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View Full Version : Guys Over 40 - What's your warmup routine?


JackB1
12-23-2009, 05:43 AM
OK, I need a good warmup routine for before playing. I just hurt my calf muscle last week due to not properly warming up on a cold morning so I have to be more careful now. There is much evidence that static stretching right away without warming up is bad, so what is the best way to warm up before a match to limit the chance of injury? Particularly the lower half of the body?
Is a light jog a good way to start? Best way to warm up calves and hamstrings?

Thanks

larry10s
12-23-2009, 05:56 AM
i like do do 2-3 laps easy around the court. then some sklpping. then side shuffles then back pedals. then some carioca. all very easy trying to break a sweat and get loose. ill then shadow swing fh,bh, overhead serve. not textbook which im sure someone will post a link

JackB1
12-23-2009, 06:27 AM
i like do do 2-3 laps easy around the court. then some sklpping. then side shuffles then back pedals. then some carioca. all very easy trying to break a sweat and get loose. ill then shadow swing fh,bh, overhead serve. not textbook which im sure someone will post a link

What are back pedals and carioca?

I am looking for something quick and easy to warm me up.
I need to develop a routine that I can memorize and repeat all the time.

BMC9670
12-23-2009, 07:51 AM
I am looking for something quick and easy to warm me up.


There are no shortcuts if you want an effective warm up. The older you get, you should warm thoroughly by starting slow and building to elevated heart rate and a light sweat - then tennis specific warm-ups.

Some things I do:

If it's a morning match - take a warm/hot shower when you wake up to get your core temp up. If it's a winter match, crank the heat on the way to the courts - if summer: turn off the AC on the way. Park a little further from the courts and walk, then jog the last part. Find some steps/bleachers and do step ups. Once you break a sweat, then go into your tennis warm-ups and stretches.

Also, take care of the shoulders/arms: pendulum circles, swings, shadow swings and serves, stretch up a wall and behind your back (handcuffs).

jswinf
12-23-2009, 08:51 AM
Don't you need maracas to do proper carioca?

I just recently heard about static stretching not being a good thing to do and I'm perplexed. I worry about achilles injuries and groin pulls, and it seems reasonable to me to do some stretching before playing tennis.

LeeD
12-23-2009, 08:56 AM
I"m 60. Played competitive sports since junior high.
Bend over to tie shoelaces.
Hit the first 20 warmup shots with little effort.
Hit the next 10 normal and declare "I'm ready, aren't you?"
I've just picked up 30 balls, bending over and walking.
Play the next 10 minutes normal, then I'm too tired to try anymore.

jmjmkim
12-23-2009, 09:10 AM
Why warm up and waste my goods shots . . . . . .

LeeD
12-23-2009, 09:17 AM
:):):)
I sometimes wonder that myself. Having played for over 32 years, I should know how to hit forehands and backhands, and volleys.
And quite oftentimes, my best shots above are the first few I hit.
My shoelaces are far away, my walk to the courts seem like 2 miles, and just to find the nearest bathroom upon awakening, I have to walk about a block.:shock:

jbravo
12-23-2009, 10:14 AM
Most folks at my club play "mini" tennis where they stand closer to the net and take abreviated swings and gradually back up until they get to the baseline and hit normal shots. I static stretch my calves religously as I pulled mine back in April. I usually stretch my calves before I leave for the house and stretch again when I get ready to play, haven't had a problem with my calf since. I know the studies shows static stretching isn't good but I find it helpful and I always stretch after a match when I am warm.

spacediver
12-24-2009, 05:14 AM
stretching before performing isn't always a bad thing. It's all about context. If you have especially tight calves to begin with, perhaps mild static stretching can be a good thing. The latest study shows that the performance detriments due to static strething can be eliminated so long as it is not the last phase of the warmup.

