knee? Focus on the quad! This stretch targets the thigh muscles, knee and hip joints. Hold your foot behind you and use opposite arm out in front to keep your balance or use the net for support. You'll feel stretching mainly along your quadriceps but by leaning slightly forward/backward, it'll extend to your hip and knee.

Stretching is ideal when your muscles are warm so try moving around a little by doing a short jog, run in place, or wave your arms in circles. If you're really pressed for time and running in late for a match (you know who you are), then the least you can do is stretch these muscles in between games or after the match. The next time you walk off the court without stretching remind yourself, 'This will make me a better tennis player', and drop your bag and stretch! 

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  1. Stretching is the basic things that we do before any game, so that we can easily flexible our body structure and muscles to perform better. Therefore, we should perform some stretching before playing tennis and here also from this article, we learn some basic things on stretching and how to perform them. Thanks for this wonderful article.
    Benefits of Playing Tennis