It is always important to regularly perform a cool down regime after you do any physical exercise and tennis is no exception.
Reputable tennis clubs such as Tennis World Chatswood have tennis professionals that can teach you cool down techniques during a coaching session.
Always cool down after exercise, it allows blood to keep moving rather than becoming trapped in the muscles. Skipping the cool down could result in dizziness, faintness, irregular heartbeats or nausea.
There are effectively two parts that any cool down should incorporate, and depending on the intensity and duration of your training or match you should devote between 20 and 40 minutes to the exercise.
There are two areas you must focus on:-
- Cardio – Light Jogging, Gentle Cycling or Easy Swimming for 10-20 minutes.
- Stretching – This has the benefit of helping to lengthen muscles back to the original length, it assists in joint mobility and healthy functional joint range and it releases muscle tension, which can help take pressure off or away from joints.
After exercising, muscles can shorten and feel tight. Learn about your body, get to know your muscles and to recognise which muscles feel tight and what side of the body feels tighter. You may have to work harder on that particular group of muscles or side.
If you don’t become aware how your body works you will tend to weaken our kinetic chain as you are stretching already lengthened muscles.
Areas To Focus Stretching Exercises
- Lower Back
Lay on your back, bring one leg across the other and rotate the lower body bringing the crossed knee towards the floor and hold into the stretch. Keep both the shoulder blades in contact with the floor, hold for 30-45 seconds, and repeat on the other side.
Start in a standing position and place both feet together, raise both arms fully extended above your head. If you can manage clasp your hands together.
Side bend, being careful not to twist your torso. Hold this position for 30-45 seconds on each side.
Start in a sprinter’s lunge position with both hands on the floor either side of the leading foot. Keeping the right leg straight gently allow the hips to come to the floor without allowing any twisting in the hips. Keep the torso as erect as possible and hold the position for 30-45 seconds each side.
Stand against a tree or post and form a 90 degree angle with your arms above your head. Slowly rotate the trunk forward around a stationary arm until a slight stretch is felt in the front shoulder region. Hold for 30-45 seconds each side.
- Hip Flexor
Start with one leg in a kneeling position and the other bent at 90 degrees. Draw your belly button inwards. Tighten up your gluteal muscles and perform a posterior pelvic tilt. Avoid arching the lower back, hold for 30-45 seconds and repeat two or three times each side.
Stand in a staggered stance near a step, bring one leg forward for support, use your upper body to lean against wall. Keep the foot pointed straight ahead, when you feel tension hold for 30-45 seconds, repeat repeat two or three times each side.
These stretching exercises and a proper cool down will keep your muscles supple and avoid possible problems. Make the cool down as important as your warm up, it will pay dividends.