Warm-ups are important for any exercise, and sadly, not everyone does them enough. Warm-ups serve a few purposes,including:
Stretching your muscles to allow you to be more limber.Get the blood pumping in order to prepare for the full exercise.Lowers your chances of any injuries due to the warm-ups preparing your body. Allows you to think about the bigger task at hand. Great for sporting events.
In this article, we’ll be covering warm-ups for tennis. This also includes other racquet sports like Squash, Racquetball, Badminton, and more. There are many warm-up guides, but most of them focus on your legs, as they are for sports like soccer.
But we’ll be focusing on both the upper and lower body, which is essential for any tennis player. A good tennis player will need to have their arms ready to return the balls, as well as their legs in order to run. This guide will be good for both beginners,and,despite the title pros.
We’ll begin the warmup by raising your pulse.
Raising Your Pulse
A higher pulse keeps the blood pumping and prepares you for the game. Best of all, raising your pulse is easy. Just do anything that makes your heart pound. You can do a quick jog for a few minutes, jump rope, do jumping jacks, and more. Your workout should intensify the more you do it, but make sure you don’t work out too much and make yourself tired before the big game!
AKA dynamic stretches. These stretches are intended to stretch the muscles that are relevant to playing tennis or other racquet sport.
First, we’ll work on your lower body. You’ll be using the court to do these exercises. Start close to the net, and then increase the distance the more you do them. Here are some stretches to try:
- Side stepping-Just move from left to right, like you’re trying to hit a ball
- Skipping- Just some normal skipping. Hum Skip to My Lou as you skip around, and this will help you to stretch those calves!
- Carioca-This involves you crossing sideways, putting one leg in front of your other one as you do so.
- The high knees- Run around the court, lifting your knees as high as they can go. Simple!
- Flicking heels- Move your heels back until they touch your butt. Once again, simple.
- The Walking Lunge- Doing a lunge, do a forward swing with your back leg, walking around the court as you do so.
- The Side Squat- Just stand on your side and squat with your feet as wide apart as possible. Using your dominate leg, rotate to face the opposite direction, and repeat.
- The Double Leg Hop-Place the feet together and make a forwards hop. You must make sure you keep on your toes and increase your speed gradually, as well as how high you jump.
After doing all these stretches, your legs should be well-prepared for the game. There are other stretches you can do too, but they won’t do much in terms of loosening you up. Feel around, and if there are any muscles you need to loosen concentrate on them. Otherwise, let’s move onto the upper body stretches, shall we?
Stretch that Upper Body!
The good thing about upper body stretches? You can do them in one spot! No need to have a wide open space, so it’s great if you want to stretch indoors before you go out to the court. Just stand up strength, feet hip length apart, and bend your knees ever so slightly. Suck in the stomach as much as you can, too.
Rotating Trunk-Hands on hips, give your upper body a good rotate. Start small and slow, and work your way up, doing about 15 reps.
Bending Trunk-Now, put your arms right above your head, bending over to your side. Using your opposite hand, reach over the head, and change sides. Do this 15 times.
Circling Neck-Looking at the ground, right shoulder, above, and over the left shoulder, rotate your neck fully. Do this for about three times.
Rolling Shoulder-This time, put your arms on your sides and get those shoulder joints rolling. Why not roll them forward and back, doing them equally for five times each?
Circling Arm-Just swing your arms in circles. Do it five times forward and five times backwards. For a challenge, alternate between forward and back.
Clapping Straight Arm-This one is a bit more challenging. First, begin with your arms in front of you. Straighten your elbows, touch your palms, and make sure your hands are slowly moved apart. Begin by doing it on the sides at a chest length, and then put them at your center. Keep doing this faster, and soon, you can mix up the exercise by bending your elbows.
The Rotating Rotator Cuff-Begin by having shoulder-high arms. Bend your elbows at a 90 degree angle, and make sure your palms are down. Start rotating your shoulder joint. You’ll know you’re doing it right when your fist is pointing to the ceiling. Rotate it back, and repeat ten times. Change arms after this. Keep doing it faster for a challenge.
Rotating wrist-Straightening your elbows, rotate the wrists in a circular manner. Make the circle bigger and bigger and go faster while you do it. Do each wrist five times.
After that, your body is nice and stretched. Why not do some tennis warmups while you’re at it?
Finally, we end the warmups by having you practice some shots for your game. You’ll be focusing on your techniques, movements, and anything else relevant to the game. Besides warming you up, it makes good practice, allowing you to get a feel for the game and improve your skills along the way.
Do a few mild underarm shots. If you’re playing tennis, aim for the net while close. Move back little by little, and improve the power of your shots. Do backhands and underarm shots as well. After a while, you’ll be mostly warmed up.
Finish it off by doing some overhead shots. Start with the net and go back, and soon, you’ll be rocking that racquet.
Warming up is not only important for tennis, but any physical activity. If you want to be at your best, you definitely want to have a good warmup. So get out there and stretch!