Injury Prevention in Tennis
How to avoid Tennis injuries:
- Make sure you play on a non-slip court, not too cold, with good footwear and tennis clothes and a quality racket and balls. Having well-made clothes and equipment will all reduce the chance of injury.
- Reduce the total amount of weight-bearing exercises you do. Do some cross-training to reduce impact loading while still maintaining training volume.
- Light meals only, with a good fluid uptake, and make sure you are well-rested pre-game.
- Mix training sessions with different activities, for example, cycling and swimming.
- If you want to be very serious about tennis, set up a training diary recording rest days, sleep, heart rate, and heart rate recovery time.
Tennis Top Tips
- Practise hitting the ball in the ‘sweet spot’ of the racket. The shot feels good and the impact force will be at a minimum.
- Improve your stroking technique – especially backhand.
- Modern rackets do not absorb shock like the old ones, so to
reduce the impact on your arm:
◊ Lower the string tension.
◊ Increase the flexibility of the racket.
◊ Increase the racket head size.
◊ Add lead tape to the head to increase weight.
◊ Increase the grip size. The optimum grip circumference
equals the distance from the tip of the ring finger to the
crease in the middle of the palm (proximal crease).
◊ Grip higher up on the handle than you probably are.
◊ Loosen your grip on the handle.
- Play on an appropriate surface. If you play on a hard surface, the forces through the joints are much higher: twice your body weight when walking, 3 to 4 times on running and 12 times on jumping. Very dry and hard surfaces can also cause twisting ligament injuries to the knees, due to the increased friction between your shoes and the ground.
- Get a biomechanical assessment with us, and if you need them, purchase bespoke high-quality orthotics. Make sure your footwear is appropriate.
- Train at an intensity lower than competitive, add in more relaxation time, and spend more time on cool down post activity.
- Eat healthily and adjust your calorie intake to your activity level. Take carbs for fuel, protein for rebuilding muscle, high-quality vitamin and mineral supplements, and make sure you drink plenty of water.
- Enjoy the stress relief that exercise can bring, and don’t force yourself if you are exhausted, as this is when you are most likely to get injured.
- Get regular sports massages to remove trouble spots before they become injuries.
Warming Up and Cooling Down
Warming up is often overlooked and should be part of your injury prevention routine, as there are a number of benefits:
• The muscles work better when warm and oxygenated with good blood flow.
• The joints become more flexible which reduces the pull on the muscles.
• The nervous system becomes more responsive.
Including a gentle jog in your warm-up will give the muscles the energy supply they need to work properly. Follow this with sport-specific exercises and dynamic, sport-specific stretching drills – this regime has largely replaced old-fashioned static alternatives. Examples of tennis-specific exercises are running for 5 to 20 minutes with your heels up to your buttocks or with high knees up to the hip level. Increasing the size and speed of movements
– as the body warms up and the heart rate increases it will more closely simulate competitive conditions. It is also important to focus on full body conditioning, as predominantly one-sided sports – such as tennis – can cause muscle imbalances.
You should allow a total exercise and stretch time of 15 to 30 minutes and no more than 30 minutes before competing, otherwise, the benefits will be lost. Cool down should include a gentle jog plus light stretching. to help reduce muscle soreness.
If you want fewer injuries, improved fitness or a plan to get you there,
we can help.
Do You Need Help With Your Tennis?
Call 01889 881488 NOW
Jean, Erica and Charlotte will be happy to help.