There’s no doubt about it, if you can, you want to avoid sports injury. What is it about Wimbledon that makes hundreds of us pick-up a tennis racket for the first time in at least a year? We rush down to the local tennis courts to leap and lunge about. We do our absolute best to emulate Andy Murray and Laura Robson!
Unfortunately, many of us do not have the fitness, flexibility or skills of our tennis hero’s. So we hobble off the courts 20 minutes later sporting some kind of injury. Well this year, in an attempt to reduce those twisted ankles and strained wrists we are suggesting some simple warm-up and cool down tips to help.
Warm up to avoid sports injury
Warming-up for a game of tennis, or any vigorous exercise is a sure-fire way to help you avoid sports injury. Here are some tips to help you get started…
- Start with some simple trunk twisting exercises. Hold your racket in front of you with one hand on the handle the other on the head of the racket. Gently twist from right to left, being careful not to over exert.
- Next you can do arm circles to loosen the shoulders. Hold your arms up to the side, shoulder height and gently rotate both arms in a small circular motion forward 10 times and then backwards 10 times. Rest and then repeat making medium size circular movements. Finish with big circular rotations, to use the full range of motion of your joints.
- For the legs, start with a slow sideways skip along the baseline of the tennis court and then back again. Do this five times. This gets your muscles used to the lateral movement used a lot in tennis.
- Continue with high knee jogs to stretch your hamstrings. Try to build up slowly from 10 to 30 high knee jogs, resting in between. For your quads jog to the net kicking up your heels so they touch your buttocks and do the same jogging away from the net.
- Stretch the lower back. To do this sit on the floor with your legs straight ahead of you and try to touch your toes. First straight forward, then open your legs into a v-shape and try to touch opposite hand to toe alternatively.
Please note, this is by no means an exhaustive list of warm-up exercises that you can do. All exercises should be carried out with caution. It is advised that you ask a professional trainer if you are concerned about your fitness in any way.
Cool down to avoid sports injury
Remember to cool down!
- Slow your exercise down gradually.
- Don’t suddenly stop.
- Stretch out your quads, hamstrings, back and arms.
Prevention is better than cure
We all know that prevention is better than cure. If we don’t warm-up properly before playing a vigorous exercise like tennis, it is possible you could cause an injury. Or, will not perform to your best ability.
We also know that a regular sports massage can help you remain injury free . A sports massage also helps to speed up recovery after injury and is used to treat strains and sprains. Additional benefits include reducing stress and tension (helping with stress management). Sports massage helps keep the body flexible, stimulating the circulation and speeds up the healing process. All of which help to avoid injury.
Enjoy the season, warmth and fun of playing tennis – or whatever sport you enjoy doing. Just remember, massage, warm ups and cool downs will really help you avoid sports injury!