Playing tennis involves more muscles than simply your arm and wrists.
It involves a series of complex movements that start with your feet and ends up swinging a tennis racket.
It requires a honed and well trained muscular system to perform with the required power and speed needed. This is true at whatever level of tennis you are playing because the same muscle groups are used.
The series of movements performed in tennis is called the kinetic chain. Firstly your feet movements used to jump and run are the first link, followed by the the rest of the chain with your legs, hips,trunk, arms and lastly your hand.
If you consider the complexity of stretching and movement of the muscles when playing tennis then you will appreciate the importance of warming up thoroughly and to gently prepare the muscles by stretching them properly.
The muscles used in the kinetic chain are mostly used as impact, due to the nature of the sport. Completely different than something like swimming and running.
Below features the muscle groups in order that they are used in tennis action, starting with the lower muscles and then utilising the upper body and arms in the hitting of the ball action.
Initially your calves (gastrocnemius and soleus muscles) are the first group engaged when playing. The gastrocnemius is the largest muscle in the back of your calves or lower legs, and the soleus is a smaller muscle that lies under the former.
Next in the link are your calves or upper legs, these muscles are the hamstring and your quads at the front of your thighs. The power and energy is then transferred to the next link which is the gluteus maximus and medius otherwise known as your butt muscles.
The abdominals, obliques, latissimus dorsi and erector spinae muscles are the next major muscle group in the kinetic chain. The abs which are famous for your “six pack” consist of the rectus abdominis which runs from the ribs to the front of the pubic bone and the transverse abdominus which wraps around the midsection.
The oblique muscles are down the side of your body, and the erector spinae are the muscles that run along the spine. The lats or latissimus dorsi muscles are the largest muscles in the back and together with the abs they support the torso as a whole.
Upper Body Muscles
The kinetic links of the upper body include the major muscles of the chest, shoulders, upper back and arms. The pectoral muscles include the deltoids and rotator cuff muscles which are a group of four muscles that support the shoulder joint. The main muscles used in your upper back are the rhomboid and trapezius which leads to the next link of your upper arm including biceps and triceps. Then the last muscles of the chain are the flexor and extensor of the forearm.
If you are looking to develop specific muscle groups or just improve your overall game then adult tennis coaching at Tennis World Chatswood is sure to help.
To find out more or to book your court, contact our friendly team today!