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-   -   Tennis and Muscle Imbalances (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=452565)

BluDiamond 01-26-2013 07:40 AM

Tennis and Muscle Imbalances
 
Does anyone know how pro players generally workout in order to even out the non-dominant side?

I've noticed from playing tennis from a young age (and probably not doing as much work off-court as I should be) that my left lat is noticeable smaller and my shoulders don't seem to be the same height either.

Even when I'm doing pullups/pressups it still feels as if my right side is dominant, does anyone have any recommendations/advice apart from doing twice as many reps on my left side compared to the right?

El Diablo 01-26-2013 08:03 AM

Who said pro players do anything to even things out? Ever notice that Laver's left forearm was about twice the size of his right? Likewise many current players, though the popularity of 2HBH means that for most players no arm is relegated merely to the ball toss.

Chas Tennis 01-26-2013 08:41 AM

Posture of the Scapulas
 
The arm and scapula (shoulder blade) are attached together by the rotator cuff as an assembly. That assembly is attached to the body by many muscles that attach to the scapula. To do balancing exercises the motions and muscles should be identified and strengthened by balanced exercises, equal weights and reps. Some exercises emphasize flexibility and endurance and may involve only small weights/forces.

Since many people might not know how to strengthen, for example, the Rhomboids or Serratus Anterior, it takes some research. The posture of the most sport active scapula should be compared to the other scapula. That takes expertise. Search - scapula posture



Shoulder injuries to baseball pitchers are often attributed to scapular posture and imbalances. Corrections involve specialized exercises such as the Blackburn exercises to align, strengthen and build endurance for the scapular muscles such as the Rhomboids. The Rhomboids are interior to the mid trapizeus and don't show that much.

Just exercising without a posture evaluation and understanding the muscle functions may cause problems.

Probably the Throwers Ten is a good general program and a book such as Complete Conditioning fro Tennis, Roetert, Ellenbecker, would provide some generally good information on exercises and stretches. Keep in mind that you may have a serious imbalance that a well qualified Dr or physical therapist might be able to see.

Discussion of a few common imbalances not necessarily specific to tennis.
http://www.duffyfitness.com/articles...st-common.html

This Todd Ellenbecker video discusses shoulder anatomy and at minute 8 has important advice on shoulder orientation for the serve.
http://www.tennisresources.com/index...2&ATT=&reso=hi

charliefedererer 01-29-2013 10:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BluDiamond (Post 7167159)
Does anyone know how pro players generally workout in order to even out the non-dominant side?

I've noticed from playing tennis from a young age (and probably not doing as much work off-court as I should be) that my left lat is noticeable smaller and my shoulders don't seem to be the same height either.

Even when I'm doing pullups/pressups it still feels as if my right side is dominant, does anyone have any recommendations/advice apart from doing twice as many reps on my left side compared to the right?

Great question.

This issue is specifically addressed on Sports Fitness Advisor, Tennis Training Section:
"Phase 1 - Foundational Tennis Strength Training
The objective of this 6 week phase is to build a solid base on which you build more intense, more tennis-specific fitness later.

Like all competitive sports, tennis places uneven demands on the body. You swing with one arm and one side of the body. Certain muscle groups are overworked while others are neglected.

Infamous over-use injuries like tennis elbow and damage to the rotator cuff muscles are less likely to occur in a balanced physique.

So our goal during this first phase is to prepare the ligaments, tendons and connective tissue for more strenuous activity to follow."
- http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com...-training.html

Click on the above site to get the specifics of the recommended exercise, and number of sets and repetitions, and how to proceed on to other phases of strengthening for tennis.



You'll also notice the other area of emphasis during all phases of training is the following:

"Special Considerations in Tennis Strength Training


In sports like tennis and golf, overuse injuries of the wrist, elbow and rotator cuff muscles are all too common.

Most weight training exercises predominantly target the larger muscles groups. So while they get stronger and stronger, the smaller, more isolated muscles get neglected...

That doesn't normally cause a problem until you expose your body to thousands of repetitive movements that incorporate the larger AND the smaller muscle groups - like a forehand drive for example.

So while you hit harder and harder shots (as the strength in your large muscles groups increases), those finer muscles are placed under a disproportionate amount of stress.

The best way to compensate for this is to target and isolate those smaller muscle groups before they become over-worked.

