Yoga and tennis may not normally be associated with each other. However, yoga can have a number of benefits on your tennis game. Tennis is a sport that combines strength and endurance. It has explosive, unpredictable and complex patterns and injuries are frequent. Common injuries that are often associated with recreational tennis include rotator cuff tendinopathy, carpal tunnel syndrome, tenosynovitis (inflammation of the tendons) and tennis elbow, as well as other back and knee injuries.
Yoga and tennis: how do they complement each other?
The shortening of muscles and lack of adequate strength is a common cause of tennis-related injuries. This is especially relevant to people with sedentary jobs who may not be accustomed to the rigours of strenuous exercise. A regular yoga practice can help you to strengthen and mobilise joints. This is particularly beneficial for the shoulders, hips and ankles.
Many poses, particularly those focusing on balance, help to stabilise the ankle and knee joints. Hip-opening poses improve the range of motion in the hip joint. Combined with abdominal strength (uddiyana bandha) and controlled twists, these poses allow the body to move safely in the various directions needed in order to play tennis.
Yoga and tennis: Staying Injury Free
Yoga is the perfect partner for any tennis player looking to stay free of injury. It has positive effects on coordination, balance, flexibility and strength. It also allows you to gain a greater awareness of your body and your capabilities. All of this while maintaining a calm, positive approach to life and the game. It should come as no surprise that so many top sportsmen and women are turning to yoga to assist them in their chosen sport.
Yoga at The Putney Clinic
We run a selection of Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi classes in conjunction with Yoga Mama Wellness. You can consult the class timetable here. If you are thinking of taking up tennis as a recreational activity, you may want to consider a check up before starting in order to rule out any existing injuries. For appointments, book online or call us 020 8789 3881.
About Cherie Lathey
Cherie Lathey is the co-director of The Putney Clinic of Physical Therapy. She is also the director of Yoga Mama Wellness and the Yoga Mama Pregnancy Yoga Teacher Training School. Cherie has accumulated nearly 30 years working in the health and fitness industry. She has accumulated nearly 30 years working in the health and fitness industry. She is a Senior Yoga Teacher and specialises in Ashtanga, Yin and Pregnancy Yoga. In addition to this, she is a keen tennis fan and for the past 25 years has worked with the ball boys and girls in preparation for Wimbledon.