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-   -   taking care of an aging, but active tennis body (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=441900)

mr_fro2000 10-02-2012 08:05 PM

taking care of an aging, but active tennis body
 
Hi everyone, so as I am no spring chicken anymore, I find myself with quite a few aches and pains after a few hrs of tennis (mainly 2 to 3 yrs). The next morning my wrist hurts, i have creaky joints, i feel swollen, etc. Obviously when I was younger i never experienced these pains.

So... what are the best/correct ways to warm up and also cool down after playing a few hrs? Right now pre playing hard, I warm up a bit, then stretch. then play. I drive home and 45 min later, I stretch, take a hot shower and ice my wrist. Sometimes I pop a few advil and go to sleep (i play at night).

What are the best ways to keep the body feeling right? More ice? more stretching right after playing?

kicker75 10-02-2012 08:46 PM

In addition to what you already mentioned, I notice that the older I get, the more I have to make sure that I am properly hydrated before, during play, and after. Helps recovery I feel.

Also, I sometimes wear braces/pressure straps in areas known to have pain problems in the past. However, I do this preventatively, so even if I feel no pain whatsoever, I still wear the braces/straps. Currently I wear patella straps (runners straps) on my knees. I find that this makes my knees less achy after playing.

...and of course there are the Advil after I play.

treblings 10-03-2012 02:45 AM

i certainly can relate to that, being 48 myself. hope that other posters come up with good suggestions.
here´s my 2 cents worth:do the stretching before driving home, and also make sure you get good nutrition in you right after the game. something along the lines of a protein shake and a sports bar. that helps fighting the inflamations.

beepee1972 10-03-2012 03:54 AM

40 years old, and the same experiences. Feeling stiff the day after, some muscles aching.
Since about 2 months I have started running (building up) in a group. Not only do I notice improvements there, but also on the tennis court (condition wise during play), and very much so the day after play. Ofcourse I still feel some muscles after tennis, but a whole lot less than before.

I also stretch after playing, and not for some 5 seconds per exercise, but preferably 20-30s! That certainly helps in my case (achilles, hamstring, but!)

dman72 10-03-2012 06:19 AM

Stretching afterwards is the key. I'm 40 also.

I'm starting to think that hard court tennis is worse on the body than I initially thought. I switched from basketball to tennis as my regular sport about 6 or 7 years ago. I always hit around during summers but I started full time at that point.

I basically stopped with the hoops due to rolled ankles, jammed thumbs, and the fear of getting teeth knocked out by elbow throwing butchers.

Over the last year or 2 I've had hip issues, a brief achilles issue, and more recently some elbow problems. If I don't stretch and/or take ibuprofen after a match, I'm walking like an 80 year old the next morning until blood starts flowing.

I haven't played a heavy afternoon of half court basketball in years. This weekend I played hoops pretty intensely for about 2 and a half hours.

The next day I really felt much better than I do after a tennis match, especially in the hips. There is a lot of unnatural torque on the body in tennis strokes, especially on gritty hard courts where your feet get locked to the ground, and also with modern windshield wiper forehands.

floridatennisdude 10-03-2012 06:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mr_fro2000 (Post 6932364)
Hi everyone, so as I am no spring chicken anymore, I find myself with quite a few aches and pains after a few hrs of tennis (mainly 2 to 3 yrs). The next morning my wrist hurts, i have creaky joints, i feel swollen, etc. Obviously when I was younger i never experienced these pains.

So... what are the best/correct ways to warm up and also cool down after playing a few hrs? Right now pre playing hard, I warm up a bit, then stretch. then play. I drive home and 45 min later, I stretch, take a hot shower and ice my wrist. Sometimes I pop a few advil and go to sleep (i play at night).

What are the best ways to keep the body feeling right? More ice? more stretching right after playing?

I don't think the importance of warm up/cool down/stretching is nearly as important as overall strength pre-habilitation.

Most Rec level tennis players claim tennis is their form of excercise. That can be safe if you're talking about 60 minute hits twice a week. But if you're talking about 3-4 matches per week, leagues, and/or tournaments, you have to prepare your body physically for that much exertion.

