Muscles Sore From Serving

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by WBF, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. WBF

    WBF Hall of Fame

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    Damnit! So I've been working out for a few months now to try to reduce soreness from serving in tournaments... Didn't help this weekend. I did discover that Motrin is a major help though.

    Anyhow... What muscles should I try to work on to prevent them from getting sore during tournaments? How do men on the tour serve the big heat through an each match in entire tournaments? While I'm busy with school and work, I usually have at least an hour a day (in addition to tennis) which I can devote to exercises that will get rid of this damn problem!

    The particular muscle I am referring to is on the outside of my arm (If I fold my right arm across my stomach, the part of my upper arm that faces forward and to the right is the most problematic). This is the tricep I am assuming? I do two or three different dumbell exercises for these, but maybe I'm doing the wrong ones?
     
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  2. Moz

    Moz Hall of Fame

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    Yes, tricep. It's a strange place to hurt - I seem to hurt everywhere else!

    How is it's flexibility? Can you point your elbow straight up in the air and still touch your back below your shoulder? (Incidentally, for my weights I only do tricep dumbell extensions starting at this position and straightening.)

    What exercises do you do? Do you stretch after each match?
     
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  3. WBF

    WBF Hall of Fame

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    I've been doing these for triceps:

    http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/images/dumbbell_exercises_french.gif

    and these

    http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/images/dumbbell_exercises_tricep_extension.gif (these with two hands on one heavy dumbbell, should I do these independently for each arm?)

    I also go out and serve several times a week, usually 50-100 balls a session.

    Now that I think about it, when I practice, I usually concentrate on first serves. I think I hit more second serves than during practice when I play in matches (I'll often go with a second serve for a first serve in a match to throw off opponents). Perhaps I should focus on second serves more when practicing...

    Flexibility wise it seems fine. I don't stretch after matches, I suppose I should do this...
     
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  4. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Your triceps are getting sore from serving? Are you keeping a bent arm when you serve? Your triceps would definitely be a factor during kick serves, but they shouldn't be getting sore. You'd use your triceps a lot more during forehands than serves. Are you sure serves are causing you tricep pain?

    BTW, those tricep extensions in your GIF work the upper portion of the triceps. To work the lower portion, you should be doing presses.
     
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  5. NotAtTheNet

    NotAtTheNet Semi-Pro

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    Try stretching, or some boxing. Doing 3 sets of 8-12 reps for triceps isn't going to help you prepare for a long day of tennis and serving. You should feel exhausted but not sore, and especially not from serving.
     
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  6. WBF

    WBF Hall of Fame

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    My routine currently consists of: Squats, SL Deadlifts, Lunges, Shrugs, Single Arm Rows, Military Press, Bench Press, Overhead Tricep Extension, Curls, Flies, French Press (lying down tricep thingy), Front Raises, Lateral Raises, and various ab work. I could probably remove a bunch of stuff, but it's been a helpful routine so far (apart from the serving issue. My legs feel amazing, didn't get sore at all this tournament!).

    What do you mean by keeping my arm bent while serving? If you use the tricep more in kick serves, that could definately be it. My kick serve involves more effort than my flat serve, particularly during matches. This same muscle felt sore on forehands as well before I took Motrin (and during previous tournaments), so I think that must be it...

    Also, it's not really pain, it's more the feeling you get the day after a good workout. I guess you could call it pain, but I don't think it's bad pain (apart from the impact on serving!)
     
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  7. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    You know not to bend your arm at contact on serves and that includes kick serves. You use more triceps from forehands so maybe those are causing your tricep pain and not the serves.
     
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  8. WBF

    WBF Hall of Fame

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    I don't think it's the forehands, because those don't change considerably during match situations, while for serves I typically go for more power or more kick than when I'm practicing (In matches I have no qualms with being a bit loud when serving, I would feel awkward doing this while practicing though!)

    Yeah, my arm fully extends for sure.
     