See this article:

http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/research-review/static-stretching-and-refined-grain-intake-by-paleo-man-research-review.html#more-2909

mike53
12-24-2009, 09:22 AM
stretching before performing isn't always a bad thing. It's all about context. If you have especially tight calves to begin with, perhaps mild static stretching can be a good thing. The latest study shows that the performance detriments due to static strething can be eliminated so long as it is not the last phase of the warmup.

See this article:

http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/research-review/static-stretching-and-refined-grain-intake-by-paleo-man-research-review.html#more-2909

Now I'm even more confused. After doing static calf stretching before sports for decades, I finally found dynamic stretches to replace the static stretches after a long search but now maybe the static stretches were OK to begin with. Go figure

blackfrido
12-24-2009, 10:00 AM
my warm up consists in hitting on the court previous a match or hitting session at slower pace. This is my dynamic stretching.

rich s
12-24-2009, 10:31 AM
I've started wearing layers and warming up with a full warm-up suit on. As I warm up I remove layers until I find a good balance between warmth and ability to move without restriction due to clothes.

If I have muscles that are unusually tight I give them a light stretch before I start hitting....

The problem I have been having with the cold is my eyes. They don't seem to react or focus quickly when it's cold out and I'm not sure what to do about it.

LuckyR
12-24-2009, 10:59 AM
In my experience it is better to thermally warm up your whole body than to stretch particular muscle groups. Hitting tennis balls will use the muscles, what you need is to have those muscles not be prone to tearing, like when they are thermally cold.

How you go about it, exercise, turning up your car heater, taking a hot shower, hitting the hot tub at the club first, I don't think it matters.

jrod
12-24-2009, 11:08 AM
Run 5+ minutes on the elliptical, followed by static calf and ankle stretch and hamstring/quad stretch of each leg, hold each for 20 seconds. Then on to 20 squats and overhead press with 8 lb medicine ball, 20 kicks with toe touch per leg, 20 mountain climbers, 15 push-ups, 20 arm and leg lifts per side with 5 lbs, 20 leg raises per leg, 20 scissor-leg crunches per side, 10 v-leg sit-ups, 15 lunges per side and finally 20 1 legged push-ups per leg. Takes ~20 minutes and I'm all stretched and ready to go afterwards.

JackB1
12-24-2009, 12:20 PM
Run 5+ minutes on the elliptical, followed by static calf and ankle stretch and hamstring/quad stretch of each leg, hold each for 20 seconds. Then on to 20 squats and overhead press with 8 lb medicine ball, 20 kicks with toe touch per leg, 20 mountain climbers, 15 push-ups, 20 arm and leg lifts per side with 5 lbs, 20 leg raises per leg, 20 scissor-leg crunches per side, 10 v-leg sit-ups, 15 lunges per side and finally 20 1 legged push-ups per leg. Takes ~20 minutes and I'm all stretched and ready to go afterwards.

Thats a workout you do at the gym. I want a simple warmup to do at the courts before playing.

Bud
12-24-2009, 01:25 PM
Run 5+ minutes on the elliptical, followed by static calf and ankle stretch and hamstring/quad stretch of each leg, hold each for 20 seconds. Then on to 20 squats and overhead press with 8 lb medicine ball, 20 kicks with toe touch per leg, 20 mountain climbers, 15 push-ups, 20 arm and leg lifts per side with 5 lbs, 20 leg raises per leg, 20 scissor-leg crunches per side, 10 v-leg sit-ups, 15 lunges per side and finally 20 1 legged push-ups per leg. Takes ~20 minutes and I'm all stretched and ready to go afterwards.

You do this prior to every match? :-?

FastFreddy
12-24-2009, 02:26 PM
Warmups are all in your head. It has been proven in the last 10 years that warming up and stretching does not prevent injuries, increase muscle performance or help with muscle recovery. It's all in your head if you think you need it than do it but their is no science to back it up. Some people get hurt warming up.

mel56
12-24-2009, 04:14 PM
I try to keep my feet moving during the warm up. When waiting I will do high knees, running in place, butt kicks, hops, etc. I have arthritis or something and it takes me a long time to warm up my legs. I tried doing stuff before the match, but I found it too hard to time my warm ups especially during tournaments and leagues. I try to stretch right after the warm up some but before the match starts.

