16 Feb Anyone for tennis?
Get in shape for the grand slam without getting an injury
The new year in Australia means one thing: tennis fever!
As the new year heats up and grand slam contenders begin to fall, across the nation racquets are dusted off, sweat bands donned and old rivalries rekindled at the local tennis courts.
It’s a tragic fact however that for many Federer-wannabes, a trip to the court becomes a trip to the waiting room, as muscles and limbs take strain at the sudden activity.
Two-thirds of tennis injuries in Australia stem from overuse, while the remaining third stem from a traumatic event on the court. Whether blisters and sunburn or tennis elbow and back pain, following these simple tips will help get you to the top of your game without being smashed to the sidelines.
1. Gear up
Having the right equipment makes a huge difference.
By ensuring that the grip on your racquet is fitted to your dimensions, you can help prevent the overuse of muscles which lead to conditions like tennis elbow. Similarly, wearing shoes designed specifically for tennis will help take some of the impact as you dash around the court. You can prevent the inevitable blisters by wearing thicker tennis socks and, if necessary, taping vulnerable areas of your feet prior to play.
2. Start with half
Rather than jumping straight into a match, spend the first ten minutes hitting the ball in the half court between the service lines. Playing in a reduced space not only hones your hand-eye coordination for the big game, but also gently eases your body into the various actions while avoiding over-exertion. Practise changing direction, moving from left to right and front to back, and have fun testing out the various types of shots as a warm up to the match.
3. Stretch it out
Follow your warm up with a thorough stretch, focusing specifically on your legs and back muscles, which are put under particular strain in the course of play. Pay attention to loosening up shoulder muscles, including your back and trunk rotations, to improve your range of movement and the power of your shots.
4. Know when to call it a day
We all want to remember the glory days, but pushing through the pain is best left for the Rocky re-runs.
Towards the end of a vigorous game, your form will start to drop and fatigue will set in. At this point, it pays to listen to your body rather than your ego and know when to call time, ensuring your fitness for next week’s clash.
By following these tips and consulting with our qualified health professionals at My Favourite Physio, you can prevent pain and reduce injury while enjoying a summer of tennis!