Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Are You Making This Big Mistake?

What a day it has been...I've been getting myself ready to visit my family for the Holidays.  I try to give myself 2 weeks at the end of the year to rest, recover and recharge for the year to come.  Part of this is taking a break from most digital interface.  Personally, I think we can all stand to do this from time to time- get away from all the crazy technology that is at our fingertips.  I don't know about you, but for me it seems way to easy to sit down in front of the computer to work and before you know it, 2-3 hours are gone.  

Anyway, enough about my little break I will be taking and on to the good stuff...more tennis exercise tips for you.

There may be one HUGE mistake you might be making that could be possibly setting you up for serious injury...not spending at least 5 minutes doing dynamic warm-up before you hit even one tennis ball. I can't tell you how many adult players in particular I see go from their cars to to hitting balls on the courts without any real warm-up.  Alright, alright...I know you might be one of the those "special " people who have been lucky to have gotten away with it so far, but let me tell you, sooner or later it will catch up with you. 

By the way, starting short court or hitting gently at first DOES NOT count as a warm-up.  Yes this should be done, but after you have taken the muscles and joints through a series of simple dynamic exercises.   It doesn't have to be anything crazy either.

Many times, I think people don't go through a proper warm-up because they are afraid of being the only one and looking stupid.  Look...hopefully gone are those high school days when we felt like we needed to be in the "in" crowd.  Take your health into consideration please and don't worry what anyone else is going to think.  

Say you are going to be joining a clinic and you can't get on the court early because there is another group there until you start.  You don't need the court to do a dynamic warm-up.  Here is a simple routine:

1. 20 Jumping Jacks
2. 20 High Knee Marches
3. 20 Butt Kicks
4. 10 Body Weight Squats
5. 10 Lunges
6. 10 Arm Circles Backward
7. 10 Arm Circles Forward
8. 20 Side to Side Loose Arm Swings

Doing something as simple as this is better than nothing.  This will at least give your body a chance to safely begin to engage the muscles with the intensity that the sport requires and FYI...you won't look silly doing it!  

Be Well,

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