Why is flexibility significant when you are playing tennis? You probably know why, but I can tell you it basically goes down to this: adapting to the opponent’s play and moving rapidly is unquestionably the best key to win in tennis. Just examine how champions play on the court. No one has a “the bigger, the better” attitude. They always go for flexibility and precision, and only after that, they go for power. As they say, power is nothing without proper control. And if there is no control, there is also the risk of having a bad injury.
So flexibility is fundamental in tennis. But how can we increase our flexibility in this lovely game and become better players?
The flexibility development is most commonly explored through a variety of stretching methods. The most widely used forms of stretching are:
- Static stretching
- Dynamic Stretching
For decades, stretching has been proposed to increase flexibility, decrease the risk of injury, stop muscle soreness, and better performance. These techniques have their own controlled protocols and are most efficiently performed at certain times.
The famous static stretching exercises are the most widely used stretches in tennis. The muscle is gently and slowly stretched to the point of slight muscle discomfort and then held for 12-20 seconds. While the position is maintained, the muscle tension activity decreases, and the athlete should increase the stretch’s amplitude.
Dynamic stretching includes moving parts of your body and slowly increasing the speed of movement, reach, or both. Dynamic stretching is not to be mixed with ballistic stretching.
Dynamic stretching consists of controlled arm and leg swings that take you to the limits of your range of motion. (do it slowly, or else you will injure yourself)
If you haven’t already injected yoga into your Tennis training, don’t wait until a painful injury puts you on a “time out.” At a minimum, practicing these two yoga poses are perfect for tennis players who want to prevent injury and increase flexibility.
Downward Facing Dog
This pose opens up the shoulders and the back. It also provides an excellent stretch for tennis players’ hamstrings and Achilles’ tendons, which always seem to stiffen sadly.
- Get on knees and hands, placing hands past shoulders and knees directly just below your hips.
- Lift your knees off the ground, straightening your legs to form upside-down V.
Twisting Triangle is a wonderful pose for tennis players who want to evade injury since it strengthens the hamstrings and opens up the chest.
- Stand with both feet (forward-facing), three feet apart
- Correctly point right foot straight ahead and turn left foot out about 45 degrees, straightening left heel with right heel
- With arms outstretched and feet planted firmly, hinge forward from hips while turning torso to the right
- Carefully place right hand on the floor inside of the right foot and point left arm to the sky; keep your face and eyes up
- Perform again in the opposite direction