BEFORE-TENNIS WARMUP EXERCISES
Compiled and edited by TennisTom 1997-2011
Each exercise should be repeated 3 or more times. Hold stretches for at least 15 seconds.
Abbreviation note: AFAP = As Far As Possible (without pain)
WARM-UP STRETCHING IMPLIES GRADUAL FLEXING.
NEVER BOUNCE OR MOVE QUICKLY.
First, jog slowly for a few minutes before class
to warm up your lower body muscles & lungs.
UPPER BODY –
Rotate your torso AFAP with your feet stationary while swinging your arms back & fourth across your chest.
1) Bend your head over straight forward AFAP & hold; do not oscillate in a circle;
2) Bend your head AFAP toward your left shoulder; then toward your right shoulder AFAP.
SHOULDERS/ROTATOR CUFF –
1) Holding your racket at each end out in front of you at waist level, reach back with both arms – up, over & behind your head AFAP.
2) Bending your arm at your elbow so that your hand is touching the shoulder nearest it, oscillate (rotate) your arm in a slow windmill manner; do this on each side.
3) Putting your arm in the “backscratch position” with your hand touching your back, grab your elbow with your other hand & stretch your elbow toward your head; do on each side.
SHOULDER GIRDLE –
Sitting down on the court with your hands out flat on each side of you & somewhat behind your body, with your knees bent, & with both feet flat on the court, slide your hips forward AFAP without moving your hands forward (a towel can keep your butt clean).
INNER THIGHS/GROIN/HIP –
1) Sitting down on the court with the bottoms of your shoe soles touching each other, push both your knees slowly down towards the court at the same time;
2) While standing, spread your feet fairly far apart & lean sideway AFAP toward one side, then the other side.
GROIN STRETCH –
Standing upright, split your legs wide apart with one foot pointed outward & perpendicular to the other, & lean your upper torso toward the foot that is pointed outward.
Standing on one leg, grab your ankle of the other leg and slowly stretch your heel upward toward your buttocks (AKA “butt kick”). Do this with each leg.
HAMSTRINGS & LOWER BACK –
Spread your legs shoulder width apart & lean forward & grab your ankles/ lower legs with both hands. You can also stretch one leg at a time by putting your foot on a waist high object (such as the net post) & bending forward & touching your ankle.
FOREARMS & WRISTS –
With one arm straight out in front of you, bend your hand down & stretch, then bend your hand upward & stretch, for 30 seconds each. Do with each hand.
CALF & ACHILLES TENDONS –
With one leg stretched out forward & the other out behind you, bend your upper body over toward your front foot with your rear heel flat on the court; change position of your legs and repeat the exercise.
CAUTION: STRETCH SLOWLY; BE SURE NOT TO BOUNCE.
Slow stretches prevent cold muscle injury.
TORSO & UPPER BODY SERVICE STRETCH –
Shadow serve using imaginary balls – reaching upward as you swing your racket forward & diagonally down across your body.
Unless you play tennis regularly, you will be using muscles in tennis that are not normally flexed, so don’t overdo it. IF you have any doubts, consult a medical professional first.
WHEN TAKING CLASSES, YOU SHOULD WARM UP BEFORE EACH CLASS
ON YOUR OWN.
[3A-Before-Tennis Warmup Exercises] [Rev 4-18-11]