How many of you actually warm-up before you begin playing tennis? My guess is that very few of you do. I see it every day; people come to the court and just begin hitting and use this as their warm-up. They see the pros on TV warm-up by hitting for a few minutes before their match begins and they believe they can do the same thing. But, in reality, the pros have warmed-up for quite some time before they even took to the court.
Today’s post deals with performing a dynamic warm-up. You may remember warming up before your high school gym class by jogging a little and then doing some static stretches. Static stretches are stretches in which you hold a position for up to 30 seconds and then you move on to the next stretch. A good example of a static stretch is the hurdlers stretch where you sit on the ground with one leg extended and lean forward. Did you know that in actuality static stretching hinders performance when done prior to competition? Let me say that again! Static stretching hinders performance when done prior to competition. The reason I repeated myself is because this is very important. What you really want to do prior to competition is a warm-up that prepares you body for what’s to come—a dynamic warm-up that gets your entire body warmed up.
Here is an example of a dynamic warm-up we use with our high school players. It takes about 10 minutes and really gets your body ready to play. By the way, we haven’t had an on-court injury in the time we’ve been doing dynamic warm-ups!
1. Light Jogs w/arm rotations
2. Body Weight Squats (10)
3. Over-Unders: Step over an imaginary hurdle and then step under it. Make sure you go both ways. (10)
4. Walking Lunges: Forward and backwards. (10 total, 5 each leg)
5. Knee Highs (20 yards)
6. Side Lunges (10 total, 5 each leg)
7. Butt kicks (20 yards)
8. Push-ups (10)
9. Mountain Climbers (10 or so)
10. Spiderman Push-ups (6)
11. Burpees (5): with or without push-up
13. Side steps w/swinging arms (20 yards)
14. Lunge Mobility Exercise (World’s Greatest Stretch): Forward lunge, elbow to inside of lunging foot, open up and reach up to the sky, hand back down and bring rear end up in the air for hamstring stretch, back to lunge and stand up. Repeat for other leg.
Here is another example of a dynamic warm-up that the USTA has put together: Dynamic Tennis Warm Up
I hope you’ll implement a dynamic warm-up into your tennis routine. Not only will it protect your body from injury, but it will also add to your fitness level!
See you on the courts!
This article was written by admin