Knowing how to stretch for a tennis match is vitally important when playing a game of tennis. There are several different stretches you must do in order to optimize your performance when playing tennis. Properly stretching using a few simple techniques will ensure your muscles are warmed up and ready to go.
- Start with your neck. Since playing tennis involves your whole body, make sure you stretch from head to toe. You will want to start with your neck and work your way down. To stretch your neck out, simply take your right hand and gently pull the left side of your head towards the right side of your shoulder. This will stretch out the left side of your neck. Repeat with the left hand to stretch the right side of your neck.
Shoulders. To stretch your shoulders, clasp your hands out in front of you and push your arms out straight. You can also do the same stretch, but bring your hands up over your head for an even more intense stretch. For those tennis serves, it is important that you stretch out your shoulders really well so that you don't pull anything. Make sure you hold shoulder stretches for at least fifteen seconds.
- Chest. To stretch your chest, bring your arms behind you and clasp your hands together. Push your arms straight out as far as possible and hold the stretch fifteen to twenty seconds.
- Back. Your back can easily be pulled when playing a tennis match, so it is very important that you give it special attention when stretching. To stretch your back, bend over so that your hands can easily rest of your thighs. Then, roll your back up like a haunch back and hold for at least twenty seconds. Relax your back and repeat the stretch one more time. This warms up your spine and decreases the chance of any back related injuries while playing tennis.
- Arms. For that perfect serve, it's important to stretch out your arms before your tennis match. To stretch your arms, start by putting your arm straight up in the air and bending it so that your hand rests near your shoulder. Take your other hand and gently press on your elbow until the point of tension. Hold the stretch for fifteen seconds and repeat on the opposite arm. This stretch will get your tricep muscles warmed up for your big tennis match. To stretch your biceps, take your arm across your chest and bring the opposite arm up and around to get a deeper stretch. Hold for fifteen seconds and repeat with the opposite arm.
Abdominal muscles. It is important you focus on your core before you play a tennis match. Your abdominal muscles are the core of your body and possibly the most important part of the stretching process when playing tennis. A great way to stretch your abs is to lay on your stomach and then lift your chest off of the floor with your hands. Hold this stretch for twenty seconds and repeat one or two times.
- Legs. Start by stretching your quadriceps by bringing your foot up behind you and grabbing it with your arm. Hold the foot as close to your body as possible to maximize the stretch. To stretch your hamstrings, keep your feet about shoulder width apart and bend down and touch your toes if possible. Hold the stretch for ten seconds and repeat one time. To stretch your calves, write out half of the alphabet with your toes in the air. This is also a great way to prevent shin splints while playing tennis.
Tip: After you are all stretched out, another great way to warm up your muscles for a tennis match is to jog in place. This will help loosen up your muscles even more so that you play the best tennis match possible.