Is Strength Training For Tennis Worth It?
Most, if not every tennis player will develop some form of tennis injury during their careers. Some injuries cannot be prevented, but you will be surprised how many of the below injuries you can be prevented from doing one thing.
We will tell you more about that later on.
Most common injuries in tennis we see on a daily basis are, often the overuse injuries.
Overuse injuries often develop slowly and can start out as a mild discomfort that gradually increases and becomes painful. Some common overuse injuries are:
1. Tennis Elbow – A very common cause of elbow pain due to the chronic irritation of the tendons on the outside of the elbow.
2. Wrist Tendonitis – Caused by irritation and inflammation around the wrist joint. Usually, this will occur from a number of reasons from equipment (new racket, heavy / wet tennis balls, court surface), bad technique, or mainly overuse. This can be prevented with some simple yet effective good strengthening tennis exercises for wrist, shoulders, and back.
3. Shoulder Rotator cuff tears – If you’re a tennis player, I can guarantee some time throughout your career you will have some form of shoulder pain. Usually, this pain is from one of the muscles around the shoulder called the rotator cuff muscles. (SITS – Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Tere Minor, Subscapularis)
These muscles are as big as your little finger, so it is important you don’t try to use heavy load to strengthen them. Using the therapy band or very light dumbbell is a great way to strengthen these SITS muscles. I can guarantee nearly every player on the tour does either prior or within their training for tennis sessions.
4. Achilles Tendinitis – Caused by inflammation where the Achilles’ tendon attaches to the heel bone. This is one I’m personally very familiar with and have been treating for a while on myself. Strengthening the gastro and soleus with some calf raises, and combining it with some eccentric calf (lowering) strengthening exercises are also very helpful.
5. Knee tendonitis – Caused by inflammation of the knee tendons. Remember the knee joint is a hinge joint. So, image a door hinge. If you take a screw from one of the hinges, the door will no longer be aligned. You can imagine the knee is similar. If you strengthen the weak muscles above and below the knee joint you can prevent this from happening.
Strengthen your quadriceps, lower abdominals, and gluteal muscles, can help realign the knee joint. Every tennis player needs to implement some type of gluteal and lower abdominal work into their programs. Even the top players like Rafa and Roger still do these strengthening exercises.
The great news is most over injuries can be avoided, finding ways to prevent them is the key. The best thing we can suggest is to adopt a good strengthening program into your off-court tennis training or even better you can implement some of your strengthening exercises into your warm-up, prior to hitting the court.
Having a strength training for tennis plan will help the longevity and success of a player.
Working with a structured on-court and off-court tennis training plan will minimize the risk of overuse injuries dramatically by; allowing the body to rest and recover, building strength and stability throughout the body, release muscle tension and increase flexibility.
If you want to be a successful tennis player you need to have good management skills.We know it can be very busy fitting in everything in your programming. But if there is one thing you need to make sure you do, it is implement a specific tennis strength training program into your off court training.
STRENGTH IS KING
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