By adding a few choice exercises for the forearm and rotator cuff muscles to your tennis strength training program, you can significantly reduce the occurrence of stress injuries in these areas.

You can start these exercises at any time or phase during the entire program. You can perform them at the end of a session or for 10-15 minutes on separate days.

Click here for some specific forearm, wrist and rotator cuff exercises http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com...exercises.html "




But even though the above forearm, wrist and rotator cuff exercises are good, the most complete and BEST set of exercises for the entire arm is the Thrower's Ten Exercise Program: http://www.muhlenberg.edu/pdf/main/a...throwers10.pdf

BluDiamond 02-01-2013 03:05 AM

Thanks everyone, the rotator cuff exercises sound like a good idea. I took a rest from tennis for a few days as I was having problems on impact while hitting serves and I've been told to add some rotator cuff exercises to my routine.

The 'Thrower's Ten" programme also seems popular so I'll give that a try at some point too - finding the time to do all this is the hard part though!

mikeespinmusic 02-01-2013 03:35 AM

I'm going to say Pilates is great for balancing out those things to a good degree. Stay away from yoga, you dont want to be too flexible and people like the stretch what feels tight (which doesn't work - just leads to more stretching progressively more) rather than get to the actual problem of imbalance.

colowhisper 02-01-2013 05:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikeespinmusic (Post 7183926)
Stay away from yoga, you dont want to be too flexible....

I disagree with this. I find a combination of weight training and hot power yoga to be the perfect adult fitness regimen for tennis to prevent injury.

charliefedererer 02-01-2013 07:41 AM

I think mikespinmusic and Pbarrow are both right about yoga.

Taken to an extreme, yoga could lead to excessive flexibility at the joints, leading to less effective muscle contraction, and even injuries like from instability around the shoulder.

But I'll bet few who also do weight training ever see this potential downside.

It sounds like Pbarrow has just the right combination.

BluDiamond 02-01-2013 08:23 AM

Sharapova and Murray are keen on yoga, as long as it's part of a balanced training programme I'm sure it would be of benefit to many tennis players

mikeespinmusic 02-01-2013 04:26 PM

When you increase flexibility you decrease stability. Finding the right balance is key yes. But people misuse yoga. I find pilates pilates has a better success rate.

My background is 7 years in the Fitness Industry, including sports rehabilitation and including a stint as a fitness director even for carnival cruiselines as both a yoga and pilates instructor. My argument is, that yoga was more popular because people felt they could get immediate relief from tightness but they weren't actually fixing the problem.

The body tends to refer pain elsewhere. For example there's a lot of people in the world that love to stretch their hamstrings and lower back all the time. Thats a big no no.

The hamstrings and lower back are tight because they're compensating for weak glutes. But everyone with this problem hears about yoga doing wonders and they go straight to the "Pain relief" excercises. Then they eventually come to me for rehab with additional spinal problems (because all that bending forward is bad for the water in the spinal discs) and it takes 6 months longer or more to help them improve ....

mikeespinmusic 02-01-2013 04:31 PM

I'm sorry I meant "Pain relief" stretches*

mikeespinmusic 02-01-2013 04:44 PM

Good Read
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chas Tennis (Post 7167305)
The arm and scapula (shoulder blade) are attached together by the rotator cuff as an assembly. That assembly is attached to the body by many muscles that attach to the scapula. To do balancing exercises the motions and muscles should be identified and strengthened by balanced exercises, equal weights and reps. Some exercises emphasize flexibility and endurance and may involve only small weights/forces.

Since many people might not know how to strengthen, for example, the Rhomboids or Serratus Anterior, it takes some research. The posture of the most sport active scapula should be compared to the other scapula. That takes expertise. Search - scapula posture



Shoulder injuries to baseball pitchers are often attributed to scapular posture and imbalances. Corrections involve specialized exercises such as the Blackburn exercises to align, strengthen and build endurance for the scapular muscles such as the Rhomboids. The Rhomboids are interior to the mid trapizeus and don't show that much.

Just exercising without a posture evaluation and understanding the muscle functions may cause problems.

Probably the Throwers Ten is a good general program and a book such as Complete Conditioning fro Tennis, Roetert, Ellenbecker, would provide some generally good information on exercises and stretches. Keep in mind that you may have a serious imbalance that a well qualified Dr or physical therapist might be able to see.

