By Cézanne Youmazzo – Fitness Director
Whether you’re a social player or a budding pro, Pilates can help reduce the number of common tennis injuries.
I highly recommend tennis and PickleBall players to include Pilates as part of their exercise repertoire. It can improve your movement, power and ultimately, your game.
Increase in Flexibility and mobility.
The focus of Pilates is on your innermost core muscles. Having a strong core will help you improve hip rotation, range of motion in the shoulders and back stability. This can lead to more powerful and accurate shots and prevent injury.
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 lobs.
Here are the key muscles that you can build to help protect you against tennis injuries.
Tennis and Pickleball are high impact sports. However, if you know the muscles that help promote strong stability, you will be able to cope with the short sprints and sharp turns. The key stabilizers for tennis and pickleball players are the glutes. Strengthening your glutes helps to stabilize the knee and produce power when moving, especially when moving laterally.
Regular tennis and Pickleball players tend to have posture-based imbalances through the shoulder due to the nature of most strokes. Strong rotator cuffs are essential to stabilize and mobilize the shoulders which are required especially during tennis serves.
Much of the power in tennis comes from rotation and extension through the spine which a mix of strength and flexibility is needed. Pilates will help loosen some of the typically tight muscles such as the chest, shoulders and upper back, while strengthening the muscles through the waist. The side bend is great for building strength and giving you confidence in your lateral movements that will allow you to move back and forth on the court with confidence, precision and control.