It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner (like me) or a pro, there are many things you can do to prevent injuries on the tennis court. Did you know in 2007, more than 21,000 people were treated in the US for tennis-related injuries?
Here are a few tips to avoid injury on the courts:
- When playing outdoors, dress appropriately for the weather and don’t forget sunscreen and a hat.
- Court surfaces - surfaces such as cement, asphalt or synthetic aren’t very forgiving. Consider inserts to absorb shock to protect your back and other joints when playing on harder surfaces.
- Take time to warm up and stretch. Start with at least 3-5 minutes of light aerobic exercise , such as a light jog, jumping jacks, running or stationary cycling. Follow with gentle static stretching, holding your stretches for 30 seconds or more.
- Start slow with your strokes and gradually build up to your maximum pace.
- A great resource for general exercise safety tips is OrthoInfo.
- Proper tennis footwear is important as mentioned above for shock absorption, but also crucial to avoid ankle injuries. Never wear running shoes due to lack of lateral support! Consider wearing two pairs of socks for proper fit or tennis-specific socks.
- The more you play, the more your hands will become resistant to blistering. In the meantime, to prevent blisters on your hands:
- Anyone from the beginner to the pro can benefit from proper instruction and coaching for good technique.
- Don’t forget proper cross-training for a strong core, which is protective for the back and lower extremities.
- Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a common overuse injury. OrthoInfo provides great information and tips on the condition. Bother properly fitted equipment and good technique help to decrease your risk for tennis elbow.
A special thanks to Coach Paul Reber!