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  9. junbumkim

    junbumkim Professional

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    Triceps is used in serving. Going from back scratch motion to contact point, you use the triceps. Not just in kick serves. In kick serves, your rotator cuff is put to more strenuous use..

    Triceps exercise is considered beneficial for serving.

    No real exercise is going to prevent you from getting sore as long as you overuse the muscle. If you consistently serve on a daily basis, it might be a different story.
     
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  10. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    You must have some seriously under-worked triceps to get them sore from serving, yet you say you do triceps exercises. Do your triceps get sore from your weight work or just from serving?

    While the triceps is key in the service motion there is not a great deal of resistance placed against it while serving. It's odd that you're sore.
     
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  11. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Exactly. The triceps bring the racquet up into position before the ball is struck during a serve.
     
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  12. WBF

    WBF Hall of Fame

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    Perhaps I am thinking of a different muscle then? I just know that serving and forehands are affected.

    I just went out for some serves today, and usually it takes me more than a few days to fully recover from a tournament, but my arm felt good as new. Perhaps I just need to continue lifting and practicing (perhaps increasing practice intensity) and the results will come
     
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  13. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    Get a map of the human body and figure out the name of the muscle.

    That would be a good start. I don't think there's much to discuss until we know what muscle it is.
     
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  14. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, can't really tell if you are talking about triceps, deltoids, or something else.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. WBF

    WBF Hall of Fame

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    Ahh ha! Thanks SA. That is exactly where I was sore! What should I do to eliminate this occurence in the future? Work with more weight on front, lateral raises, military press? Anything else I should focus on? Are chin-ups or pull-ups good for this?
     
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  16. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    That makes more sense. Make sure you're doing plenty of rotator work and keep your shoulder loose and warmed up.
     
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  17. WBF

    WBF Hall of Fame

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    I don't actually do any rotator work that I know of. I used to do the elastics on our college team, maybe I should pick some up... Or are there any good dumbbell exercises that help with this?
     
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  18. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    It makes a lot more sense because the serving deltoid gets injured quite a bit. You need to ice that shoulder down, wbf. Don't apply ice before a match. Keep that shoulder warm before a match and cold after the match.
     
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  19. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Why on earth would you use your triceps to hit a forehand?!?!

    J
     
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  20. WBF

    WBF Hall of Fame

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    Rickson: It usually just feels sore like after a good workout, no unusual pain, or pain when I'm not using the muscle. I won't have any big matches for at least a month, so I'll just try to get more fit!
     
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  21. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    When you swing your forehand, why wouldn't you be using your triceps?
     
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  22. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Because once you come out of your backswing your hitting structure should be locked. The only time you would use your tricep to any extent would be setting your double bend angle (or lack there of) as you come out of your loop. But on the forward swing you shouldn't be using it at all.

    If you don't use a loop backswing, I don't see where it would be used at all.

    J
     
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  23. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    How can you not use your triceps upon contact with the ball?
    I'm not talking about doing a push forward with your forehand as that's a rookie move, but even following through across your body uses a lot of tricep power.
     
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  24. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    No way dude, if you are extending your arm after you start your forward swing, you are doing something horribly wrong.

    J
     
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  25. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Who said anything about extending an arm? I would never do a freakin push forehand. You use your triceps even when the arm is coming around the body.
     
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  26. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    For what?

    J
     
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  27. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    You just do, Jo11y, you just do.
     
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  28. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    But isn't the tricep's job to extend your forearm?

    If you don't extend your forearm during the forward swing or on the followthrough, where does the tricep become involved?

    J
     
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  29. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Sure you work the triceps when you extend, but you also work the triceps when you have any kind of push and even though pushing forward is bad form and not what I'm talking about, you're still pushing in during the wrap around followthrough.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2008
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  30. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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  31. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    You're absolutely correct, supe. Now if we could only convince Jo11y that triceps are involved in a forehand.
     
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  32. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    This triceps discussion is an eye-opener but somewhat confusing. Before this discussion, I would have thought that there was very little significant involvement of the triceps in a forehand stroke. But after a bit of digging, it appears that there may be more triceps action than initially meets the eye.