Discussion of a few common imbalances not necessarily specific to tennis.
http://www.duffyfitness.com/articles...st-common.html

This Todd Ellenbecker video discusses shoulder anatomy and at minute 8 has important advice on shoulder orientation for the serve.
http://www.tennisresources.com/index...2&ATT=&reso=hi

This is some good stuff. There's a lot of people out there who's scapula doesn't move with the rest of their arm. They're upper trapezius muscles (the big ones left and right of the neck) compensate for the weak muscles surround the scap. If only people worked these muscles more often. We'd a have a lot less shoulder problems in the world...

comeback 02-10-2013 04:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikeespinmusic (Post 7185390)
When you increase flexibility you decrease stability. Finding the right balance is key yes. But people misuse yoga. I find pilates pilates has a better success rate.

My background is 7 years in the Fitness Industry, including sports rehabilitation and including a stint as a fitness director even for carnival cruiselines as both a yoga and pilates instructor. My argument is, that yoga was more popular because people felt they could get immediate relief from tightness but they weren't actually fixing the problem.

The body tends to refer pain elsewhere. For example there's a lot of people in the world that love to stretch their hamstrings and lower back all the time. Thats a big no no.

The hamstrings and lower back are tight because they're compensating for weak glutes. But everyone with this problem hears about yoga doing wonders and they go straight to the "Pain relief" excercises. Then they eventually come to me for rehab with additional spinal problems (because all that bending forward is bad for the water in the spinal discs) and it takes 6 months longer or more to help them improve ....

That is interesting and seems to make sense Mike, I know that Pro sports teams frown on long stretch holds as it weakens the muscles (and stability as you say) i am a certified trainer and tennis pro but 62 now..I do stretch frequently but short stints. i have had 2 serious injuries, tennis elbow which i was able to rehab with
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVhlgBDy_F8
and terrible back pain but had great success with this
http://www.rebuildyourback.com/
What kind of exercise or program do you reccomend?, i'm always looking to find new ways to improve ,thanks

mikeespinmusic 02-16-2013 02:03 AM

i was typing a lot of stuff and the tw forum timed me out so it never went through... thanks for that..

Raul_SJ 02-16-2013 03:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikeespinmusic (Post 7185390)

The body tends to refer pain elsewhere. For example there's a lot of people in the world that love to stretch their hamstrings and lower back all the time. Thats a big no no.

The hamstrings and lower back are tight because they're compensating for weak glutes. But everyone with this problem hears about yoga doing wonders and they go straight to the "Pain relief" excercises. Then they eventually come to me for rehab with additional spinal problems (because all that bending forward is bad for the water in the spinal discs) and it takes 6 months longer or more to help them improve ....

What is the solution if I have tight lower back and hamstrings (range of motion 30 degrees less than the normal)?

And how does one know if they have weak glutes? I have been running regularly for years. Is it possible for runners to have weak glutes?

Relinquis 02-16-2013 03:42 AM

i balance my muscles with fat...

seriously though, interesting discussion here.

Chas Tennis 02-16-2013 09:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raul_SJ (Post 7217645)
What is the solution if I have tight lower back and hamstrings (range of motion 30 degrees less than the normal)?

And how does one know if they have weak glutes? I have been running regularly for years. Is it possible for runners to have weak glutes?

The main 'glute' has a much different function than the two smaller glutes.

The gluteus maximus is the large powerful muscle that acts over two joints, the hip and knee. Force for running and squatting.

The gluteus medius is much smaller, acts over the hip joint and, by keeping the pelvis level, is very important for balance. Ice skaters and ballet dancers have particularly well developed gluteus medius muscles. Not sure how the gluteus minimus functions but that may also be for balance.

The Trendelenburg Sign
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trendelenburg%27s_sign

Illustration gluteus medius. Normal on left, weak gluteus medius on right.


If the gluteus medius is not functioning properly it causes posture issues and added stress to the lower body parts, knees etc.
My gluteus medius was weak after many years of tennis and several years of gym work. Did it contribute to my meniscus injuries, one in each leg,....? Simple exercises such as clamshells, fire hydrants, monster walks, strengthen this muscle.

