One of my first jobs working with the general population was at a large club in Chicago, where racquet sports were a huge deal, especially tennis. This was also my first introduction to working with this sport. Over the years, I’ve discovered quite a few things through trial and error to help people with their tennis game. What are the 3 things you never would’ve considered doing to maximize your tennis game? Let's take a look.
Most people believe that if they keep doing serves, backhands, and forehands that their shoulder is getting plenty of movement. But that's not always enough. If you've ever known someone who's lost the ability to toss the ball up for their serve, you've seen how devastating that can be. The missing link is incorporating daily shoulder CARs (controlled articular rotations), to create space within the joint and to combat the wear and tear that the repetitive movement playing tennis creates. Including this simple exercise in your daily routine will have a huge impact on the longevity of your tennis game. Learn how to do your shoulder CARs in the video below.
Along with shoulders, another forgotten joint in the mobility realm is the elbow. When’s the last time you performed elbow mobility exercises? Most likely…..never. Over time, if you don’t keep your elbows supinating and pronating (rotation of the elbow), tennis elbow will inevitably set in. Tennis elbow is when inflammation occurs on the outside of the elbow. You’ve probably seen many people wearing those small braces just below their elbow while playing tennis. Keep your elbows away from this problem by performing daily elbow CARs, really focusing on the rotational part of it.
Now that we’ve focused on the mobility aspect of your tennis, we can now include something for strength training. Tennis requires a ton of multidirectional movement, constantly making you react and change direction quickly. Since you’re doing a significant amount of this already while you play, you don’t need to perform it during your training. However, loaded multidirectional movement should be a staple of your training program. By simply adding a small amount of load (1-10lbs.), to your agility and change of direction training, you’re providing an amazing stimulus to your body. Getting the body to move with rhythm and timing while under load will make your tennis movements even better. Start out with adding load to simple movement patterns like side shuffles and then progress to quick change of direction exercises. You can learn all of our favorite moves in the strength training workout below!
Begin to incorporate these exercises and concepts to your tennis training and you’ll not only be able to play for as long as you want, but your movement skills will be enhanced as well.
ABOUT COACH MATT PIPPIN
Matt is a Strength and Mobility Coach with over 15 years experience in his field and has coached over a thousand professional, collegiate and everyday athletes with the goal to help them move, feel and perform at their highest level. He's incredibly passionate about bringing simple and effective online mobility training programs to everyone who wants to take control of their self care and make lasting change. CLICK HERE to learn more.
NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Level 3: Fascial Stretch Specialist
Level 1: Institute of Motion Health Coach
Certified FRC Mobility Specialist (FRCms)
Level 1 Kinstretch Instructor
Weck Method Qualified