Returning To Tennis Post- Lockdown
As lockdown eases and we are able to get back to sport, it is important we gradually ease back into activity to prevent injury. I thought I would specifically write on a few tips on the safe return to Tennis. Being a Physiotherapist and being married to a competitive tennis player here is some advice to get you back to tennis avoiding injuries.
The most common injuries in tennis are Achilles’ tendon and calf strain, shoulder injuries and of course tennis elbow. Our muscles and tendons are more vulnerable due to decreased training in lockdown.
Firstly ensure you warm up, and the evidence is to complete a dynamic warm up which should be 10 to 15 minutes consisting of jogging and running drills.
Once on court for the first time in a while it will be natural to go full power – instead spend plenty of time on short court gentle ground strokes for much longer than normal and be aware not to do sudden quick movements and changes of direction.
With your serve don’t go for the Nadal or Federer 140mph serve, taking care of your shoulder tendons and muscles by easing into serves with light and controlled movements.
A few ideas of exercises to ensure your calf muscles and Achilles tendon are as follows;
Try heel raises;
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and use a support to hold on if needed.
- Stand up on your toes and hold for about 3 seconds then return to the start.
- Aim for 3 sets of 15.
- If you manage this then progress to standing on a step up block or the bottom of a step.
- With heels hanging off the step raise onto the balls of your feet and hold about 3 seconds
- Slowly lower your heels below the step level. Aim to complete 2 to 3 sets of 15.
I am sure if you try the exercises above and have also been trying Liam’s strengthening exercises every day on the website you will be more than ready for your return to tennis.
For any advice on returning to sport or advice on injuries please contact KM Woods Physiotherapy and one of our Physios would be more than happy to speak with you over the phone and arrange a virtual consultation.
Hopefully it will not be too long before we can welcome you back into our clinic.
Written by Emma Fraser