I play 3-5 times per week and I do my darnedest to never play 3 straight days. Even 2 straight is a burden on my body. 2-3 mornings per week I go to the gym and do a fairly light total body workout and incorporate some yoga type stretches for a cool down. And once a week, I try to do a 20-30 mile bike ride as cross training. My only goal of strength training is injury prevention.

I assume this is more than most rec players do. But in my mind, it's just necessary to help my body with the tennis abuse I put on it.

fuzz nation 10-03-2012 07:49 AM

Got to figure that you're doing the right thing if you're getting a warm-up done before you get out there and go full speed. Even a quick jog to get everything up and running is much better than "playing into" a match from neutral.

I'd say that the no-brainer portion of the answer is the idea of maintaining better general fitness, but anyone with "a life" may have some difficulty with making the time aside from actual tennis to take care of that. One key to my personal fitness success has been getting out to pedal my bike for a moderate ride at least twice a week (45 mins to an hour). If I do that, my 46 year old legs feel like they did in my 20's when I'm on the courts.

I've also become a believer in the advantage of getting in a thorough stretch immediately after my court time. That means stretching even before I get in my car for only a 15-20 minute drive home. Along the same lines as the cycling, that immediate full stretch has been a big plus for me when I've remembered to do it - my legs and back are always much less grumpy when I roll out of bed the next morning. By the way, I like to routinely get a basic stretch done before I get into bed, too.

mr_fro2000 10-03-2012 08:25 AM

definitely some good stuff here... i guess going thru a stretching routine after play is pretty important... I'll definitely do that.

i agree that general fitness gives stamina and performance boosts while you are on the court. Im eating healthy and doing semi-hiit bodyweight exercises during my off tennis days. however its really the after tennis pains that are problematic =P

Any tips on food items that may help recovery?

floridatennisdude 10-03-2012 08:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mr_fro2000 (Post 6933122)
definitely some good stuff here... i guess going thru a stretching routine after play is pretty important... I'll definitely do that.

i agree that general fitness gives stamina and performance boosts while you are on the court. Im eating healthy and doing semi-hiit bodyweight exercises during my off tennis days. however its really the after tennis pains that are problematic =P

Any tips on food items that may help recovery?

I think you mis interpreted the off court fitness advice. It's the most important part of being able to recover. Having muscle, that can support joints, that get abused during tennis. Muscle stiffness recovers quicker than ligament pulls or joint inflammation.

Performance boosts and stamina are just a bonus, but aren't my overall goal in strength training. Avoiding injury is priority 1.

slowfox 10-03-2012 09:10 AM

For me I make it a rule to never play 2 consecutive days in a row so my body has time to recover. Also, like someone above mentioned - stay hydrated, drink a lot of water the day before and the day of. Heck, for life in general drink lots of water everyday... :)

LuckyR 10-03-2012 09:19 AM

Another vote for the idea that the OPs symptoms are not related to diet, stretching, warmup etc. The way for him to maximize his performance and minimize his aches are to do strengthening seperate from playing tennis. This is not a tennis routine issue, it is an aging issue as he correctly figured.

mr_fro2000 10-03-2012 10:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by floridatennisdude (Post 6933161)
I think you mis interpreted the off court fitness advice. It's the most important part of being able to recover. Having muscle, that can support joints, that get abused during tennis. Muscle stiffness recovers quicker than ligament pulls or joint inflammation.

Performance boosts and stamina are just a bonus, but aren't my overall goal in strength training. Avoiding injury is priority 1.

Yes i totally agree. Fitness is a priority for me as well... I am doing a strength routine in addition to my tennis, however I still have next-day aches and pains.

I too am confident that the extra fitness routine helps to avoid injuries and recover quicker. Perhaps without the extra training I'd be hurting even more!

TennisCJC 10-03-2012 11:06 AM

I am 55 yo have chronic soreness in L ankle, 10 weeks post meniscus surgery on L knee, chronic but mild soreness on front of R rotator cuff, and light soreness in R elbow on occasion.

