When it comes to warm-up, we tend to skip it, as we are not aware of the benefits that it has. Performing a warm-up exercise before tennis will not only keep injuries away but will also help you to take sudden moments easily and flawlessly without any discomfort. Before starting any sports or exercises, it is highly recommended that an individual should perform warm up strictly to evade any possible injuries.
In our series of articles catered to warm-up exercises, we have come up with another segment, where we will figure out some of the relevant exercises that one should perform as a warm-up before playing tennis. The warm-up exercises have been defined in stages and they should be done as it is. However, we recommend that you should consult your coach or a sports physiotherapist to have a better understanding of the warm-up exercises required for yourself.
To play tennis, it is very important to first get ready with good tennis warming-up exercises. A proper warm-up has an array of benefits catering to: –
- Prevent injury
- Stretch muscles & joints
- Increase heart rate & flexibility
- Improve your performance & readiness
Dynamic warm-up and flexibility training is an essential element of any pre-practice or pre-competition routine and helps prepare the body for the demands of today’s tennis game. An effective warm-up does five very important things for tennis players:
- Increases body temperature allowing muscles to work more efficiently.
- Gets the heart and lungs ready for vigorous activity.
- Stretches muscles actively, preparing them for the force’s experiences during tennis.
- Ingrains proper movement patterns and the coordination needed in tennis.
- Takes up the nervous system and gets the brain talking with the muscles.
Best Warm-up Exercises
1.) Skipping- Jumping rope or skipping is one of the best warm-up exercises before tennis. Performing this exercise for a few minutes during your warm-up routine can increase your speed, agility, balance, and coordination. If you don’t own a jump rope, jogging in place while performing arm circles is another way to add cardio and shoulder movement to your warm-up routine.
2.) Jumping jacks – Jumping jacks is one of the best warm-up exercises before tennis. Performing jumping jacks help you to prepare for the range of motions that you perform in tennis while also increasing your heart rate and building endurance. Start off with two sets of 25.
3.) Shadowing – Shadowing is one of the best warm-up exercises before tennis, that should be performed on the court. It will fire up both your nervous system and your body by following specific tennis movement patterns. Perform tennis shadowing for three minutes, alternating between forehands, backhands, overhead or smash, and volleys. These shadowing exercises for tennis can also be used to help prepare mentally before you play. The intensity of the shadowing should increase with each minute, so by the time you have finished you are not only physically prepared but also mentally ready for the first point when you step onto the court.
4.) Lifting Knees – Lifting knees is one of the best warm-up exercises before tennis. The sport tennis requires rigorous full-body movement. While standing in place, raise your arms to hip level and lift your knees to touch them. Perform three sets of knee lifts for 15 to 30 seconds at a time.
5.) Butt kicks – Butt kicks are a jump-training exercise and are one of the best warm-up exercises before tennis that targets your knees, glutes, quads, calf muscles, and hamstrings. While standing in place, lift your left heel up toward your glutes, return to your standing position, and then lift your right heel using the same motion. Perform three sets of butt kicks for 15 to 30 seconds at a time.
6.) Muscle Activation Exercise – Activating muscles is one of the best warm-up exercises before tennis which works by stimulating specific muscles and waking them up before your match or tennis training session. Most people have muscle imbalances or potential instability issues around certain joints, so it is important to stimulate the correct muscles and encourage them to work. Some players may look at activating their core or gluteal, whilst others will look at performing some rotator cuff resistance band exercises. It’s great to have your own routine that you know works for you.
7.) ROM Exercise – ROM exercises popularly known as the range of movement exercises are one of the best warm-up exercises before tennis and are a great way to mobilize joints and strengthen muscles throughout the body. ROM exercises can be seen as an active stretch or loosening up of the body. The beauty of ROM tennis exercises is they open up the chain of movement rather than isolating a specific area or muscle. This is important to do before participating in any sport but especially so in tennis, given the multi-directional ranges and loading patterns.
8.) Stretching – Stretching is one of the best warm-up exercises before tennis and is recommended before playing any sports, including tennis. If you play tennis without properly stretching beforehand, you may run the risk of common tennis injuries. Tennis players often experience pain in the elbows, forearms, wrists, and shoulders, so upper body stretches are especially recommended. Implementing some simple foam roller exercises and stretches for tennis, can all help elongate muscles and open joints up for correct movement patterns. To avoid any injuries you must have a good range of motion throughout all joints, as this will help with creating power throughout your shots. For example, limited thoracic rotation may inhibit your rotation on your forehand, which adversely can cause over-whipping with the arm to generate power.
9.) Shoulder Exercise – Shoulder exercises are one of the best warm-up exercises before tennis. As a tennis player, you can experience many injuries related to your shoulders, so don’t forget to leave this exercise out of your routine. Start by standing with your arms at your side and perform circles with your shoulders for 30 seconds in each direction. If you need additional attention to shoulder warm-up, then it is recommended to improvise a few of your strokes without a racquet while jogging slowly. You can also try this exercise while using an elastic rope tied to a wall or a bar and standing a few feet away.
Warming up is an important part of the preparation for any physical activity, including tennis. Your muscles need to be trained for the best performance, so you need to stretch and loosen them up ahead of time before a game or a practice. By adding these simple warm-up exercises to your routine, in less than 10 minutes you will feel much more comfortable and ready for what lies ahead.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a health advice. We would ask you to consult a qualified professional or medical expert to gain additional knowledge before you choose to consume any product or perform any exercise.