Preparing for a tennis match or practice session can be daunting, especially if you are inexperienced. It’s important to warm up your muscles and joints before playing, as this will prevent injury and improve performance. Seated stretches are a great way to warm up before your next tennis game. Here are some examples of seated warm-up stretches to do before tennis practice.
Anterior Shoulder Stretch
The anterior shoulder stretch is an excellent warm-up stretch before playing tennis or any other sport requiring shoulder mobility. For this stretch, you will begin seated and then spread your arms wide. With both hands, grab the back of a chair and use it for support as you lean toward the ground. This position should be held for 30 seconds to ensure a proper stretch in the anterior deltoids. When doing this exercise correctly, you should feel a gentle pull at the front of your shoulders. Performing this stretch also targets multiple muscles, including the latissimus dorsi, supraspinatus, infraspinatus, and teres major/minor, which are all important muscles for overhead movements like serving in tennis.
Tennis Elbow Stretch
The tennis elbow stretch loosens and stretches your forearm and elbow muscles, making them more flexible for improved performance during your next tennis match or practice session. To do this exercise properly, start by sitting in a chair with good posture, then extend one arm straight in front of you with the palm facing down. With your other hand, grab just below the elbow on the extended arm. Next, gently pull it toward you until you feel a slight stretching sensation along the outside of that arm’s upper forearm. Hold this position for about 30 seconds before releasing and repeating twice more on each side.
This stretch targets two sets of muscles: the extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB), located at the outer side of your elbow joint, and the flexor carpi radialis (FCR), which are on both sides near both wrists. Both muscle groups are important when playing any racquet sport, such as tennis, due to their role in stabilizing wrist movements.
Towel Calf Stretch
The Towel Calf Stretch is a great way to prepare the muscles and tendons of your lower legs for a game or practice session. It’s an easy stretch requiring minimal equipment, and you can do it before and after playing. To begin this exercise, you will need a towel or strap. Then, start by sitting in a comfortable position with your legs straight out in front of you. Place the towel around the ball of one foot and then pull it gently toward yourself until you feel a slight stretch in your calf muscle and Achilles tendon. Hold for 30 seconds before releasing, then repeat on the other side.
This stretch focuses on two major muscle groups: the gastrocnemius, responsible for flexing your knee joints, and the soleus, which helps with plantarflexion (pointing toes downward). Both muscles play important roles when it comes to running and jumping movements useful during sports such as tennis.
Now that you know some seated warm-up stretches for tennis players, you can use these before your next game. And if you need a place to perform your seated stretches on the court, check out All Star Tennis Supply’s high-quality selection of tennis court benches.