Here's my wisdom for what it is worth:

1. Take off days - I like to take 2 or 3 days per week off from tennis
2. Ice the sore bits after tennis
3. Work out regularly - including strengthening and stretching. Light weights for upper body, ankle weights, 1/2 squats, heel lifts and several lower body exercises. see "thrower's ten" and "knee rehab" on the web for exercise details. STRETCH afterward every time. I work out mostly on tennis off days
4. Lower tension on strings and get a comfortable racket - I look for stiffness ratings below 65. Maybe you could go stiffer if a volkl or pro kinnex racket which are good on comfort
5. Use good technique - use body rotation for power and not arms and wrist

Of all these, simply resting between playing days is the best.

LeeD 10-03-2012 11:43 AM

My normal routine is to play tennis once a week, maybe 3-5 sets of doubles. Only once a year do I get to play singles.
Afterwards, usually the next day, I get stiff and sore all over. But if I go windsurfing, take it easy for maybe 1.5 hours, the body seems to stretch itself just about right. I did yoga for a while, but that hurt my wrists and shoulders.
If I ride my bike maybe 10 miles easy, after tennis, the legs do seem to recover quickly.
Unfortunately, my current job of mudding and sanding walls and ceilings, especially ceilings, is about the worst activity I can find for helping my tennis or my windsurfing games.
Currently sanding a 8X14' ceiling patch over the living room, which might take me 2 hours nonstop, or 3 days at my pace. Then I gotta patch the holes, wait for set, resand, and check again with a droplight.
I'm 63, can't lift my left arm up to my face, and rotator cuffs are shot....for the last 10 years.

floridatennisdude 10-03-2012 03:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mr_fro2000 (Post 6933379)
Yes i totally agree. Fitness is a priority for me as well... I am doing a strength routine in addition to my tennis, however I still have next-day aches and pains.

I too am confident that the extra fitness routine helps to avoid injuries and recover quicker. Perhaps without the extra training I'd be hurting even more!

You could be worse off. Look at the ***** LeeD has to deal with. Downright depressing. I think my goal between now and 63 is to do the opposite in life of everything LeeD did.

LeeD 10-03-2012 03:56 PM

Yeah, sometimes I get the feeling I have to feel the depths of dispair before reaping the benefits of the good times.
I've been sanding this ceiling now for about 4 hours, on and off, 20 minutes sessions. My shoulder's can't handle non stop sanding overhead action. It's about half finished, first sanding.
Yeah, it's been a tough last 20 years. Working 4 hours a day average, 2 days a week, getting paid to rescue adrift windsurfers and sailboaters, having g/f's from 10-23 years younger than me, most years snowboarding at least 20 days, windsurfing 120, surfing maybe 20, and playing tennis once a week on average, life is just tough, and almost getting unbearable.
I"m about to stop this sanding for today, but maybe one more 15 minute session. Breathing the dust is all fun and games too, mask or not.

LuckyR 10-04-2012 08:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 6934104)
Yeah, sometimes I get the feeling I have to feel the depths of dispair before reaping the benefits of the good times.
I've been sanding this ceiling now for about 4 hours, on and off, 20 minutes sessions. My shoulder's can't handle non stop sanding overhead action. It's about half finished, first sanding.
Yeah, it's been a tough last 20 years. Working 4 hours a day average, 2 days a week, getting paid to rescue adrift windsurfers and sailboaters, having g/f's from 10-23 years younger than me, most years snowboarding at least 20 days, windsurfing 120, surfing maybe 20, and playing tennis once a week on average, life is just tough, and almost getting unbearable.
I"m about to stop this sanding for today, but maybe one more 15 minute session. Breathing the dust is all fun and games too, mask or not.


A couple of things:

As to your bolded statement: it beats the alternative...

I hope you are using a very light, electric sander.

Tough, tedious jobs around the house are best left for your kids, (that's why you had em, right?)

r2473 10-04-2012 09:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 6934104)
Yeah, sometimes I get the feeling I have to feel the depths of dispair before reaping the benefits of the good times.

'Life begins on the other side of despair.' ~ Sartre

'Suffering is the origin of consciousness' ~ Dostoevsky

LeeD 10-04-2012 11:13 AM

you can't feel the euphoria of the highs until you have felt the depths of despair.... LeeD ....

GRANITECHIEF 10-04-2012 11:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by r2473 (Post 6935310)

'Surfing is the origin of consciousness' ~ Granitechief

Fixed it for you.


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