Hitting a court cold turkey seems adventurous but it’s not, whatsoever. Trust us, we’ve tried to be a hero a few times before and have felt the wrath of muscle pain the following day. To better understand where our focus should be when lubing up our joints, we enlisted Certified Personal Trainer and avid tennis player, Jerome Marrin to provide us with his pre-game routine notes.
- Do not stretch Everyone tells you that you should stretch first. This can actually lead to damaged muscles if you stretch them while they are cold. Muscles need to be warmed up first. They need to be eased into intense activity. So keep the static stretching for later and focus on dynamic movements and dynamic stretching. None of these will be too taxing on your body, but they will help your muscles prepare for the match.
- A light run to start Easiest thing to do is start at the baseline and jog to the net, then retreat to the baseline running backwards. Sounds simple, but it does require a little coordination. Do this a few times.
- Lateral movements Move laterally across the court, crossing your legs as you go. Alternating your movements, cross the left over the right and then the right over the left.
- Walking knee hugs This one is very simple. Walk towards the net from the baseline. Each time you take a step, lift that knee up as high as you can and hug your leg, pulling it towards your chest. This will help stretch out some much used muscles.
- Core rotations Hold the end of the racquet in one hand and the head in the other. Extend your arms out so they are parallel with the court, then rotate side to side.
- Serve a few Avoid trying to hit an ace during the warmup. Just focus on the motion. Pay attention to your knee bend and shoulder rotation. Throw in some arm circles if necessary.
- Mini tennis A scaled down version of traditional tennis; utilizing half the court, move up from the baseline to the top of the service box and ease into a rally. This will get you moving on court, wake up your reflexes, and give you a feel for the ball. Focus on mini tennis as you would an actual game.
Ready? Game, set, match!
Have any warm-up tips of your own? We would love to hear them! Tweet @TennisCanada using #LiveTheMoment and share your pre-game routine!