Yoga for Tennis Players
January 20th, 2015
by Do It Tennis
filed in Tennis Product Reviews, Training Aids, Tennis How To, Tennis Lifestyle
Looking for a low impact way to improve your tennis game? Try yoga. Yoga is a very important practice that everyone, especially tennis players, should try. It can help improve balance, flexibility and strengthen key muscles used when playing tennis. Not only do those traits improve your tennis game, they will also minimize your risk of injury.
Balance, flexibility and strength are all very important for taking your tennis to the next level. One of the most important skills a tennis player can have is good footwork. Balance will help improve your foot work. Good balance is vital because you don’t want to be out on the court tripping over your own tennis shoes. One of the keys to longevity in any sport is flexibility. Flexible muscles perform – and recover – better than rigid ones. When you have stiff muscles you are more likely to pull or strain a muscle. Compression wraps and support braces are indeed helpful in injury-prevention and longevity, but can only do so much. If you pull a muscle, the road to recovery can be a long one. Why not avoid that frustrating process all together by stretching yourself out in a good session of yoga. It will lengthen your muscles and improve your alignment; and this can lessen beating your body takes on the tennis court. The repetition yoga provides also helps strengthen your muscles. The stronger muscular endurance you have, the longer amount of time your muscles can perform, which is huge in tennis because you could be on the court for hours at a time. Yoga can also relieve pain and help you to recover from injuries quicker.
Yoga can also help improve cardio. The simple practice of controlled-breathing used in yoga can translate over to your game. Knowing how to breathe properly will help increase your stamina on the court. Breathing can also center your focus which in turn helps your mental game. Tennis players can also use yoga to center their mind and their body before a match, or even in their spare time. Best of all, almost everyone is capable of doing yoga and there is a large base of poses that are for beginners.
With all this being said, it is highly beneficial to add yoga practice to your daily training regimen – or at least weekly.
Many professional athletes have used yoga to increase their shelf life in their respective sport. Tennis Pro Andy Murray has been seen sweating it out in a hot yoga class, and Maria Sharapova has also been known to hit the studio.
Before you start here are some basic tips for practicing yoga:
1) You can practice yoga in either the comfort of your own home or in a studio.
2) Do not hold your breath. Make sure to continue breathing in and out of your poses.
3) Try to hold each pose for 30 seconds, or 6 – 9 breaths. Make it your goal to hold it longer and longer each session, but start off by doing what you can tolerate.
4) Yoga should not feel painful. You should feel a stretch – maybe uncomfortable – but not pain. Take caution because you do not want to pull a muscle.
5) You can practice for as little as 10 minutes or even longer than an hour. You can do one set of poses or go through the poses a couple of times depending on the duration you want to do yoga.
6) The body needs to be balanced out, so whatever pose/stretch you do to one side of the body, ensure that you do it equally to the other side.
7) A key while practicing is relaxation. In order to truly reap the benefits of yoga, you need to be relaxed. You should try to find a quiet place to practice where you can clear your head, and are free from life’s distractions.
Now that you have some basic information about yoga, here are some key yoga poses that can help with your tennis game.