Tennis = Possibly the ultimate sports?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by boramiNYC, May 25, 2013.

  1. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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  2. corners

    corners Legend

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    Notice that the paper does not mention joint health. This is the only significant downside of tennis from the health perspective. The quick changes of direction that promote good balance and agility are also quite stressful on the joints. Lots of older tennis players develop hip and knee arthritis, as well as foot injuries, from all that stopping, starting and changing direction on hard surfaces. Playing on clay or grass obviously helps, but few are lucky enough to play primarily on these surfaces.

    One of the French musketeers from the 30s (Borotra, I think) remarked that if you play an hour a day, every day, you can play until you're eighty. I wonder if this is true if those hours are logged on hardcourts.
     
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  3. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    I can't think why tennis would be bad for joints IF it is played with good technique and good judgments about personal limits. I would think if properly played tennis can make the joints very healthy along with high muscle and bone qualities.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2013
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  4. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    For high level players / pros, the demands can be damaging, but for most weekend warriors and rec players, tennis offers a chance to stay active across all age ranges. Plus you can still play doubles with less mobility and still have a good time.

    I played basketball and soccer in high school along with tennis. I no longer play b-ball, talk about a pounding on your joints. I might still be playing soccer if I could (I can no longer play contact sports due to a medical condition - long story), but that's definitely a younger man's game.
     
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  5. LeftyRighty

    LeftyRighty Rookie

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    I have very bad knees from skating from 11yrs old until 22. I tore a meniscus in both my knees.

    When I started playing tennis, the pain immediately came back, and I wore braces for a while. I still haven't had surgery (cus im stupid) but tennis makes my knees ache like hell.

    Some days are better than others, just depends on if I take a wrong step, decide to reach for a ball I shouldn't be, or do something else to strain it. I've hyper extended my knees on the court before, it disgusts everyone lmfao.
     
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  6. KineticChain

    KineticChain Professional

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    It's all relative. When you talk "pounding on your joints"... the pounding you take in tennis is directly proportional to how good you and your opponent are. If you are a lower level and rallies are short or cannot hit balls on the dead run and return back to the point, then there is not much of a beating on the body. Tennis is mostly a skill sport at the average rec level. Once you start reaching the levels where everybody has very good technique, factors like stamina, athleticism, and overall bodily health have a big impact. The game gets rougher the higher the level you are.

    In tennis, you and your skill level ultimately control how rough you play. In team sports you cannot control other people, so even at the lower levels, there will be contact and that takes a toll on the body
     
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  7. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    The pounding on your joints is affected by many factors. Are you overweight? What is your flexibility like? Are you using quality footwear and aftermarket insoles if necessary? Do you play when you are tired? How is your balance? My first case of PF was probably the result of worn tennis shoes and over-training. Now I always play with aftermarket insoles.

    I do think that the twisting aspect of tennis puts a lot of stress on the knees. A sleeve and exercises for balancing muscles and building a strong core can help.

    I've noticed a lot of players using ankle braces lately. Frequently on on ankle - it seems to me that they have a minor injury and don't want it to turn into a major injury. I think that two ankle braces would indicate that they're really pushing it and that maybe they should take some time off.
     
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  8. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    You may want to re-read my post. That's what I said...

    "For high level players / pros, the demands can be damaging, but for most weekend warriors and rec players, tennis offers a chance to stay active across all age ranges. Plus you can still play doubles with less mobility and still have a good time."

    As I said, high level players and pros are going to take some damage due to the demands of the sport. But rec players generally aren't going to take permanent damage and can keep playing even into older ages - that's why the USTA can host tournaments for players in their 70's, 80's and 90's. I can't recall a national championship for 90 year old basketball players.

    I would still argue that basketball puts more stress on the joints, especially for your average weekend warrior who's not conditioned to take that pounding, as you combine quick changes of direction (similar to tennis) with a lot of jumping. I can play singles tennis for a few hours and I may be a little sore, but I'm not hobbled. I play an hour or two of basketball and my knees are so sore, I'm going to have trouble getting up the stairs that night.
     
