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View Full Version : How can I warm up my legs quicker?


ssblue
07-25-2007, 12:01 PM
There are times when I can go out, do a good 5 minute warm up usually consisting of dynamic stretching, and play very well from the start of a match. My legs will feel good, there's relatively little or no pain, and my movement and footwork feel fluid and effortless. But lately, I've been noticing that more and more, I'll still be tight, and my legs feel like they're made of stone and I can't get out of my own way. This has been happening despite trying longer warm ups and stretching. But the thing is, I'll be bouncing around in between points to try to get the blood flowing and about half way into the second set, I'll finally loosen up, my movement becomes much better, and my entire game picks up. I've begun to notice this because I've come back several times recently from being down a set and a break. I need to figure out some way to warm up my legs quicker so I don't continue to put myself in situations like that.

xtremerunnerars
07-25-2007, 03:06 PM
I was going to suggest dynamic stretches (lunges primarily because you said legs) but you seem to have it covered.

I get the feeling that it's just nerves, to be honest. Some people never settle down in an important match, some are in between, and some are loose the entire time. Perhaps you're in the middle?

Pleepers
07-25-2007, 03:22 PM
I was going to suggest dynamic stretches (lunges primarily because you said legs) but you seem to have it covered.

I get the feeling that it's just nerves, to be honest. Some people never settle down in an important match, some are in between, and some are loose the entire time. Perhaps you're in the middle?

My thoughts exactly

WildVolley
07-25-2007, 03:32 PM
It does sound like nerves.

A lot of warming up is simply raising the temperature in the joints and muscles. Keep extra clothing on until you start sweating a little.

Also, I'd advise against any static stretching. You can google the studies showing that it doesn't seem to provide any injury reduction and it does reduce explosive movement. I'd do dynamic movement and make sure I've moved my joints through a full range of motion, but none of this slow stretching stuff.

chess9
07-25-2007, 04:18 PM
Have you ever watched the pros warm up? They will often hit for 30-45 minutes, plus stretching. I watched a guy warm up for a pro tournament back in the late 1950's and he ran about 2 miles after doing about 30 minute of calisthenics. LOL, I was worn out just from watching him. But, now I always take about 30 minutes to warm up. I try to hit against the wall and stretch.

-Robert

xtremerunnerars
07-26-2007, 08:44 AM
Have you ever watched the pros warm up? They will often hit for 30-45 minutes, plus stretching. I watched a guy warm up for a pro tournament back in the late 1950's and he ran about 2 miles after doing about 30 minute of calisthenics. LOL, I was worn out just from watching him. But, now I always take about 30 minutes to warm up. I try to hit against the wall and stretch.

-Robert

I remember them showing Kim Clijsters warming up on TV and she was always warming up for a pretty long time. Even if there was a chance of a rain delay/cancellation, she was still out there doing high knees and stretches plus some jogging.

princess bossass
07-26-2007, 10:11 AM
When I need to warm up my legs fast I do low squats followed by leaps up into the air--squat-leap, squat-leap, etc., if you will.

Don't forget to stretch your back, too--sometimes tight hams and a tight lower back are connected.

The ball was in
07-26-2007, 11:47 AM
I generally run around the court...well, jog around the court then change the motions such as high knees, heels to buttocks, side steps, jog backwards then do a full stretch for about 20-25 mins. I have only started doing this recently and it feels or I get into the match a little quicker.

ssblue
07-26-2007, 12:03 PM
I'm going to have to rule out nerves because it's more of a tight, aching feeling that makes me feel like I can't move around the court even if I try and force myself. I feel like I'm stomping and clumping around the court instead of an effortless, fluid movement. The same thing happens to me when I jog. Some days it's effortless and some days I feel so tight, it's a struggle. My feet will hurt, my shins, knees, thighs...everything really. If this pain and tightness persisted and never went away, I would think I needed new shoes but like I said, it doesn't happen all the time, sometimes I can fly around the court from the start of the match and other times my legs loosen up half way through. I think I'm going to have to try even longer warm ups as suggested but I was hoping to get suggestions on how to maximize the efficiency of my current warm up.

heycal
07-28-2007, 10:41 PM
Have you ever watched the pros warm up? They will often hit for 30-45 minutes, plus stretching. I watched a guy warm up for a pro tournament back in the late 1950's and he ran about 2 miles after doing about 30 minute of calisthenics. LOL, I was worn out just from watching him. But, now I always take about 30 minutes to warm up. I try to hit against the wall and stretch.


I think this is ideal, for I am like the OP and really don't get warmed up until sometime in the middle of the second set. (And sometimes by then it's too late!) Problem is, who has the discipline -- or more practically, the time -- to warm up for 30 minutes or longer before a match?

Also, did you ever notice that the only people who really warm up before a match are either pros or Talk Tennis members? Out in the real world, the people I play against or the people I see playing never bother all that much with either stretching or warming up or tennis related conditioning of any kind, yet they rarely seem bothered by health issues or injuries...

ssblue
07-30-2007, 10:37 AM
I think this is ideal, for I am like the OP and really don't get warmed up until sometime in the middle of the second set. (And sometimes by then it's too late!) Problem is, who has the discipline -- or more practically, the time -- to warm up for 30 minutes or longer before a match?

Also, did you ever notice that the only people who really warm up before a match are either pros or Talk Tennis members? Out in the real world, the people I play against or the people I see playing never bother all that much with either stretching or warming up or tennis related conditioning of any kind, yet they rarely seem bothered by health issues or injuries...

I agree. I try to get out early and warm up a little longer but sometimes it's not practical. And I've played plenty of people that would pull up in their car, get out, walk onto the court, pull out their racket, and are ready to play and none of them seem to have any trouble with injuries. What's up with that?! That's why I'm thinking there could be something else I can do in my excircise routine or diet that may help my body get looser quicker.