by the International Tennis Performance Association (iTPA)
Not only is tennis a fun and engaging sport, it can also be played throughout one’s life. One of the greatest assets of tennis is that it can be played well into a person’s retirement years. Tennis can be played at any age, at any skill level. While tennis provides many physical benefits, its rewards from a mental and social aspect are also highly beneficial. Tennis improves decision-making abilities as well as cognitive functions. The cardiovascular benefits of tennis are also critical when it comes to staying healthy. Studies have shown that tennis can decrease a person’s likelihood of heart disease and heart attack…
Playing tennis can:
- Improve bone strength
- Decrease body fat
- Maintain resilient connective tissue
- Increase exercise capacity
- Increase movement economy
- Prevent loss of muscle mass and strength
- Increase speed of movement
- Increase flexibility
- Increase aerobic capacity
In addition to these benefits, tennis is a great way to train dynamic balance. Injuries due to falls are one of the leading causes of injuries in people 65 years of age and older. Playing tennis on a regular basis can improve balance and reduce risk of falling.
The potential benefits of strength and flexibility training for the senior tennis players include: increased range of motion, reduced muscle mass loss, decreased loss of neural coordination, decreased loss of strength, power, and speed. Maintaining a level of fitness is key to injury prevention as one ages. Tennis is clearly a life-long sport that can help those over 50 maintain their fitness.
Three big injuries that occur in tennis are knee, shoulder, and elbow (tennis elbow) injuries. All three can be prevented with proper stretching, strength training, and technique. Here are some basic tips to help prevent injuries:
- Proper warm up
- Dynamic flexibility exercises before playing
- Proper shoes
- Proper string tension and grip
- Lower body strength training like squats and lunges to gain overall leg strength and help prevent knee injuries
- Appropriate injury prevention training focused on improving rotator cuff strength and appropriate shoulder function
- Core training to connect your lower body with upper body
- Proper technique prevents bad habits from forming on court
- Work with appropriated certified professionals who are trained in tennis specific performance enhancement and injury prevention (The International Tennis Performance Association certified professionals have appropriate knowledge, skills and abilities to work with tennis players effectively)
Please share your tennis stories! Tell us how tennis has impacted your fitness and improved your life.
International Tennis Performance Association (iTPA) is the worldwide tennis fitness education and tennis certification organization for trainers, coaches and specialists who have a passion for tennis-specific performance enhancement and injury prevention. iTPA offers 3 levels of tennis fitness certification:
Tennis Performance Trainer (TPT), Certified Tennis Performance Specialist (CTPS) and Master Tennis Performance Specialist (MTPS), in addition to DVDs and in-person courses. For more information about the iTPA visit our website at www.itpa-tennis.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Also look to work with tennis coaches who hold the Tennis Performance Trainer certification (TPT) and/or physical trainers who have Certified Tennis Performance Specialist (CTPS) designation.
Featured photo from here.