Yes, you heard it before, a warm up is important and you should do it but why? Does warming up decrease the risk of injury?
What stretches should you do? And when should you stretch – before or after you play tennis? You see the pros do it but why should you when you only play for fun?
Keep reading and find out more!
Sure, warming up helps you to improve flexibility but that’s not all:
The main reason you should do a warm up is because you could play tennis pain free.
If you want to improve flexibility then go ahead and find out more about how flexibility impacts on-court performance.
Why Warming Up Decreases The Risk Of Injury
There is no scientific proof that a warm up decreases the risk of injury because there is no documentation showing that a warm up actually reduces injury.
In order to prove it you would have to isolate all the variables, which seems to be difficult to achieve.
But by warming up you change the dynamics of the muscle tissue to make it more tolerant to stress, which suggests that you reduce the risk of injury.
If your muscle tissue is less bisque, particularly at the joint capsule, then you have:
- greater elastic properties
- greater efficiency at neural transmission
- improvement in proprioception
which means you are better coordinated for the movements.
Therefore, you have less risk of overextending yourself into a muscle strain due to of lack of pliability and your proprioceptors are more dynamically enhanced, which means you have greater stability.
Therefore, I suggest that having higher stability and higher range of motion reduces your risk of injury.
Do You Perform a Tennis Warm Up?
A common scenario is that recreational tennis players walk on the court, grab their racquets and balls and start playing tennis. You are having a good time, get your workout in, walk off the court and feel exhausted but overall happy.
The following day, you no longer feel that happy because you feel a few aches and pains here and there – most often at the shoulder, knee or low back – but why?
Got Low Back Pain?
Well, take low back pain for instance. Most of the time low back pain occurs because of pelvic misalignment – meaning your hips are out of their ideal or neutral position.
This can happen due to muscle tightness and/or poor flexibility since the muscles are attaching at your pelvis and when they don’t allow for proper range of motion pressure can arise, e.g. in the low back (lumbar) region, causing low back pain.
Of course you can take the easy route, popping anti-inflammatory pills or pain relievers like M&M’s, but that costs you money and isn’t necessarily great for your health if you keep doing that for a prolonged period of time.
Another option is to have surgery to get your vertebrae fused together. That might take care of the pain but also diminishes your mobility…and of course, you are paying for it.
My question is:
Why pay money if you could improve your health for free and you can do it on your own?
Anyways, I don’t want to lecture you on what to do or how to live your life – that’s your decision! Instead I’ll present you with some nice stretching exercises that you can do on your own.
Dynamic Stretches: The Pre-Match Warm Up
If you like to warm up before you play tennis then dynamic stretches are great for you because they warm up the muscle tissue and get them ready for burst action – blood is flowing towards your muscles and the muscle tissue can handle tension better, which means you reduce the risk for pulling a muscle.
Watch the video for a great dynamic warm up routine. If you decide to do this before you play tennis then set aside 10-15 minutes so that your tennis buddies don’t have to wait on you and you don’t feel rushed.
Static Stretches: The Post-Match Pain Reducer
If you don’t want to look goofy performing the dynamic stretches then at least do the static stretches after you are done playing tennis because they noticeable reduce muscle soreness the next day! Here are 22 static stretching exercises for your tennis cool down.
Following you will find some easy static stretches that you can do. Simply click on the respective stretch headlines to read the detailed stretch description or watch the video for proper execution of the stretches.