SystemicAnomaly
12-24-2009, 07:35 PM
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heycal
12-24-2009, 08:04 PM
OK, I need a good warmup routine for before playing. I just hurt my calf muscle last week due to not properly warming up on a cold morning so I have to be more careful now. There is much evidence that static stretching right away without warming up is bad, so what is the best way to warm up before a match to limit the chance of injury? Particularly the lower half of the body?
Is a light jog a good way to start? Best way to warm up calves and hamstrings?

Thanks



i like do do 2-3 laps easy around the court. then some sklpping. then side shuffles then back pedals. then some carioca. all very easy trying to break a sweat and get loose. ill then shadow swing fh,bh, overhead serve. not textbook which im sure someone will post a link

In my experience it is better to thermally warm up your whole body than to stretch particular muscle groups. Hitting tennis balls will use the muscles, what you need is to have those muscles not be prone to tearing, like when they are thermally cold.

How you go about it, exercise, turning up your car heater, taking a hot shower, hitting the hot tub at the club first, I don't think it matters.

After tearing each calf a year apart, both on cold days at the beginning of the match and soon after static stretching, I'm with these latter two guys. Skip the stretching and get the body warm by running around and swinging the arms around and wearing too many clothes and all that. If you want a routiine, run around the lines of the court X number of time and swing your racket in a gentle figure 8 50 times or something. Get warm, break a sweat, and pray for the best.

Run 5+ minutes on the elliptical, followed by static calf and ankle stretch and hamstring/quad stretch of each leg, hold each for 20 seconds. Then on to 20 squats and overhead press with 8 lb medicine ball, 20 kicks with toe touch per leg, 20 mountain climbers, 15 push-ups, 20 arm and leg lifts per side with 5 lbs, 20 leg raises per leg, 20 scissor-leg crunches per side, 10 v-leg sit-ups, 15 lunges per side and finally 20 1 legged push-ups per leg. Takes ~20 minutes and I'm all stretched and ready to go afterwards.

Since I couldn't get through even reading about this warm up routine, I doubt I could get through actually doing it.

SystemicAnomaly
12-24-2009, 08:31 PM
Do not do those static stretches on the court just prior to tennis. It is good idea to (static) stretch as part of you cool-down after tennis. If you feel that you need some static stretching prior to tennis, do them at home (before heading out to the courts). They should be done 30 minutes or more prior to tennis. If you plan to do extensive static stretching, do it an hour or more before tennis. Not a bad idea to do that stretching under a warm shower.

Prior to tennis, I usually try to perform 10-20 minutes of low-impact cardio (usually an exercise bike). When I get to the courts, I'll often perform a dynamic warmup (including dynamic stretches, not static stretches). Shadow swings (FH, BH, & serve motions) are part of this dynamic warmup. Will also do a bit of rope jumping and then get into 10 minutes or so of mini-tennis.

heycal
12-24-2009, 08:42 PM
What's with the weird post swapping between #20 and 22?

Bud
12-24-2009, 08:48 PM
Warmups are all in your head. It has been proven in the last 10 years that warming up and stretching does not prevent injuries, increase muscle performance or help with muscle recovery. It's all in your head if you think you need it than do it but their is no science to back it up. Some people get hurt warming up.

I warm up by just hitting and moving slowly... don't run to any wildly hit shots during the warm up period, etc. Same with serving... 6-7 easy motions from the deuce and ad courts. Then will work my way into a match.

If it's a highly competitive match (can't afford a slow start), I'll get to the courts early and hit 15-20 extra minutes either on the backboard or with another player.

