Tennis is a great activity to help keep you physically fit during the ongoing pandemic. It is a popular sport in Atlanta and there are lots of leagues for players of all talent levels. While tennis can be the perfect way to get some exercise (and have some fun while you're at it), it's definitely a sport that puts a lot of stress on the spine and back muscles. Sudden stops, spine-twisting saves, and powerful serves are all part of the game but they can also be hard on your back. If you find yourself spending time on a tennis court, here are some tips from Resurgens Spine Center to help protect your spine, neck, and back from injuries.
Always do a Proper Warm-up
As is the case when playing any sport, a good warm-up helps to limber up the muscles and joints so they'll be more flexible during play. Without a proper warm-up, you're more likely to experience injuries like muscle strains and joint sprains that could have you sitting out this tennis season. For best results, consult your doctor or a physical therapist to develop a warm-up routine for before and after physical activity and be sure to ask about specific tennis-related stretches to keep the lower back, shoulders, and knees limber so they can take the punishment they'll face out on the court.
Pay Attention to Your Serve
If you want to serve just like the pros, it means hyper-extending the lower back muscles and compressing the lumbar discs of your spine. That means every serve creates the potential for serious injuries. A coach can be an excellent resource to help you find the right form for your serve, one that will give you the power you want while still protecting your spine.
Hard Court or Soft Court?
The type of court on which you play can have a big impact (literally) on how much punishment your spine will take during play. Not only do hard courts absorb less shock, they also ratchet up the speed of the game, requiring greater agility for the player to keep up. Soft courts, on the other hand, are able to absorb some of the stress that occurs during sudden stops, sudden starts, and jumps. In addition, a soft surface like clay or grass slows down the speed of the ball, giving you more time to react and position your body appropriately to avoid injuries. While they are less common than hard courts, soft courts can be ideal for those who want to play a more leisurely game of tennis that protects their spine from injury.
Tennis players are need extreme agility, endurance, and the ability to think quickly on your feet. Because of the high demands of the game, the potential for injuries should be foremost on the minds of anyone who plays tennis, whether they're a pro or they're just playing casually. We hope the tips listed above will help you reduce your chances of injuring your spine, your neck muscles, and your back muscles.