Not just for the tennis player and/or athlete, the warm-up is an overlooked proponent of health and wellbeing for all and is often neglected to understood which leaves quite a significant number of active populations susceptible to developing an injury. But this can be easily avoided with some simple steps put in place. First of which is understanding the overall function of your body and how you use your body in everyday life. For the player/athlete you have incredibly high demand requirements in contrast to more general active populations. For more mature demographics, you’re more likely to be wanting to maintain a level of strength to protect yourself and your body from potential ailments we become more susceptible towards later in life. And for the non-athlete yet active individual — from young adults to those in that middle demographic, you most likely have your sights set on general health and well-being and participate in weekly activities 3-5 times per week — classes through to committed runs, you place your overall physical fitness as a priority.
For those of you who do not fit into one of these categories it’s an important reminder to ask yourself why given the daily requirements of your body — as simple as walking to getting up from a chair to couch or maintaining a level of strength to ensure your posture isn’t as compromised if you’re sitting at a desk on a regular basis. All of these ‘actions’ have a roll-on affect for how your body in turn responds. An example can be given from a simple squat to lunge that can enhance your balance through to your strength — ‘ease’ in getting up from a chair to picking something up off the floor you may have dropped.
Activity is a part of everyday life and those who do not participate in a form of activity on a regular basis are more susceptible to developing ailments later in life.
So where does the warm-up come in? The same applies for those who go ‘all out’ prior to warming their body up as they become more susceptible to the onset of injury. But do it right, and you’re doing your body a favour and for the players/athletes you’re also doing your performance a favour as you’re ‘preparing’ your body to ‘progress’ towards its next caliber in a manner of speaking. Let me explain. I’m sure everyone has experienced the difference of jumping in the air once, and then after a few times, they feel a little more ‘loose’ like your body could go for more? Or, remember high-jump when the bar started low and then increased? And for the tennis player, hopefully you recall hitting inside the service box before progressing back to the baseline. The simple rule here is akin to an elastic band (i.e. elastic energy). By starting small and in gradual increments ‘increasing’ your range and/or energy expenditure (i.e. strength) you’re preparing your body to work at a certain level to increase the outcome (i.e. performance). But if you avoid this ‘warming-up’ altogether, you’re not giving your body a chance to reach this level and by going ‘all-in’ from the get-go can stretch your body/muscles in contrast to them naturally ‘preparing’ for this level/load.
By implementing best practices that include a warm-up not only are players/athletes setting themselves up for more purposeful performances, they’re also safeguarding their bodies for the load ahead. For the general populations, irrespective which demographic you fall into, the same applies. Whilst you may not be looking to reach a peak performance, the gradual load you apply to your body to build strength, for example, is just as applicable when it comes to ‘over-stretching’ your muscles in contrast to progressing to this stage. A simple and yet easy trick for all.
To learn more about How to Coach the Warm-Up: an Underrated Necessity for Tennis Players, head on over to Beyond Top 10 Tennis and head to Episode 32. More? Catch up on our Tips over on TikTok, Twitter, Threads or Instagram for quick snippets to apply in your game, today.