I've posted in more detail in other replies. Search: Chas Tennis trendelenburg

These issues and related exercises are briefly discussed in Complete Conditioning for Tennis, Roetert & Ellenbecker. More intended for conditioning healthy players for performance and injury prevention as opposed to rehab of injuries.

charliefedererer 02-16-2013 09:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raul_SJ (Post 7217645)
What is the solution if I have tight lower back and hamstrings (range of motion 30 degrees less than the normal)?

And how does one know if they have weak glutes? I have been running regularly for years. Is it possible for runners to have weak glutes?

From Runner's World:
"When we run, the glutes hold our pelvis level and steady, extend our hip, propel us forward, and keep our legs, pelvis, and torso aligned. So when our glutes are faulty, our entire kinetic chain gets disrupted. Studies link glute weakness to Achilles tendinitis, shinsplints, runner's knee, and iliotibial-band syndrome. Indeed, many injured runners I treat come to physical therapy with strong abdominals and backs but weak glutes.

Part of the problem is that glutes aren't as active as other running muscles during routine activities, which can make your hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves disproportionately stronger. Another issue is that most strength-training routines don't isolate the glutes. If an exercise requires several muscles to perform the movement, the majority of the work will be done by the strongest of those muscles. Also, tight muscles, specifically the hip flexors, can inhibit the glutes and prevent their muscle fibers from firing.
-http://www.runnersworld.com/workouts/glute-strength



One exercise can potentially fix your glutes, back and hamstrings - the squat.



It is not called the "king of exercises" for nothing.

It takes your legs, core and the muscles that connect the legs and the core, through a full range of motion that will help correct muscle imbalance that runners frequently exhibit - strong hamstrings but weaker glutes/quads.


Don't let the above illustration worry you.

You can start squats just as a body weight exercise:



You can add a little weight in gradually just with dumbells:






It is also possible that you have such severe muscle imbalances that you should start to work with a physical therapist to perform smaller movements to regain some flexibility before being able to squat correctly.

For instance, doing "cats and dogs" might be a better way to start to get your back moving again:
"Cats & Dogs Exercise Helps Painful Shoulders, Elbows, Wrists, Lower Back and Knees" - http://www.examiner.com/article/pain...-cats-can-help

tlm 02-16-2013 03:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BluDiamond (Post 7167159)
Does anyone know how pro players generally workout in order to even out the non-dominant side?

I've noticed from playing tennis from a young age (and probably not doing as much work off-court as I should be) that my left lat is noticeable smaller and my shoulders don't seem to be the same height either.

Even when I'm doing pullups/pressups it still feels as if my right side is dominant, does anyone have any recommendations/advice apart from doing twice as many reps on my left side compared to the right?

Muscle imbalance is one of the leading causes of injuries in all sports. So working out to keep your strength balanced is a key in preventing injuries.

mikeespinmusic 02-16-2013 05:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by comeback (Post 7205487)
That is interesting and seems to make sense Mike, I know that Pro sports teams frown on long stretch holds as it weakens the muscles (and stability as you say) i am a certified trainer and tennis pro but 62 now..I do stretch frequently but short stints. i have had 2 serious injuries, tennis elbow which i was able to rehab with
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVhlgBDy_F8
and terrible back pain but had great success with this
http://www.rebuildyourback.com/
What kind of exercise or program do you reccomend?, i'm always looking to find new ways to improve ,thanks

Quote:

Originally Posted by comeback (Post 7205487)
That is interesting and seems to make sense Mike, I know that Pro sports teams frown on long stretch holds as it weakens the muscles (and stability as you say) i am a certified trainer and tennis pro but 62 now..I do stretch frequently but short stints. i have had 2 serious injuries, tennis elbow which i was able to rehab with
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVhlgBDy_F8
and terrible back pain but had great success with this
http://www.rebuildyourback.com/
What kind of exercise or program do you reccomend?, i'm always looking to find new ways to improve ,thanks

You're reply was the one that got timed out.... I'll try and sum it up quick for you.

Slow and controlled movements are the key. Slow down all your glute exercises especially on the way back to the starting point. (e.g when you do a push up... you go up, then down.) Focus on going slow and controlled on the way down.

Look up plenty of core stability exercises about keeping neutral spine.

And of course balance work is good. Standing on one leg with your eyes shut is a good start. Also in your case, stretch your quads and calves more. Dont bother stretching your lower back or hamstrings.


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