This works great for me.

heycal
12-24-2009, 09:01 PM
How old are you, Bud?

Bud
12-24-2009, 09:05 PM
How old are you, Bud?

41 :shock:

spacediver
12-25-2009, 02:34 AM
Warmups are all in your head. It has been proven in the last 10 years that warming up and stretching does not prevent injuries, increase muscle performance or help with muscle recovery. It's all in your head if you think you need it than do it but their is no science to back it up. Some people get hurt warming up.

got any citations to back this up?

i know in my own experience that arm circles have radically improved my shoulder health. I do a lot of heavy lifting, climbing/bouldering, and before I incorporated arm circles into my warmup routine, I'd always be slightly injured in my rotator cuff. Now it could be simply the fact that the arm circles have strengthened and balanced the area and that if I no longer did them religiously I'd still not be injured, but I'm scared to not do them :)

so where are these studies that support your rather bold claim?

SystemicAnomaly
12-25-2009, 03:44 AM
What's with the weird post swapping between #20 and 22?

Tried to edit #20 & my system had a melt-down. Ended up double posting.

jrod
12-25-2009, 08:58 AM
You do this prior to every match? :-?

Every match above 4.0 level for sure, otherwise it takes me a set to warm up and you might as well stick a fork in me then. If I'm hitting with my son or playing dubs at 4.0 level, I'll skip some of the redundant aspects or cut back on reps to get it down to 12 minutes or so.

Seriously, at 53 years old I can't afford to go out on the court without being stretched out pretty good.

heycal
12-25-2009, 11:04 AM
^^^
Though I play at a lower, less competitive level, this "it takes a set to warm up" thing can be a real drag. (I'm 47). I really start feeling my best sometime into the second set, or third if there is one. But I'm way too lazy to warm up for 45 minutes before a friendly match just so I can play my best right out of the starting gate.

Still, it's annoying feeling like molasses for at least half the match... I guess the upside is at least I'm not saying "boy, my body can't take two full sets of tennis..."

larry10s
12-26-2009, 03:05 AM
heres a routine
http://tennis.about.com/od/drillspracticegames/a/footworkwarmup.htm

larry10s
12-26-2009, 03:13 AM
heres some carioca
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lj1V3DjA3ZE
http://tennis.about.com/od/drillspracticegames/ss/footworkanimsbs_4.htm
http://dps.usta.com/usta_master/usta/doc/content/doc_437_207.pdf
back pedals are just jogging backwards

mark999
12-29-2009, 10:19 AM
skipping rope is an excellent way to warm up for tennis. warms up all the muscle groups, easy on body, and can be done anywhere.

r2473
12-29-2009, 01:54 PM
Warmups are all in your head. It has been proven in the last 10 years that warming up and stretching does not prevent injuries, increase muscle performance or help with muscle recovery. It's all in your head if you think you need it than do it but their is no science to back it up. Some people get hurt warming up.

This is why boxers always enter the ring "cold". No need to build up a sweat.

Tennis players never warm-up before a match. Rumor has it that Federer wouldn't even do the warm-up you see on TV if it wasn't required.

Usain Bolt just rolls out of bed, clocks a 9:59, then smokes another bowl.

Powerlifters often just grab their one-rep max the minute they step in the gym. No need to warm-up. All in your head they say.

MLB pitchers never warm-up. The shots of them in the bull-pen are on tape. Big conspiracy. They just step on the mound and start hurling 100 mph fastballs and nasty curves. I think "Tommy John" was the only pitcher in history to ever warm up before a game.

As far as basketball, we all know how Iverson feels about "practice". He sure as hell ain't warming up. Waste of time.

jrod
12-29-2009, 02:11 PM
Warmups are all in your head. It has been proven in the last 10 years that warming up and stretching does not prevent injuries, increase muscle performance or help with muscle recovery. It's all in your head if you think you need it than do it but their is no science to back it up. Some people get hurt warming up.


