Sunday, 12 September 2010

Tennis Injury Pre/Rehabilitation programs- Core Training

Over the last 12 months I have been involved with the students' tennis program at Leeds Metropolitan University. I have been responsible for designing some of the injury reduction programs for a variety of age groups. I have during the last few weeks written down a selection of exercise programs for the different joint of the body that I will be sharing with you on my blog. Today I have chosen to post a program with focus on basic core exercises, with a description on how to perform the exercises and some pictures to make it easier to perform. The exercises outlined underneath are general and can therefore be performed by any athletes; however the exercises selected are aimed at beginner athletes wanting to improve their core control (in particular tennis players).

Here are some general guidelines you should read before you get started:

Type: Strength exercises to improve core control and core endurance
Purpose: To improve core control and core endurance
Suitable for: All tennis players
Equipment needed: Exercise mat, medicine ball (app. 2-4 kg), resistance band
Repetitions and sets:
3 sets per exercise
10- 15 repetitions per exercise
120-180 seconds recovery between sets

NB! Please be aware that isometric exercises can lead to an increase in blood pressure and may therefore not be suitable for people with hypotension.

1. Front plank (isometric exercise)

· Start with your toes, elbows and forearms on the mat
· Your toes should be placed shoulder width apart and your elbows shoulder be placed under your shoulder
· Make sure your abdominals are pulled and that your hips are parallel to the floor throughout the exercise
· There is no movement during this exercise
· Hold this position between 20-60 seconds (without letting your hips drops or raise up)
· Rest on the floor for 120-180 seconds between your sets and repeat 3 sets

As you can see you don't have to use a mat, but it makes it more comfortable for you elbows.

2. Side plank (isometric exercise)
· Start with your right forearm flat on the mat (in line with your shoulder)
· Stack your feet on top of each other
· Lift your body on to your forearm and the side of your right foot (only the right foot is in contact with the mat)
· Work to have a straight line between your head and feet
· Rest your left arm by the side or lift it straight up towards the sky
· Hold this position without letting your hips drop down between 15-40 seconds
· Turn around and repeat on the left side
· Aim to do this 2-3 times on each side, progress the time you are holding to make it harder

3. Aleknas

(You can just ignore the weight on the pictures as this is a progression of the exercise. You can start off with no added weigths initially)

· Start by laying flat on the mat with your legs straight on the floor and arms straight above your head (Picture 1)
· Prior to starting this exercise make sure you pull your abdominals down to the floor and keep this throughout the exercise
Touch your knees with your hands by lifting your arms and legs of the floor at the same time (Picture 2)
Keep your arms straight, but bend your knees as your hands touch your shin
· Straighten your arms and legs back at the same time without touching the floor and repeat the exercise (Picture 3)
· Make sure your head and back remains on the floor throughout the whole movement

4. Leg drop on the floor

· Start by laying flat on the mat with straight legs and arms resting by your side
· Prior to starting this exercise make sure you pull your abdominals towards the floor and keep this throughout the exercise (avoid arching your back)
· Lift both feet off the floor together till they vertical from the floor (Picture 1)
· Lower your feet down as far as you can without letting your back come off the floor. You should stop the leg drop when your back lifts off the floor!
· If you are able to drop your legs all the way to the floor, stop the movement just before your feet touch the floor
· Bring your feet back to the starting position and repeat

5. Straight arm sit up with medicine ball

· Start by laying flat on the mat with straight legs on the floor and arms resting by your side
· Grab a medicine ball (2-4 kg) in your right hand
· While laying on the floor, lift your right hand with the medicine ball straight up in the air next to your head (Picture 1)
· Rest your left hand on the side of your body
· Curl yourself up by leading the movement with your chest, while keeping the right arm (with the ball) straight all the way through the exercise until you are sitting upright (Picture 2)
· Reverse the movement and come down to the floor while still keeping your arm straight
· Focus on lifting your upper body up, rather than forward like you would do in a curl, lead the movement with your chest
· Focus on pushing your legs down to the floor throughout the exercise
· Repeat this exercise 6-10 times with each arm

6. Medicine ball twist

· Start by sitting on the floor with legs crossed in front of you
· Grab a medicine ball (2-4 kg) with both hands and hold in front of your stomach
· Lift your feet of the floor and lean your upper body backwards to about 45°. Make sure you keep your abdominals pulled in and back straight
· Now move the medicine ball from one side of your body to the other by using your arms. Try to touch the ball on the floor on either side of your body
· Make sure that your upper body stays still and that your abdominals are pulled in throughout this exercise. Try to resist the rotation that you are creating with your arms
· Touch the ball on the floor 8-12 times on each side

7. Lunge hold with resistance band (isometric exercise)

· Tie a resistance band to a door handle (or something else firm) around waist height
· Grab the band with both hands from the side of where you attached the resistance band
· Take a long step forward with the leg closest to the band (end up in a lunge position)
· Straighten your arms with the resistance band in front of you in line with your chest
· Make sure your abdominals are pulled in, that your toes are pointing forward and that your back is tall prior to starting
· Hold this position for 20-40 seconds, then turn over and repeat with the other leg

Always warm up with 5- 10 minutes with easy mobility movements such as body weight squats, leg swings, walking on the spot, walking lunges, cycling etc prior to starting.

Have a go and see how you find the exercises and let me know how you get on!

Good luck!


1 comment:

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