Game | Set | Match: Pilates

Adding Pilates exercises into your Tennis regime will undoubtedly improve your performance. Pilates will enhance both power & precision while building balance.  How?  Focus on the following:
• Hip mobility and stability
• Trunk rotation
• Pelvic stability
• Thoracic extension and spinal rotation
• Shoulder girdle stability
• Shoulder mobility
• Wrist mobility and strength
• Abdominal recruitment and strength
• Sequential spinal mobility
• Lumbar decompression and Thoracic extension

According to TEN Health & Fitness,

The high speed and high impact nature of tennis means the joints take a battering, particularly if you’re playing on the harder surfaces like tarmac, indoor or all-weather courts. Tennis players need strong stabilizing muscles in order to cope with the short sprints and sharp turns. Key stabilizers for tennis players are the Glutes. Pilates is a particularly effective way to isolate and strengthen these muscles, helping them stabilize the knee and produce power when moving and lunging laterally.

A lot of strain goes through the shoulder, especially during service. Strong rotator cuff muscles are essential to stabilize and mobilize the shoulder through the range of movement required to serve with power. In addition, the nature of most tennis strokes mean that regular players typically have posture-based imbalances through the shoulder that can lead to injuries if unaddressed. Pilates is an excellent way to strengthen, stabilize and mobilize both the shoulder and rotator cuff, enabling you to spend less time on the physio’s couch and more time on court (weather permitting, of course).

In tennis, much of the power comes from rotation and extension through the spine. To produce these movements, you need a mixture of strength and flexibility. Pilates will help loosen some of the typically tight muscles through the chest, shoulders and upper back, whilst strengthening the muscles through the waist. This increase in both the strength of the rotator muscles and the range of motion combines to generate more power through your strokes.

Flexibility and Suppleness
No matter what level you play at, you’re often trying to return a ball from an imperfect position, stretching forwards, sideways or overhead and frequently off-balance. Pilates’ focus on strong core muscles will help you generate more power and reduce the risk of injury when you’re off balance, and recover your balance faster. And by increasing flexibility through the lower back, and hips, Pilates will also help you get down lower for the drop shots and up higher for the lobs.”

Categories: pilates mastery

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