Pilates for Tennis Players          
Power, endurance and mobility for peak performance

Tennis is a sport that involves both power and agility. You not only need to be quick to the net, but have powerful serves and muscle endurance to last the match. Pilates can help the tennis player increase core strength and range of motion and will help prevent injuries - specifically of the shoulders, back, and elbows.

With Pilates, players will

  • Create explosive leg strength
  • Strengthen shoulders and arms to increase the power behind your serves and returns
  • Bring power and precision to your backhand with better rotation and balance
  • Develop core muscles to hit the ball with more strength
  • Improve flexibility to reach those long shots 
  • Develop the endurance you need to perform at peak throughout the match 
  • Correct imbalances that can cause faulty compensation for the stronger sid

Racket sports are by their nature one-sided. 

Most players repeatedly use the same hand and arm to hit the ball, generally in the same direction, with the head and neck usually adopting the same position in anticipation of playing a shot. Such pronounced left- or right-sided movements load stress on the structure of the body, producing a physique that is out of balance and more liable to break down with over-use injuries particularly prevalent.

Few players have a bio-mechanically perfect serve

Further problems can result from the fact that few tennis players have a bio-mechanically perfect serve. Repetitive, inefficient patterns of movement combined with the quest for power give rise to problems in the collection of joints that make up the shoulder. 'Tennis elbow', or inflammation of the muscle tissue and ligaments at the base of the elbow, is caused by chronic twisting of the arm plus repeated shocks to a small bony ridge on the outer elbow.

While even the best Pilates instructor may not help you serve like Venus Williams a program of specific exercises will work the body more uniformly to prevent overdevelopment of one side, while also strengthening the deep abdominal muscles needed for a stable base from which to hit that winner. Addressing flexibility through the shoulders and upper back while lengthening the tighter front muscles of the torso will boost your power and range of motion - and make it easier to reach for that drop shot at the net.  

Well-known tennis players who do use Pilates range from Venus and Serena Williams to Lindsay Davenport, Jennifer Capriati, and Elena Baltacha.

Martina Navratilova says that Pilates helped her body regain the flexibility of her prime, while Pat Cash, the former Wimbledon champion, still does Pilates as a key part of his fitness routine.

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