Before you grab your racquet and hit the court, remember that proper warm-ups are essential for maintaining muscular integrity and joint health, not to mention avoiding muscle cramps, strains, and post-match soreness and stiffness.
Warm up tip #1: Cardiovascular Activity
Your first order of business should be to get your heart, lungs, and blood pumping. If you’re already on the court, do some jumping jacks or jog around the court for about 5 minutes. You can also skip rope if you bring one along.
Warm up tip #2: Loosen up
Slowly warm up your joints with mobility movements, especially your neck, shoulders, wrists, and ankles. Start with slow circular rotations (both clockwise and counterclockwise) with your neck. Then move on to your wrists, arms, and ankles. When doing arm rotations, start off with small circular rotations gradually making bigger circles with your arms. Then circle the other way, starting with big circles and getting smaller.
By adequately lubricating your joints before the first serve, they’ll respond better during the match, and allow you to keep playing for many years to come.
Warm up tip #3: Dynamic Stretches
With constant sprints, starts and stops, tennis can wreak havoc on the muscles of your hips, groin, legs, and lower back. Properly stretching before you get on the court will not only ramp up your game but reduce the aches and soreness you usually feel in the days after playing.
You can perform leg lunges to stretch out your hips and groins, seated forward bends to loosen up the back and hamstring muscles on the back of the legs, and seated twists to prepare for those hard to reach forehands and backhands.
Warm up tip #4: Engage Your Core
Maintaining good lower back health starts with a strong core. Keeping your abs in shape will help preserve the stability of your lower back muscles, and keep you fresher when the match goes to a third set.
By following these simple warm-up tips before you hit the court, you’ll have a leg up on your opponent before you make your first toss. You’ll feel better and more flexible during the match, and your all-around game will improve as well.
To learn more about how proper stretching can help keep you in the game, please feel free to contact us. We’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.