Physical Therapy with TennisFlex: Prehab, Strength Training, and Beyond! Strength and conditioning are just as essential as using the correct techniques for both recreational and professional level tennis players. Micro-conditioning muscles used in the unique swing paths is the only way to prevent injury, heal tennis elbow and gain more power in the game. TennisFlex is the exercise tool suitable for players who want to gain an edge against their opponents. Tennis players need to remain agile and lean and TennisFlex applies the proper amount of resistance needed to enhance strength for optimum performance. Tennis tends to place the most stress on shoulders, rotator cuffs, wrists and the lower back. Many forget to train these finite muscles which are not used to the motion and weight of a tennis racquet or the force against the body at the moment of ball contact. Using TennisFlex as a daily five-minute exercise routine will help build up muscle to gain power while keeping the body lean for dynamic speed on the court. TennisFlex is used as an essential tool in physiotherapist prehab programs worldwide. Prehab is an exercise program used to help athletes prevent sports injuries. Tennis strokes execute the same repetitive motion by muscles that are rarely used while not playing the game, which cause training injuries in many athletes. An imbalance in strength or build up of tightness in muscles is often a side effect of too much play or sudden engagement in the sport. Prehab with TennisFlex will balance strength, coordination and stabilization of the hips as well as the core. TennisFlex is an effective prehab and strength-training tool that allows one to continually improve resistance and gain power.
TennisFlex offers the ability to train the entire kinetic chain of muscles in a realistic groundstroke, serve or volley setting. One would have to use at least eight different machines in a gym in order to exercise all the muscles in the upper body, core and legs. TennisFlex also allows for a great variety of functional exercises such as squats, lunges, bicep curls, pectoral flies and many more.
TennisFlex is an everyday commodity kept in the professional and recreational tennis player’s bag. Warming up for matches is now easier than ever and can be done at home. The amount of resistance applied primes players’ muscles, tendons and motion memory for play without causing soreness or fatigue during pre-match play.
Examples of TennisFlex Exercises Chest Pull-in: Attach TennisFlex at head of racket, anchor around Tennis net pole or doorknob and insert handle in single base loop. Holding the racket in both hands, perform a chest pull-in motion by bringing elbows evenly with your body while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Squatting will increase the muscle activity in your core. Repeat for two to three sets of 15 repetitions.
High External Rotator: Targets upper back and arms. Player stands with TennisFlex in the same position as the chest pull-in. Elbows are high at 70 degrees and in line with shoulders. Pull the resistance bands upward as you keep your elbows bent.
Pectoral Fly: Targets pectorals and arms. Attach the base clamp to a stationary place near the ground and turn so that the back is facing the base. Grip the Y clamps in each hand and position body so that legs and core are stable and arms are spread wide apart. Keep arms extended and bring together until your hands touch. There should be too much resistance for you to keep moving. Hold the position for ten seconds and repeat three sets of eight repetitions. External Rotator: Targeting the rotator cuff. Attach the base at hip level to a stationary location. Holding onto tennis racket Y clamps, step into backhand position. The arm gripping the mid-racket should have a bent elbow at 90 degrees resting alongside the hip. While keeping the elbow pressed against the hip, pull the tennis racket across the body until the elbow is bent at 90 degrees the opposite direction or there is too much resistance to pull any farther. Hold the position for ten seconds and repeat three sets of eight repetitions.
Internal Rotator: Targets rotator cuff, wrist and forearm. Attach the base clamp at hip level to a stationary object and grip one of the Y clamps with the arm closest to the base clamp. The elbow of the arm gripping the TennisFlex should be bent at a 90-degree angle and resting alongside the hip. Pull TennisFlex across the body while keeping the elbow bent at 90 degrees and alongside the hip. Hold the position for ten seconds and repeat three sets of eight repetitions.
Preventing Shoulder Injuries
Shoulder problems are not the most talked-about condition in tennis. Most of us are more familiar with tennis elbow, tennis knee, and tennis toe. But aching shoulders are actually among the most common overuse tennis injuries, robbing professionals and duffers of playing time and comfort.
The difficulty lies in the joint’s construction and the demands placed on it by the modern ballistic tennis serve. Unfortunately, many tennis players have relatively weak rotator cuff muscles. “Playing tennis builds up the muscles in the front of the shoulder, but it doesn’t build up those in the back very much. Trips to the gym don’t help either. The usual bench presses, overhead presses and rowing [exercises] won’t necessarily work the rotator cuff muscles,” Professor Paul Borsa said. “They’re small and hard to isolate.”
In order to strengthen the rotator cuff, use the Tennis Flex by holding the racket anchored to the net pole and rotate raised arm away from the body. “You don’t need to use a lot of resistance so stay close to the net,” explains Professor Borsa. “You want to build endurance more than power in those tissues.”
Trunk Rotation Exercises
Trunk rotation exercises generate the power needed to ace a serve. The trunk includes the thorax (chest), rib cage, abdomen, spine, shoulder and pelvic girdle. It acts as a base for all movement. Looking at a physiological cross-section of the muscles that comprise the trunk area, the potential for size development is not obvious. These muscles are flat and thin in their overall shape and perform very specific functions in human movement, such as the twists used to make serves.
Although these muscles are often overlooked in training, trunk rotation is a primary and absolutely vital movement in tennis. Training the core area improves lumbar stability and increases the speed of trunk rotation, which leads to improved velocity and control of serves and groundstrokes.
Tennis Professionals and trainers as well as many other medical and health care professionals such as PTs, DCs, ATCs can learn more about TennisFlex product, educational opportunities, and how to be listed as a TennisFlex Clinic Representative.
TennisFlex is the new choice for Tennis Professionals who demand more out of their training and conditioning routines. To learn more contact us today.
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