    Most of us are aware that the primary function of the triceps is elbow extension (the opposite of the flexion function provided by the biceps). This can include certain pushing actions. I would think that these pushing actions would have the triceps contracting (often statically) against a resistance to counteract a flexion action of the arm.

    The secondary functions of the triceps are to facilitate certain shoulder articulations. These shoulder actions are shoulder adduction and shoulder extension -- note that these articulations only involve the long head of the triceps.


    Not sure about this. The twisting of the forearm does not really involve the triceps. The push in this instance (into the ball) appears to me to be more of an internal rotation of the shoulder (and body rotations) rather than much of a triceps action. Perhaps there is some triceps pushing action here -- hard to say if there is much, due to the nature of this type of push.

    However, I do see some triceps involvement elsewhere in the Roddick FH motion. In the upper part of his loop, it appears that his arm straightens somewhat -- elbow extension. In the lower part of the loop, the arm flexes as the arm comes down and the elbow comes into the body -- this involves some shoulder adduction (hence, some possible triceps action).

    After contact, during the early part of the follow-thru, it appears that the arm straightens somewhat -- elbow extension. Perhaps this extension is evidence of some triceps pushing at impact, perhaps not.

    Comments? Other insights?
     
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  33. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    I am not going to argue Breakpoint style here, but just to say, that the triceps primary function is elbow extension, and if during the forward swing the angle between your upper arm, and your forearm does not change, that I see no way that the tricep would be a significant contributor to the power of the stroke.

    The arm is pulled forward by torso rotation, and pecs, after contact pronation is handled by shoulder rotators, and the followthrough across the body, the break is handled by the bicep.

    That is all I am going to say on the matter, because I certainly am not the most well versed person on the boards when it comes to this stuff (Which is why I almost never talk about it) but until someone can clearly and inteligently explain exactly when and how the triceps are used in the FH stroke besides straightining the arm to set the angle of the hitting structure in the loop, then I will continue to believe as I do, that their involvement is miniscule.

    J
     
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  34. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    That is because he has a hitting structure that is set up with his elbow angle causing the elbow to be closer to the body. Once the ball is struck, the arm is relaxed even more (it should be very relaxed through the entire stroke) and naturally straightens as a result of the force of the swing carrying it outward before comming across the body in the followthrough.

    J
     
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  35. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    Well, all I know is that when I once played tennis while still sore from a workout, every time I hit the forehand I felt a pain in my tricep. When I imitate my forehand and feel my tricep, I can feel it activating.

    BTW, I've noticed that Roddick has really big delts compared to the rest of his arm. His triceps are also pretty big, and he has no biceps at all. I guess that's how you tell if someone is just a serve and a forehand.
     
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  36. WBF

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    I feel so stupid. All this time I've been focusing on the deltoids and ignoring the rotator cuff... I think it has been the rotator cuff the whole time. While my big first serves are affected slightly (given that they need very, very precise movement to stay in!), I've found that when I use mostly kick serves, the problem is worse. The pain was pretty bad during a recent mixed match, and I found it a little painful to lift my arm laterally towards the end (3 sets of all nearly all kickers).

    Oh well, now I know where to focus my efforts! It feels fine now, if I start light work on it tomorrow building weight up relatively quickly, and don't aggravate it too much with serving, what are the chances of getting this reasonably sorted out by the 21st?
     
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  37. Julieta

    Julieta Guest


    Ballistic is a very tough string. I bought a reel of that once because I am string breaker and I could feel it in my wrist immediately. I cut it out and the pain stopped.

    Guys on the tour have all kinds of recovery help...good for them, but bad for everyone else who doesn't have it!
     
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  38. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    actually, you really need to work on your rotator cuff. It keeps the head of the humerus from crashing into the bony structure above. And the supraspinatus (one of the 4 tendons of the rotator cuff) is in between. Everytime you elevate your arm and bring it back down, like in a serve or any throwing motion, the supraspinatus tendon will bang into the bony structure and will eventually fray/rupture.