Sure sure ff....be sure to let us all know how this works out for you when you turn 50, ok?

SystemicAnomaly
12-29-2009, 07:08 PM
Warmups are all in your head. It has been proven in the last 10 years that warming up and stretching does not prevent injuries, increase muscle performance or help with muscle recovery. It's all in your head if you think you need it than do it but their is no science to back it up. Some people get hurt warming up.

I believe that you are wrong on this. The science (for the past decade or 2) has been saying that static stretching just prior to competition does not appear to prevent injuries or increase muscle performance (in fact, it has the opposite effect on muscle performance).

However, I've not seen anything that indicates that warming up is not beneficial. Sounds like you are equating static stretching to warming up. This is not the case. If you've got some reliable sources that indicate otherwise, please enlighten us all.

Kick_It
12-29-2009, 07:34 PM
I do a dynamic warmup for at least 6 mins - can be simply jogging, riding a stationary bike, or jumprope. Next, I do a set of static stretches for key "at risk" muscle sets I have - calfs, hamstrings, arms/shoulders, etc.

I've been injured enough and live in a cold enough climate that this is basically a "lesser of all evils".

heycal
12-29-2009, 08:18 PM
I do a dynamic warmup for at least 6 mins - can be simply jogging, riding a stationary bike, or jumprope. Next, I do a set of static stretches for key "at risk" muscle sets I have - calfs, hamstrings, arms/shoulders, etc.

I've been injured enough and live in a cold enough climate that this is basically a "lesser of all evils".

Well, many here would say adding those static stretches is what is putting those areas at risk for injuries, not preventing them.

Kick_It
12-29-2009, 08:31 PM
Well, many here would say adding those static stretches is what is putting those areas at risk for injuries, not preventing them.

The point of the dynamic warm-up is to warm up the muscles that get stretched during the static stretches. Doing static stretches without warming up _is_ risky, particularly if you've recently had injuries in those areas.

I posted what I've learned from PTs after rehabbing tennis-elbow, a grade 2 soleus tear, a ruptured plantaris, a grade 2 ankle sprain, tennis elbow, etc - and works for me.

Take it for what it is; free advice - and you know what that's worth ;-) If you need or want something more specific or relevant to your situation - ask a PT or a doctor.

Good Luck! K_I

ferb55
12-30-2009, 02:31 AM
I also tore a calf muscle about 18 months ago. Very painful, but I had been playing for about an hour so I don't think improper warming up was the issue. However, I have found two things that do the job.

First...I read Winning Ugly and in it Gilbert described a simple routine that I use. It is simply starting at the net and doing a lap around my side of the court. First back pedaling to the baseline...then side shuffling across court...then running to the net ...then side shuffling to the other side. All muscles in the lower body are used. I do this about 5 times working from very slow to a pretty quick one.

Second....I saw a player do this at the Indy tournament on a practice court. He simply bounced lightly with his arms dangling around the entire court for about 10 minutes. It looked odd, but I have tried it with good resulst. Kind of let your body be very limp, relax and just start bouncing, jogging very slowly around the court. It sounds strange and it isn't easy to describe, but it is effective.

Good Luck.

SystemicAnomaly
12-30-2009, 07:44 AM
Well, many here would say adding those static stretches is what is putting those areas at risk for injuries, not preventing them.

From what the research has been saying for a while now, I'd tend to agree with this. Some studies show an increase (rather than a reduction) in injuries when static stretching is employed as part of a pre-competition or pre-exercise warmup. It would appear the the static stretches leave the muscles & connective tissue in a state that increases the likelihood of injury during exercise.

Other studies do not show any significant increase in injuries but also do not show a reduction either when static stretching is included as a warmup. From an injury-prevention standpoint it would appear that such stretching is either neutral or possibly has the opposite effect. Even if static stretching during warmup does not promote injuries it has been found to diminish muscle performance for 30-60 minutes or more -- a number of studies that have linked detrimental performance in power, maximal voluntary contraction, balance and reaction time tests with a static stretching routine shortly before exercise.

