No matter your skill level, it’s absolutely vital that all tennis players begin with a dynamic warm-up before heading out onto the court for matches or training. Not only is this crucial for preventing injury, but it also allows the player's body to become loose and prepared for high-intensity workouts. Try executing some of CoachUp’s favorite dynamic stretches and exercises before your next practice -- your body will thank you the next day!
Jogging + Arm Circles
Start on the doubles line and face across the court. Swing your arms forward in circles as you jog back and forth between doubles lines.
Side Steps + Arm Crosses
Start at the doubles line and face the net. Lift your arms to the shoulder height and reach them out to your sides. Shuffle across the court and swing your arms back and forth across your body as if you are hugging yourself -- this is a great stretch to loosen up your shoulders.
Begin by getting low and placing your feet shoulder length apart. Push off with your left foot and bring it towards your right foot. Cross your left foot behind the right, then swap your right foot to the left side of your body, then reset. Moving in a straight, quick line through Carioca promotes good balance, strong body position, and will loosen your joints up incredibly well.
Knee Hug Lunge
Start on the doubles sideline and face across the court. Lift your knee and pull it with your arms towards your chest. Contract your opposite leg on the ground and lift your heel off the ground, bringing your entire body on your toes. Release the leg and take a large step forwards into a lunge position. Hold this position for about three seconds and continue the pattern forward.
Again, begin on the doubles line facing across the court. Stand on one leg and lift the other, turning the lifted knee outwards while lifting at the ankle. Cradle that leg, and, similar to the knee hug lunge, lift up on your opposite leg. Release the leg, step forward, and repeat.
Get into an athletic stance, with hips down and forward posture, and take a large step sideways. Bend your right knee but keep the left knee and leg completely straight. Feel the stretch in your groin and hold this position for about three seconds. Return to the upright position, and continue across the court, alternating legs after every set.
Spread your feet and maintain good core support. Bring your arms to shoulder height and rotate your torso from side to side. Gradually lower your body by bending your knees and pivoting on the balls of the feet as you rotate. Do about fifteen to twenty twists in each direction.
(Related: Read about the backhand slice in tennis here.)
It may seem slow or pointless to take so much time warming-up before every match, but believe us, it is a game-changer. You wouldn’t just floor your car from 0 to 100 mph in split second, right? Well, the same applies to your body! Loosen and warm it up before throwing it into some serious physical and mental activity.
Be prepared for the biggest moments by mastering the small ones off the court.