With Wimbledon kicking off next week, I thought I’d share some information on the benefits of Pilates for tennis players. Tennis is a high-speed power-based game with high impact, resulting in its own unique pressures and stresses it puts on the body. Tennis demands ease of rotation, putting pressure on a player’s spine as they twist and dip, lobbing the ball back and forth across the net. Playing tennis also puts stress on the shoulder, as you can imagine, with all those overhand serves. Other body parts commonly strained or injured during tennis include the back, hips and knees. Pilates is beneficial and ideal for tennis players – pro or amateur. Pilates naturally helps improve your movement and focuses on your powerhouse or core. Here are a few ways Pilates can help with those tennis trouble spots!
How Pilates strengthens your spine
Tennis requires a certain level of agility and strength as the power players deploy during a match comes from rotating and extending through the spine. Pilates helps to loosen tight muscles through the chest, shoulders and upper back and strengthens muscles in the waist. This creates an ease of movement whilst also strengthening the rotator muscles, resulting in a range of motion that generates power with each serve or stroke.
How Pilates strengthens your core
Joseph Pilates referred to it as your powerhouse, the part of your body that goes from the bottom of your ribs all the way to your hip line. In modern terms, it’s often referred to as your core. No matter what you call it, Pilates strengthens the muscles in this area leaving you with flexibility and stability. Think about the movements you’re likely to use on the tennis court. Often times, you’re required to dip low, your centre of gravity skewed as you scoop to return drop shots. Without a strong, stable core, you’re likely to lose your balance and tip over. Pilates helps to strengthen your core, making swooping for low balls whilst moving at speed easier.
How Pilates improves your knees
The joints absorb the brunt of the high speeds and impact felt on the body during a game of tennis. Of course, when playing on harder surfaces the impact intensifies. A Pilates workout that targets the muscles around the knees will be effective for tennis players. This will include but isn’t limited to work on various apparatus in the studio such as the Chair and the Reformer. For instance, movements such as the standing leg pump without the support of the hands or the forward lunge on the Chair can be used to challenge the control of the knee joint.
Choosing a Pilates class to improve your tennis game
If you’re looking for a Pilates session to attend with the specific aim of improving your tennis game, you’ll want to opt for a session where you will receive one-on-one instruction. Choose a private Pilates session or bring your doubles partner along for a duet Pilates session. Either way, we will be able to create a tailored workout that will address the specific requirements you need to improve your fitness on and off the tennis courts. Get in touch with us today for more information on how we can help you.