One mistake most amateurs make when it comes to playing tennis is that they just head straight into a game. Maybe they’ll do a little stretching for 2 minutes, but that’s about it.
As a lifelong tennis enthusiast, this still surprises me every time I see it. Not only does it increase your risk of injury. But your performance will be so much lower because your body isn’t ready.
Over the years I have developed some routines that I personally use and encourage all my friends to do as well. My kids have learned them from a very young age, and they have become completely natural to them.
There are several different ways to warm up for a tennis match. Each player has their unique routine that helps them to get in the mood, practice their skill, and get ready for the game. If you have a coach, they may have given you some great routines for each game.
If not, you can still make sure that your body and mind are ready with warm-up routines of your own.
The Most Effective Warm-Ups
The following are a few warm-up routines that you can do to make sure that you’re ready to win the game. Choose the routine that best suits you and rest assured that it will make a difference.
Practice swings and hits with a tennis ball machine. If you want to get your body moving and ready for the game, consider hitting some balls before the game to get you prepared.
You can set it to a slower setting as you get started and then build up to a faster speed as you go. Just don’t spend too much time with an automatic tennis serve machine as you don’t want to tire yourself out before the match.
A tennis ball machine can come in handy when you want to make sure that you’re ready for the challenge and competition. If you happen to have a weak point, you can use the tennis ball machine to practice the swing or return before you have to do it in the game.
Do cardio preparation. Going into a game cold can work out for you but it’s a good idea to ease your body into the motion and movement by warming up beforehand. Cardio preparation before your match is a great way to do just that.
Many players like to do light jump rope warmups to help loosen up their bodies and get their heart rate going before they jump into the match. Just as you wouldn’t go into a high-intensity workout without warming up, you don’t want to go into your high-intensity match without being prepared.
Visualize your goals. A mental warm-up can be just as important as a physical one. If you have some kind of way to get yourself into the zone before the game, this can be just as important as making sure that your body is ready for it.
Whether you want to use visualization methods, chants, reading, or listening to motivational talks, it’s important that your head is in the game before you get out on the tennis court. Tennis requires full focus. Unlike other sports where you can somewhat lose yourself in the game, tennis keeps you on your toes and can only be won by those who are focused on winning the game.
Whatever you know helps you to win the game and stay mentally prepared, do it. Whether it’s talking to your SO before each game or it’s listening to your favorite podcast, if something helps to put your mind where it should be, it should be apart of your warm up routine.
Do a stretching routine. The more you stretch, the more easier it will be to stay flexible and mobile on the court. From doing lunges and inchworms to arm circles and high knee jumps, a pre-tennis warmup is all about preparing your body for the challenge.
Think about the game and how one second you’re on one side of the court and the next, you’re jump to the other side to return the ball to your opponent. It’s demanding on your body but when you prepare correctly, you can be sure that your body will be ready for it.
Stretches and exercises that mimic the movements you’ll be using in the game are helpful for your body and for your game.
Nearly every sport demands some type of warm-up, in order for you to be successful at it. From baseball to basketball, athletes have to get their bodies ready for the challenge. Tennis is no different than these sports. In fact, because it’s such a fast-paced game that requires specific skill and technique, players will benefit greatly from warm-up routines.
Do you have a specific routine that helps you prepare for your tennis matches? Is it largely a mental warm-up routine or physical one? Whatever it is, if it helps you to perform better and feel more focused, it’s something that works. We’d love to find out what gets you ready to win at tennis.