It’s amazing what competitive fire a small fuzzy green ball can bring out in us, isn’t it? From arguing whether or not it really did touch the line on the last volley, or the feeling of satisfaction you get when you come back from 40-0 and take the game against all odds. Yes, the US Open is upon us. This year from August 29th – September 11th, we want you feeling ready to take on Novak Djokovic on the courts! Robert Steele, our Orthopedic Massage Therapist (and well informed tennis player) has 4 exercises that will not only help prevent injuries, but improve the strength of the muscle groups used while playing tennis.
4 Exercises to you Serve like Serena
1. Single Leg Squats – For the upper and forward drive, the serve requires hip strength and balance. Start off by standing on one foot. Initiating movement with your hips, squat back and down on one leg as low as you can comfortably go. Then return to standing position using only the leg you are balancing on. “Single leg squats improve balance, strength, and stability through your torso”.
Recommend- 2-3 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.
2. Overhead Slams – Take an 8-pound medicine ball, bring it over your head with both hands, and, while focusing on being tight and long, drive the ball down, enough to bring your feet off the ground. “This is fantastic for explosive power through the upper body”.
Recommend- 3-4 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.
3. Medicine Ball Perpendicular Throws – Start off by standing 2-3 feet away from a wall. Make sure your hips are perpendicular to the wall. Hold a medicine ball in front of waist, with one hand under and one hand behind the ball. Rotate torso away from wall, taking the ball behind your hip. Drive your back hip toward the wall while throwing the medicine ball against the wall and then catch it as it returns. “The serve is a twisting force and this exercise works that movement and generates the needed power by building strength in your core.”
Recommend- Repeat 3-4 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions.
4. Reverse Side and Forward Lunges – These are straight forward, literally. As you lunge forward, to the side, or step back in reverse, always remember to not allow your knee to go past your foot but rather stay parallel to it. This helps you to not over extend your leg muscles.
Recommend- Repeat 2-3 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.
Robert Steele advises that you “Don’t overlook the importance of strengthening the legs and core, and especially your balance when attempting to play tennis. Tennis injuries such as in the knee or elbow are some of the most common we see in the office, but can be easily preventable!”
Whether you’re a casual player who’s in it to have fun, or you’re trying to make it into the US Open by 2012, these exercises will improve your game and make it less likely that sit out on a set. Although we can’t guarantee that every serve is an ace, this tennis season, MaxWell Medical wants you to SERVE STRONGER!
- US Open Tennis 2011: Shoulder Injury Will Spurn Novak Djokovic at Flushing Meado (bleacherreport.com)
- US Open 2011 diary | Kevin Mitchell (guardian.co.uk)