Most of the injuries in tennis are caused by the lack of warm-up. Whether you are a professional or an amateur you always need to warm-up and to do it in the right way you need to learn how your body reacts to the impact with hard surfaces and with movements which happen quite often in tennis. The strength-building exercises are a must to make sure you will be able to avoid such long-term injury. Below we will discuss the most common injuries in tennis and how to avoid them:
How to avoid shoulder injury in tennis
The shoulder is one of the most complicated ligaments in our body and it’s not a surprise is one of the most common injuries in tennis. So do we avoid shoulder injury in tennis? Well first of all stretching is great both before and after the match as it allows your ligaments to relax and to release the stress they have been under during the session. To be injury-free your shoulder should be pain-free first of all, never work on strengthening when your shoulder or any other ligament or muscle is in pain as you could only make it worse.
Exercises to avoid shoulder injury:
The PRO coaches always suggest, together with the stretch some exercise with an elastic band without forcing too much but easy enough to assist your muscle before those tiring sessions of tennis. Keep your elbow close to the side of your body and pull the elastic which can be attached to a pole or anything you might have in your house, garden, gym.
Following this exercise do forward rotations with the elastic band coming from the back of your shoulders and pushing it further as this would help your joint to strengthen.
A good warm-up before the match is also a couple of minutes of jumping jacks, using your arms as well for balance would help you to avoid shoulder injury in tennis.
How to avoid wrist injury in tennis
The wrist is also another part of our body frequently mentioned and easily injured in tennis without taking the right steps. It can be of two kinds when you get injured; radial pain (thumb side) or ulnar (pinkie side). Normally ulnar pain is the most common cause of injury in a tennis player and can be annoying as it needs quite a good amount of weeks to stop bothering you. For this reason, it is also one of the most difficult to rehab as it is a part often involved in our daily-life situations and it’s difficult to give complete rest to it.
Most tennis players suffered from this injury at least once in their life and it is caused by inappropriate use of the racquet, a wrong technique, or even the wrong racquet. When choosing the racquet we have to take into consideration age, fitness, and surface where we will play. As well as the shoulder as we’ve previously mentioned straightening is a key also for the wrist, mostly when we aren’t playing as it shall help our muscles to get ready for the practice. The weight of the racquet and the grip are also very important to understand how you force the movement and what muscle could be affected. Furthermore, if you can be supervised by an expert in tennis or by a coach at least the first time can help you to manage the basics of the technique and avoid further damage to the wrist.
Exercises to avoid wrist injury
The PRO coaches suggest reinforcing and train your wrist with some ad hoc exercises. One of these is by working on the wrist flexors as suggested here. While sitting on your knees point the fingers towards them and then add some pressure to them by shifting the weight in circles.
The second exercise is by placing your hands with outwards pointing fingers, from there shift your weight from left to right to stretch your muscle and make it stronger. Continue between your training sessions with these 2 exercises to avoid wrist injury in tennis.
Other things to consider when you start to play tennis and avoid injury. Listen to your body and don’t push over your limits to avoid any kind of injury. Start to get more comfortable with the tennis racquet if you are a complete beginner by doing small exercises on the spot with the ball, remember, first learn to manage your power when having a ball on your racquet and then start to play on the long court. Many PRO coaches also suggest starting to warm-up with the short court (where the lines in the middle of the court are painted and intersected with the horizontal ones) and later on move to the end of the court.
Which shoes to wear? It is quite a common question as this element is not less important than the racquet. Remember, wearing shoes that are not adapt not only to your feet but also to the surface you are playing can create with them issues and pain to your ankles, back, and abs. Most of the movements in tennis are done laterally hence the shoes are designed to allow you to move side to side of the court without feeling uncomfortable. The tennis shoes have also an extra layer of cushion to protect your ankles and your feet from the numerous vibrations causes by jumps and fast turns.
How to choose the surface
The surface of a tennis court can be very much challenging to choose for a beginner but it’s very important for the future of your tennis life or career. The clay is said to be the most difficult surface as it’s the one where you play the longest rally, coming from the fact the balls bounce a lot more here, making it the slowest surface were to play in. On the other hand instead, if you’ve experienced problems with your back, knees, or ankles it’s also the surface stressing them the least.
Hardcourt is instead the right way in terms of speed of the ball, making it good to learn as it’s faster than clay but slower than grass however here the articulations, ligaments, ankles are very much under stress as the surface is quite hard.
To conclude grass is the fastest speed, the one where the big servers( players normally very tall with a lot of power) in the major tennis tournaments plays their best tennis however it’s very difficult to play in like the speed of the ball after touching the green doesn’t allow long rallies to exist.
To sum up
The whole conclusion is that you must:
- Reach a decent level of fitness before starting to play a game
- Choose the right shoes
- Choose the right racquet
- Be followed by a coach the first times if possible
All of these is to avoid shoulder and wrist injury in tennis.