How are your obliques used during tennis? To understand, you have to know how the tennis swing works. Simply put, you are bringing your shoulders around . The oblique muscle is one of many that fire to draw your shoulders around to connect with the ball. Your abdominal muscles contract, and the power of your legs and hips gets transferred all the way to your shoulders.
The obliques are critical because they are directly connected from the hips to the shoulders. So, when your hip goes forward, these muscles are a significant part of the contraction that happens to bring your shoulders around. Not only that, but they come into play when you serve in tennis, as they are what pulls your shoulder across and around.
Although not common, oblique injuries are associated with tennis. Overexertion, cramps or even falls can damage this muscle, and can cause even the best players to throw in the towel.
To strengthen your obliques, consider these exercises:
- Boxers' situps While you are doing your situps, when you have contracted, bring your left elbow to your right knee. On the next situp bring your right elbow to your left knee. Repeat. So, instead of doing a regular situp, you come up and bring your elbow across your body to your other knee. You can have your hands behind your head or across your body. It's up to you.
- Planks Lie on your side. Put your feet together and then lift yourself up on your left arm, elbow to the ground. Hold this for 10 seconds. Now switch sides. This is much harder than it looks, but it is easily the best workout for your obliques. Keep your body in a straight line. You are balancing on your forearm and the side of your bottom foot.
- Cross crunches Get into situp position. Now take your left ankle and put it on your right knee, like you are crossing your legs. Now do a situp, and when you get to the top, bring your right elbow over to your left knee. Again the basic movement is to bring your elbow to the opposite knee. However, this time your opposite leg is brought up, meaning you have to work your obliques more.
If you noticed, many of these involve some sort of twisting. Feel free to make up your own exercises, to improve how your obliques are used in tennis.