Bring your best game to the court this summer – and all year round – while preventing injury. The Hospital for Special Surgery Sports Rehabilitation and Performance Center brings you the following tips to optimize your performance and walk off the court feeling as good as you did when you walked on:
Many people play tennis for the pure enjoyment of the game, but this sport also offers many physical benefits. Both the anaerobic and aerobic systems are often utilized during a tennis match. Generally speaking, anaerobic exercise describes doing high intensity activities for a short period of time, while aerobic exercise is when you?re active at a lower intensity for a longer period of time-think of running sprints versus taking a long jog. Both of these forms of training offer advantages, and playing a game of tennis lets you get the benefits of each!
Most points usually last only a couple of seconds, during which the anaerobic system is used for short, explosive movements. During a rally your heart rate rises rapidly, and you only have a short recovery period between points.
Because tennis matches can last 2 to 3 hours, your muscular endurance and the health of your aerobic system has a significant impact on your performance. It’s been shown that people who play tennis regularly have lower rates of cardiovascular disease, such as hypertension and coronary artery disease. The average resting heart rate for adults is between 60 to 100 beats a minute, and for the most part a lower heart rate suggests that a person’s heart is functioning more efficiently and that their overall cardiovascular fitness is better. Bjorn Borg, one of the all-time great tennis players, had a resting heart rate of 35 beats per minute at the peak of his career! This was the remarkable result of cardiovascular adaptation from years of tennis training.
Regular exercise can reduce the rate of bone mass loss, especially in relation to aging after menopause. Tennis is a weight bearing activity and has shown to decrease the loss of bone mass.
As with all exercise, playing tennis can have a psychological benefit by releasing endorphins and therefore decreasing your stress levels.
The game of tennis involves well timed, multi-joint movements in order to hit the ball, which has shown to improve hand-eye coordination and overall balance.
Overall, playing tennis on a regular basis has many physical benefits, and can be enjoyed at any age throughout your lifetime. See my additional posts for more information:
The information provided is for general educational purposes only and should not to be interpreted as a recommendation of a specific plan or course of action. Exercise is not without risk, and this or any other exercise program may result in injury. As with any exercise program, if at any point during your workout you begin to have pain, feel faint or experience significant physical discomfort of any kind, you should stop immediately and consult a physician. You should consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program.
Lee Rosenzweig, PT, DPT, CHT
Hospital for Special Surgery