New to tennis, returning to tennis or has your love for tennis never wavered? To become and remain successful at your tennis game, your shoulder mobility and strength is of utmost concern. Whether you are just looking for improved performance or injury prevention (who wants to have elbow pain like tennis elbow or golfer's elbow anyway??) you need to focus on your shoulder for improved function of the whole arm in general.
An important component of your shoulder mobility is how well you can rotate your shoulder. We call this internal and external rotation. The tennis swing whether forearm, backhand or overhead serve requires control through the rotation of your shoulder. So first you need the range of motion. Is your shoulder limited in internal rotation? Check out our video on how to check your internal rotation here
Self Test - Shoulder Internal Rotation:
If you find that your shoulder is lacking internal rotation, you may find that you have shoulder pain at the end of your motion or somewhere throughout your tennis swing. Shoulder range of motion exercises and exercises to prevent shoulder impingement would be beneficial to improve the mechanics of your shoulder for functional movements and tennis too! The “Sleeper Stretch” is really more about your joint mobility than it is about muscular stretching. So take it easy on this one! With improved shoulder joint mobility, you can move on to more challenging shoulder stabilization and stability exercises including weight bearing strengthening.
Hitting a great tennis shot requires strength, power and great shoulder joint stabilization. The more stable your shoulder the less likely you will have issues with shoulder tendonitis, shoulder impingement or other range of motion and shoulder mechanical issues. The ball and socket that makes up your shoulder joint also has to work with the shoulder blade moving throughout your everyday movements and throughout activities like tennis too. Two other great exercises for shoulder stabilization and strengthening with a band are below. The first exercise works on stabilization with external rotation as you move your arm up along the wall. The second works on overall stabilization and shoulder strengthening as a bodyweight shoulder exercise.
Wall Walking with Band:
Planks Up and Down:
Keeping your shoulders stable and with great mobility will lead to fewer shoulder injuries and a more impressive tennis game!
Game - Set - Match!