It’s no secret that most tennis players will have more muscle tone in their playing arm than the other (Rafa, I’m looking at you), though most of the power generation seen in both groundstrokes and the serve comes from the core musculature (in addition to the legs) as opposed to the arm itself.
As a sport that sees vast amounts of rotation involved, as well as absorbing and producing large forces, it is important we screen for limitations in mobility as well as develop muscle strength and power in the areas that need it.
Read on to find how you can be on your way to hitting like Roger, Rafa or Novak.
Groundstrokes and Serve – The Difference
- Starts the game off
- Throwing arm straight, playing arm cocked in externally rotated position before transitioning to internal rotation on strike
- Significant thoracic extension required to load legs appropriately (deficient = less power generation potential, greater injury risk to other areas)
- Shots hit back and forth between players (forehand and backhand)
- Lot of emphasis on upper body rotation relative to hips (thoracic rotation is key)
- Lack of rotation = loss of power generation potential, greater injury risk to upper extremities (wrist, forearm loaded inappropriately)
How Do We Optimise Both Types of Shots?
A proper assessment of thoracic mobility via your Precision Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist will notify you of whether there are deficits that need correction.
If your mobility is up to scratch, we can progress onto core exercises useful in the game. Like mentioned before, the power generated in these shots is not purely from the arm but is from a build up of forces from the ground up starting with the legs transferring into the hips, core, shoulders then on to the arm/wrist to deal the final blow.
It’s the recoil mechanism from the legs through to the rotation in the hips/shoulders which is most impactful in power generation, and is what we will be focusing most on in this post.
The video below will show you a library of example exercises useful in developing your shots, starting from simple deep core exercises, and branching out into more shot-specific exercises to help you reach your peak potential.
Want To Know More?
This article was written by Precision Physio Exercise Physiologist Dylan Bain, if you would like to know more, feel free to reach out to him or book an appointment with any Precision Physio Exercise Physiologist.
How Do I Book An Appointment?
We’re taking the health of our clients, members and staff very seriously and our preference would be for you to call to book an appointment so that we can make sure to explain our approach to keeping you safe. You can call any of these numbers to schedule a session:
- Precision Physio Concord: 02 9736 3950
- Precision Physio St Marys: 02 9623 2220
- Precision Physio Mt Druitt: 02 9188 2552
Evolving with the current environment, we are also now offering online appointments, meaning that we can support anyone who is unable to leave their home. Sessions are done via our state of the art Telehealth system and as long as you have a laptop or tablet with an inbuilt camera, or a phone with camera, we can help!
To learn more about online consultations, please call us on any of the numbers listed above.