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  9. LeftyRighty

    LeftyRighty Rookie

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    Yes. I agree with you about basketball. The finishing touch to damaging one of my knees was during a game of bball, doing a layup.

    I tried basketball again after being sort of afraid to injure myself again, and it happened again. Even skating again didn't do as much damage as basketball did in one attempt at it again.

    Tennis, since I move left to right a lot more, isn't so bad unless I run for a chance at a drop shot lmao
     
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  10. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

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    I love tennis. I'm an addict. Finally got serious and made it my primary hobby in 2011 after playing only recreationally for 20+ years.

    From a personal standpoint, I've tweaked and strained all sorts of things on the court, off the court preparing for the court. Played hurt, been hurt...not pleasant.

    From a mental standpoint, this sport stresses me out. I'm not that a good player, always want to improve but that takes time/$$. I get down on myself about losing, get down on myself when I win because I focus on what I didn't do right. I get tight during matches because I think too much.

    But I love it to keep coming back every week.

    What I did for 17 years until 2011 was what I considered an "ultimate" sport. Paintball, specifically speedball.

    I feel like it was more physically demanding, mostly because you're in more positions: standing, kneeling, on your stomach/side/back. Jumping/sliding/diving into bunkers.

    You also need explosive power; lots of stop/starting. Going from standing to prone and back to standing in short amounts of time.

    Took a good amount of coordination: You need to be cognizant on where you were, where your teammates were, where your opponents were, and at the same time dodging walls of paintballs coming at you @200 mph, while trying to shoot 10 balls+/second.

    While speedball is more of a team effort, it's still up to the individual to do their job.

    I've never suffered one injury in all the years I played paintball. Not one. Tennis? Well....let's just leave it at >1 :)

    From a mental standpoint, after a day of paintball, I always felt it relieved stress more than tennis had. Guess it got out a lot more pent up frustration while tennis sometimes added more, haha.

    If it wasn't so time demanding and $$, I'd still be playing.

    So IMO, paintball was more MY "ultimate" sport.

    But I love tennis.
     
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  11. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

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    Playing in the woods, you can make paintball as aerobic/anaerobic as you want: running to and from different covers and what have you.

    Playing a scenario game for 8+ hours, you better have some sort of conditioning. That 4 pound marker with a 4+ pound pack/vest sure doesn't feel like that after a few hours humping around in the woods.

    Certain formats of speedball will certainly test your anaerobic/aerobic capacities as you try to get in as many games in a certain time period.
     
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  12. Posture Guy

    Posture Guy Professional

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    I've played paintball once in my life, a corporate team building thing at a course at Camp Pendleton in SoCal, the Marine base. Was a very hilly, rugged course.

    Holy crap. Played that one time, have no desire to do it again. Kicked my butt, not to mention I got popped right in the head at close range. I'm gonna stick with tennis.
     
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  13. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    try this if TW doesnt stock it:

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Inner-Gam...tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1369549428&sr=8-1
     
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  14. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Thanks for the great article. Tennis is an amazing and extremely difficult sport in many ways.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2013
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  15. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    I agree with you. At least for me it's the ultimate. I can't think of any other activity (that's possible for me to do) that would provide me with as comprehensive a physical workout while at the same time being very much a social activity, a competitive activity, and an activity that definitely reduces my stress ... and the health and mental/emotional benefits are measurable for the most part.

    Nice article. Thanks for posting.
     
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  16. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

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    Yes, that is why I believe that having footwork too good is unsporting. It ruins the idea of tennis as a lifetime sport.
     
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  17. OKUSA

    OKUSA Hall of Fame

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    If people supplemented playing tennis with some heavy weightlifting a lot of injuries could be prevented. Too bad people have still not gotten the idea that weightlifting not only strengthens muscle but also tendons

    I've never had injuries playing tennis other than wrist (which is probably due to my bad technique by teaching myself everything from slow-motion professional strokes). I go after everything and do a lot of lunges and splits on the court, of course being flexible helps considerably to prevent injuries as well
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013
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