In tennis you execute a lot of upper body rotations, and if your muscles and spine are flexible, you can load and unload better and have more powerful shots. Every tennis player can benefit from twisting and stretching their spine; and with better flexibility, you are reducing the risk of injuries as well.
If you sit a lot during your day and feel low back pain frequently, stretching your spine with twists will relax your back muscles and ease the pain. Often we stretch our spines forward and backward but it is also important for them to be twisted laterally. This twisting in different direction than they are used to helps to better relieve the tension. This side twisting rhythmic and gentle motion limbers the muscles, aligns the vertebrae, boosts the blood circulations, loosens the hips, and even chest and shoulder muscles.
Lie down on your back with straight legs and arms 90 degrees out. Bent and lift your right knee and put your left hand on the outside of it. Let the knee gently fall toward left. Don’t push on the knee, stay within your comfort zone and let the weight of your hand and the gravity do the work. Turn your head to the right and keep your right shoulder on the ground. Breathe deeply and with each breath relax deeper into the stretch. Hold the stretch for 8 deep breaths or longer, and switch the side.
Perform the spinal twist after your tennis practice, when you are cooling down. But if you feel that you are chronically tight, you can do it any time – especially before you go to bed, and when you wake up in the morning.
It says that flexible body means flexible mind. If your body is tied in a knot, how does your mind and emotions look like? Just know that what is twisted can be untwisted, and it works both for your body and mind. Strive for nicely flexible and supple body and mind and both will help your tennis game enormously.
For more info: ex Ms Natural Olympia Suzanna McGee is an experienced athletic trainer, competitive tennis player and a freelance writer. She lives in Venice Beach, CA and online at www.sixftlion.com
If you liked reading this article, feel free to subscribe with the button above, so you wouldn’t miss any future great articles on fitness and injury prevention. Until then, read also tips how to
- Rejuvenate your body in the morning or any time with Sun Salutations.
- Stretch your hips with the Pigeon, Frog, Crocodile Twist, external hip stretch and groin stretch.
- Do the myo-fascial release for your feet, booty, and lower legs.
- Strengthen your legs and booty with lunges, jump squats, windmills, air bench, jumping lunges or one leg squat.
- Strengthen your core with the side plank with leg lift, windmill, plank with arm and leg lifts, plank with hip twists and push up with knee to elbow touch.
- Prevent overuse injuries of your shoulders, wrists and elbows with elbow curls, arm circles, dogs and cats, external rotator strengthening and rotator cuff stretch.
- And if the injury happened and you had a knee surgery, here are exercises for your come back, or how to recover after a sprained ankle.
- Use the beautifully colored kinesio tapes to prevent or heal your injuries.
- Work on your agility, coordination and balance with some fun footwork drills, running the stairs, agility square jumps or one leg squat.
- And because the weather and conditions in Los Angeles are very hot, don’t forget to drink a lot of water, because it will increase your performance and well-being.
- Learn how to sleep well to feel good and increase your performance.