What an amazing year we have had at Wimbledon, everyday bringing a surprise and what a fantastic final result, well done Andy! Whether you are an experienced player or have been caught up in Wimbledon fever and are keen to get out on the tennis court for the first time we have a few tips for preventing common tennis injuries.
Tennis is a game requiring flexibility of the spine, strength and mobility of the shoulders, mobility of the hips and knees and good aerobic fitness. Common injuries are shoulder injuries, tennis elbow, wrist injuries, back pain and calf muscle sprains. A number of injuries occur due to poor technique so if you are new to the game, it is a good idea to start with some lessons. Even experienced players fall into bad habits and benefit from a coach looking at their technique.
To help prevent wrist and elbow injuries during the forehand and backhand strokes use the whole arm when hitting the ball and use the mobility of your spine to follow through the stroke rather than gripping the racquet hard and using your wrist to hit the shots. This will allow the force of hitting the ball to be spread over a much larger area. If your mid and upper back is stiff you will find this difficult. There are some great, easy exercises you can do to loosen up this part of the spine i.e;
Pilates arm openings, www.youtube.com/watch?v=zg1v_KYFeCQ,
threading the needle, www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfhGEK5sqA0,
spine twist. www.youtube.com/watch?v=6a0MbsBTc58.
Shoulder mobility needs to be combined with stability around the shoulder blade, without that stability the shoulder is vulnerable to injury with the huge forces passing through it. You can strengthen this area by
doing seated rows www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qK7x-d8V2A
and reverse pec flies http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1U3yZne1jw
to strengthen the rhomboid muscles. Prior to playing warm up and stretch your calves so that they are ready for the quick steps, jumps and short sprints. Lunges to strengthen your quadriceps muscles will help you to reach those low shots without damaging your knees.
We hope that you enjoy injury free tennis!