Feet for Tennis

This blog simply discusses our tips towards preventing injury whilst playing tennis.

Every year following Wimbledon, we Brits suddenly get the urge to go outside, pick up a tennis racket and start playing tennis!

Tennis is a great sport to improve your hand-eye coordination and fantastic for your cardiovascular fitness.  Our first thoughts tend to be on hitting that infernal ball. What often does not cross our minds, is our feet.

Injuries to the lower limb and back are common problem in tennis players. This is because Tennis is a fast paced game, where there is a lot of high impact foot strikes and sudden direction changes.

There are a few simple things that you can do at home to reduce the risk of an injury that could stop you playing.

Footwear:

Tennis involves lots of sudden side-side direction changes; rather than for example in running where you are always traveling in a straight line. This significant difference in the demands that a foot is placed under, subsequently also affects what a shoe needs to cope with and therefore its design.
A Tennis shoe will provide greater lateral stability compared to a normal trainer, which will reduce the risk of ankle sprains, and help give you a more stable base from which to play your shots.

Stretching:

One of the most important pieces of advice that can be given to people who either already play tennis or are just starting out, is to adopt a good stretching regime. This is because the muscles of the lower limb are required to cope with frequent, sudden changes in direction. These high velocity changes put the muscles under very high stress; and can put them at risk of straining or in some cases tearing. The muscles are particularly vulnerable to this when they are tight.

The muscle groups most prone to injury are your Calf muscles at the back of your leg that attach into the foot, and your hamstrings which are behind your knee.

Muscles take time to stretch and it does not happen overnight. Because of this, stretching should be carried out every day, even when you are not playing tennis. This will ensure that the muscles are stretched effectively in a gradual process. Some examples of these stretching techniques can be found here?

Warm up before playing:

Carrying out a thorough warm up before playing Tennis is also a really important routine to adhere to. The whole reason for warming up is to allow the muscles to loosen up slightly so that they are far less prone to muscle strains and tears.

A simple effective way to warm up is to carry out a very light rally with your partner/opponent with gentle shots and body movement, followed by a simple stretching routine.

This blog has been written by Tristan White and is the opinion of the blogger and not necessarily that of The Footcare Centre LTD

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