This is not to say that static stretches should be avoided as part of one's conditioning. Altho' it does not appear to diminish the occurrence of acute injuries when preformed prior to exercise, it does appear to promote flexibility in the long run. It is usually advised that static stretching should be performed post-exercise. It is sometimes also recommended that static stretches be performed about 1 hour (or more) prior to competition or exercise. This would allow the muscles and joints enough time to recover from those stretches.

It has also been a long-held belief that static stretches should be performed only after the muscles & joints are warmed up. Recent studies appear to indicate that this may not be true. These studies say that it is actually preferable to stretch the body when cold (rather than after a warmup). I've seen this mentioned by a number or recent resources. The first link below talk about this.

www.hotbodytraining.com/the-low-down-on-static-stretching (http://www.hotbodytraining.com/the-low-down-on-static-stretching/)

Runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-241-287--7001-0,00.html (http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-241-287--7001-0,00.html)

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research (http://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Abstract/2009/09000/Precompetition_Warm_up_in_Elite_and_Subelite.35.as px)
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SystemicAnomaly
12-30-2009, 07:50 AM
Some references (for previous post)

1.) Behm, D.G., Bambury, A., Cahill, F., Power, K. Effect of acute static stretching on force, balance, reaction time, and movement time. Med Sci Sports Exerc. Aug;36(8.):1397-402. 2004
2.) Yamaguchi, T., Ishii, K. Effects of static stretching for 30 seconds and dynamic stretching on leg extension power. J. Strength Cond. Res. Aug;19(3):677-83. 2005
3.) Cramer, J.T., Housh, T.J., Weir, J.P., Johnson, G.O., Coburn, J.W., Beck, T.W. The acute effects of static stretching on peak torque, mean power output, electromyography, and mechanomyography. Eur. J. Appl. Physiol.
4.) Shrier, I. Stretching before exercise does not reduce the risk of local muscle injury: A critical review of the clinical and basic science literature. Clinical J. Sports Med. 9: 221-7. 1999
5.) Bandy, W.D., and J.M. Irion. The effects of time on static stretch on the flexibility of the hamstrings muscles. Phys. Ther. 74(9):845-50. 1994
6.) Bandy, W.D., J.M. Irion, and M. Briggler. The effect of time and frequency of static stretching on flexibility of the hamstrings muscles. Phys. Ther. 77(10):1090-6. 1997
7.)Brodowicz, G.R., R. Welsh, and J Wallis. Comparison of stretching with ice, stretching with heat, or stretching alone on hamstring flexibility. J. Athl. Training. 31:324-27. 1996
8.) O'connor DM, Crowe MJ, Spinks WL. Effects of static stretching on leg power during cycling. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2006 Mar;46(1):52-6 Mar;93(5-4):530-9. 2005. Epub 2004 Dec 15.
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heycal
12-30-2009, 08:21 AM
My own philosophy on all this has come down to this. I hate stretching. It's boring. Plus, I tore two calves after static stretching, so it clearly didn't do me any good. So if there is a school of thought out there that says I don't need to bother with this stuff anymore before playing, I'm in!

catfish
12-30-2009, 11:16 AM
I am 46, but not a "guy". I've found that jumping rope or walking on a treadmill gets me warmed up pretty well. I also try to really take it easy in the first few games, especially in cold weather.

In the winter, I also think it's very important to stay warm once you get warmed up. For me, that means wearing long pants and often a long sleeved shirt and a vest. We play indoors in the winter in my area, but indoor tennis courts or courts in a bubble are by no means warm. I see players strip down to shorts and a t-shirt (or a tank top and skirt for women) after a quick warm up. It strikes me as odd that players will wear the same clothes in a 40 - 45 degree tennis bubble as they would wear when it's 95 degrees outside in the summer. :confused: