Racket sports such as tennis and squash require athletes to make a wide range of reaction movements including sprinting, reaching, jumping, lunging, changing directions and stopping & starting. These movements have to be made very quickly and repeatedly throughout the game. This means that the athlete’s body is constantly being put under strain and therefore making potential racket sport injuries very likely.
The areas that are most at risk from injury are shoulders, the lower back, ankles, elbows & wrists.
Because of the stress that racket sports place on the body it is essential that athletes do not try to over-do the movements that they do during the game. If the athlete is new to the sport or the athlete wishes to increase the intensity of that they play at then it is important to do strengthening exercises. These will help to strengthen the key areas of the body that are at risk from injury in racket sports. As well as reducing the risk of injury these exercises will also help increase the athlete’s performance levels.
Strengthening exercises should consist of two areas. Firstly weight exercises which focus on the key areas such as the shoulder and the lower back. Secondly strengthening exercises should consist of aerobic cross training, such as swimming, cycling or jogging.
In addition to strengthening exercises, warm up exercises must be carried out before every match or training session.