    Trust me, you dont wanna tear it. I just finished rehab from surgery I had 6months ago. I served a set and i'm already sore. It'll take a while to get that stamina back. Weight lifting isn't going to help with stamina, I was told I just gotta keep serving until I can serve all day long and I wont get sore afterwards.

    By the way, the power difference between a healthy rotator cuff vs a partially torn rotator cuff is HUGE! And it really shows on serves.

    And props to whoever said "Why would you use triceps on your forehand?!" hahahaah I laughed so hard when i saw that
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2008
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  39. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks for the props.

    I do a lot of shoulder strengthening weight stuff, and cuff stuff with elastic bands.

    Currently I am working to build up my arm strength to be able to "serve all day"

    I play a match or two every other day, and hit serves after to continue building up my arm.

    I blew out my shoulder when I was 17, couldn't lift my arm more than paralell to the ground until 23. Started playing again at 23, and was probably serving 60-70mph.

    After the first year, I could serve hard for a set, and then I would lose the strength and not be able to bring the ball down into the box.

    For two or so years, I fought through tiredness, soreness, and pain, in varying increments.

    For about a year now, I have had no pain, and I feel as confidant as I ever did. But I keep up the exercises and training, to avoid injury, and of course to serve harder and more consistently.

    J
     
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  40. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, well I'm laughing at say lo's ignorant ass right now.
     
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  41. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    umm... what? I'm not saying you dont use it, I'm just saying it was a funny statement.

    I think I've learned a thing or two about stroke mechanics after what I've been through.
     
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  42. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    My fault, Say Chi. I didn't mean it like that. I misunderstood your post.
     
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  43. WBF

    WBF Hall of Fame

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    Alrighty, got started on the rotator cuff strengthening today, hopefully I can get it worked out before the 21st! Thanks for all the help.

    When I do these exercises, do I need to look out for anything? As in... Can I continue my normal workouts and tennis afterwards? Also, should I do the rotator cuff stuff every day, or every other day like normal lifting?

    Julieta: Yeah, it is pretty nasty string, but I've been playing with it for many years... Hopefully it's not that, because I don't think I would want to change strings for tournaments this summer!
     
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  44. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    Start easy with the rotator cuff. Twice a week max for a few weeks. Slowly build weight and volume.

    -Robert
     
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  45. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    The cuff stuff doesn't effect my playing, but trying to serve after working out my triceps hard, is brutal, I just can't get enough to bring the ball down into the box.

    But if you are doing the light weights, and resistance band stuff, then by all means letter rip.

    J
     
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  46. FedererISBetter

    FedererISBetter Rookie

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    So y0, rotatory cuffs... how do I work those out? lol... I usually have to shank few serves in warm up before I can physically hit them right : /
     
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  47. WBF

    WBF Hall of Fame

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    Would two full days of rest (e.g. mon, thurs, sun... weds, sat....tues, fri...) be reasonable? Want to give these muscles as much work as possible (without risking injury) before the 21st.

    Anyhow, this seems to be it! During my last set on the last reps I could tell it was working the same areas that have been sore/slightly painful during long/hard serving days.

    FedererISBetter: Do a search on these forums and you should find some good info. Personally, I just did the ones they have on wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotator_cuff#Strengthening) with very light weight. Going to pick up resisitance bands to do some others as well.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2008
    #47
  48. snoopy

    snoopy Professional

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    I also do some pushups to help my deltoid injury.

    You have to make sure your using proper form bc you can hurt your rotator cuff with improper push ups. I keep my elbows close to my sides and place my hands at shoulder width.
     
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  49. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    Probably. You'll know pretty quickly if it isn't. ;) You are about 30 years old or so? As long as you are younger you should do fine on two days rest. Those are small muscles, tendons, ligaments, so take a long view of the re-hab/strengthening process.

    -Robert
     
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  50. FedererISBetter

    FedererISBetter Rookie

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    thank you so much, I may feel like I am 20 again -_-a
     
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