Tennis Fit Series: Shoulder Exercises to Keep Your Arm Healthy and Happy

Tennis Fit Series: Shoulder Exercises to Keep Your Arm Healthy and Happy

Pre-hab vs. Rehab

Overuse injuries like strains, tendonitis, tennis elbow, etc., comprise approximately 2/3 of the injuries experienced by tennis players. There are a number of causes for overuse injuries in tennis.  The most obvious is the need to perform the same stroke over and over again.  Inadequate rest and recovery, technique, equipment, flexibility, strength/muscle balance, and conditioning may also play a role in an individual’s injury. Overuse injuries occur in all regions of the body, but many occur in the arm, particularly the dominant arm of a tennis player.

This week, I’d like to show you how to minimize your risk of arm injury while maximizing your tennis performance with the shoulder “pre-hab” program. Take care of the issue before it becomes an issue!

The shoulder “pre-hab” program consists of resistance band exercises focusing on the muscles in the back of the shoulder.  These muscles, which include the parascapular and rotator cuff muscles, are at a big disadvantage due to the repetitive swinging motions involved in tennis.  If not addressed, these muscle imbalances lead to poor swing mechanics and potential injury.  

To see how to perform the shoulder “pre-hab” exercises, watch the video demonstration below.

Perform 2 sets of 10-15 repetitions for each exercise 2-3 days/week.

These are easy to do at home, at the gym, or at the courts.  Try incorporating the program into your weekly tennis routine.  These exercises not only minimize the risk of injury at the shoulder, elbow, and wrist, but can improve mechanics and performance so you can play better, healthier tennis in  in 2015.

Be sure to stay tuned for our next week’s blog on hip exercises to improve balance and movement on the court.