Running and tennis were my two favorite sports. I have written a post on why Pilates is so good for runners, and I am following up with a sequel about why Pilates is so good for tennis players.
I highly recommend tennis players to include Pilates as part of their exercise repertoire. Whether you’re a social player or a budding pro, Pilates can help reduce the number of common tennis injuries. It can improve your movement, power and ultimately, your game.
Increased Flexibility and Power
The focus of Pilates is on your core muscles. Having a strong core will help you improve hip rotation, range of motion in the shoulders and back stability. This can lead to more powerful and accurate shots.
By increasing flexibility through the lower back, and hips, Pilates will also help you get down lower for the drop shots and up higher for the lobs.
Here are the key muscles that you can build to help protect you against tennis injuries.
Tennis is a high impact sport. However, if you know the muscles to build to help promote strong stability, you will be able to cope with the short sprints and sharp turns. The key stabilizers for tennis players are the glutes. By strengthening your glutes will help stabilize the knee and produce power when moving especially when moving laterally.
Regular tennis players tend to have posture-based imbalances through the shoulder due to the nature of most tennis strokes. Strong rotator cuffs are essential to stabilize and mobilize the shoulder that is required especially during service.
Much of the power in tennis comes from rotation and extension through the spine which you will need a mix of strength and flexibility. Pilates will help loosen some of the typically tight muscles such as the chest, shoulders and upper back, while strengthening the muscles through the waist. The side bend is great for building strength and give you confidence in your lateral movement that will allow you to move back and forth on the court with confidence, precision and control.