4 Stretches All Tennis Players Should Do
For any sport addressing all 16 muscle groups in the upper and lower body is optimal. However, for individual sports we can give a list of stretches that will specifically improve flexibility and strength and also prevent injury based on the movement patterns associated with that particular sport.
This Stretch for the Chest and Biceps
Just a quick reminder - at Bendable Body we name stretches by the organ and meridian they impact. The muscle groups that affects the chest is associated with the lung organ and meridian.
- Lung stretches for the chest and biceps (pectoralis major, anterior deltoid, and subscapularis)
When you are swinging a tennis racket the arm moves forward and across the chest in your forehand. In order to optimally make this movement with speed and power, the muscles on the chest and biceps need to shorten and rotate sufficiently. They need optimal flexibility in other words. Resistance stretching the lung muscle group gets the muscles in your chest and biceps working better. The flexibility and strength of this muscle group will go up and so will your forehand, serve and recovery. For any movement the key is getting the primary muscles responsible for that movement to work better.
Of course the body works as a whole so you ultimately want all the muscles in the body to work well, but focusing on the specific muscles primarily responsible for a specific movement is very helpful. Strength training and traditional stretching will not ultimately get your muscles to work better. Resistance stretching will.
This Stretch for the Back of the Shoulders and Arms
- Small Intestine stretches for the back of the shoulders and back of the arms (Infraspinatus, teres minor, and supraspinatus)
When you are swinging a tennis racket, in addition to the arm moving forward and across the chest, it also makes the opposite movement toward the back of the body to set up the serve and forehand and to execute on the backhand. A stretch for the muscles on the back of the shoulder and arm are essential so that these muscles can properly shorten and make these necessary movements for swinging a tennis racket.
This Stretch for the Lateral Hamstring
- Bladder stretches for the lateral hamstring (gluteus maximus, Biceps femoris, gastrocnemius)
These stretches will help with extension in your pelvis and the ability of your body to move as a whole on the court.
This Stretch for the Medial Hamstring
- Pancreas stretches for the medial hamstring (semimembranosus, gastrocnemius, vastus medialis)
This stretch will help with backward movement in the legs on the court.