Playing tennis can be demanding on a player’s body. It requires you to make the most of your upper body and your lower body. However, your knees in particular, work really hard as you manoeuvre across the court, making them prone to stress and injury. You can prevent these injuries by targeting your knees in your daily exercise routine, especially before and after the game.
Warm-up and cool-down exercises are essential for injury prevention and improving your resilience on the court.
Let’s look at the best tennis warm-ups and cool down that can help prevent common knee injuries.
Stretching is the most important part of warm-ups and cool-downs as it keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy. Without proper stretching, your muscles tend to shorten and become tight, leading to aches and pains, spasms, and muscle injury.
Hence, don't forget to stretch yourself before and after the game. Some of the stretches that you need to try out as your warm-up and cool-down to help with your knees include
- Hamstring Stretch
- Quadriceps Stretch
- Knees to chest
- Butterfly stretch for the groin
- Child’s Pose
Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and incorporate a minimum of 3-5 sets of each stretch.
A great warm-up exercise for knees and the entire body for tennis players is jumping rope. The movement allows you to warm up your whole body and increase your speed, coordination, and balance.
Since playing tennis requires you to engage in a range of movements, including running, you need to strengthen your knees so they can take the pressure of your body weight. Knee lifts make another great warm-up and cool-down exercise to help tennis players with their knees.
You can try knee lifts while standing in place. All you have to do is raise your arms to hip level and then lift your knees to touch your arms. Aim to repeat at least three sets of knee lifts for 15 to 30 seconds at a time.
To give your knees a good warm-up, you also need to incorporate butt kicks into your warm-up and cool-down routine. The exercise is a jump-training workout that targets your quads, glutes, knees, calf muscles, and hamstrings.
To get started with butt kicks, you should stand in a place to lift your right heel up toward your glutes. Then you need to return to the standing position, then lift your left heel using the same motion. Complete at least three sets of butt kicks for 15 to 30 seconds at a time.
Warm-ups and cool-downs are an integral aspect of tennis training as they help prevent injuries to a great extent. However, if you experience a knee injury while playing tennis, it's best to seek timely medical assistance from a qualified Orthopaedic Surgeon who specialises in treating hip and knee conditions. To learn more about Matt Barnes, contact us today.