When you hit the tennis court, your choice of racquet is one important consideration you make for your game. Your shoes, clothes, even your hairstyle all have an impact on your performance and play style. Using the wrong equipment can create the potential for injuries. Whether you are playing competitively or for fun, you want your playing years to last as long as possible, so it’s important to select the right gear to optimize your game and prevent injuries. At Resurgens Orthopaedics Hand Center, we often treat tennis players with injuries to the hand, wrist, forearm, and elbow. Here are a few tips from our physicians on how to select the right tennis racquet to help avoid injuries to your upper extremities:
Proper Tennis Racquet Grip Size
Grip size is one of the biggest factors in giving you the control you need on the court and preventing injuries to your hand and wrist. Ask a professional at your tennis shop or sporting goods store for assistance in determining your grip size. If you are not able to have a professional assist you, here is one way to help you find your ideal grip size. Measure the distance between the middle crease on your palm to the tip of your ring finger. Once you select a racquet, wrap you hand around it. There should be about half an inch space between your fingers and your palm.
Racquet Head Size and Length
Tennis racquets come in many different sizes, so it is important that you choose the one that fits your frame. If you’re using a racquet that’s too big for you, it will be more difficult to swing it, putting more strain on your elbow, wrist, and forearm. Conversely, a racquet that’s too small will limit your reach and cause you to have to stretch farther when volleying, creating the potential for injuries.
A balanced racquet is important to your performance, allowing you to recover more quickly from shots and get back into position to return a volley. Tennis racquets are usually either classified as “head light” (heavier towards the handle) or “head heavy” (heavier towards the head). Heavier racquets can benefit from being head light because it requires less effort to swing when the weight is concentrated at the grip. For a lighter racquet, being head heavy can create more stability, meaning you won’t have to swing as hard. Ask the tennis professional which choice would be best for your game.
At Resurgens Orthopaedics Hand Center, we’re always looking for ways to help athletes prevent injuries when playing the sports they love. In many cases, equipment selection is a big part of preventing injuries. If you suffer an injury to your hand, wrist, forearm or elbow, schedule an appointment online with one of our specialists and we will help you get back out on the court.