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-   -   Tennis has ruined my body!! (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=456733)

will3689 03-05-2013 09:23 PM

Tennis has ruined my body!!
 
So i have played tennis on and off for about 10 years but only this last couple of years started taking it more seriously- entering tournaments, playing almost every day etc. I am an athletic 23 year old and have always been pretty healthy but this last few months i feel like im 50 something!! My back aches every morning, my elbow hurts for the first 10 minutes of hitting, ive had pain in my shoulder, ive recently pulled my groin so cant play at all now! why is this happening? What do you guys do to prevent aches/ injuries?

SystemicAnomaly 03-05-2013 09:33 PM

Are you warming up your body prior to play. I am not talking static stretching for your warmup. You can perform some static stretches at home -- 30-60 minutes before you plan to start hitting. Once you get to the court, your warmup should be dynamic -- it can/should include some dynamic stretching.

Have you been using a racket that is too light or too heavy for you? Perhaps the grip size is too small or too large for our hand. You may be squeezing the handle too tightly. Are you using stiff strings, such as polyester? 1-handed or 2-handed BH? You might consider switching to a more arm-friendly racket. What are you currently using?

Andres 03-05-2013 09:35 PM

I don't play everyday. And stretching. A lot. It may be overlooked, but it's a must.

Elbow and shoulder ache could be either poor technique or dead strings. Are you using poly? Poly tends to be harsher on the joints.

But back on topic: Warm up first and stretch for 15-20 minutes afterwards.

Say Chi Sin Lo 03-05-2013 09:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by will3689 (Post 7253791)
So i have played tennis on and off for about 10 years but only this last couple of years started taking it more seriously- entering tournaments, playing almost every day etc. I am an athletic 23 year old and have always been pretty healthy but this last few months i feel like im 50 something!! My back aches every morning, my elbow hurts for the first 10 minutes of hitting, ive had pain in my shoulder, ive recently pulled my groin so cant play at all now! why is this happening? What do you guys do to prevent aches/ injuries?

It could be just one of those phases where you rack up injuries like they're nothing.

However, at 23 you should NOT be having back aches EVERY morning. I'm 27 and I play anywhere from 5-7 days a week on top of gym time (2-4 days). I had an episode of back spasms that essentially knocked me out for 2months when I was ~24-25, and I went into rehab to strengthen my core.

But to answer your question about preventing injuries, here's what I do:
- Though I play A LOT, I don't underestimate the benefits of adequate rest and recovery. Every half a year or so, I take an extended break from the game (~2-4 weeks). On top of that, it gives my mind a break and study the game and come back with a different perspective.
- Stay flexible, I spend about ~15-20minutes stretching when I'm at the gym.
- Stay strong in the core.
- Lastly, I listen to my body. If something starts to ache, I'd shut it down before it gets worse.

But a bad back at 23 on every morning? I suggest you have it checked out because you should not be getting back problems when you're in your 20's. I did however, and I got it fixed. I suggest you do the same.

will3689 03-05-2013 10:23 PM

Thanks for all the helpful comments people. I do stretch before playing but almost definitely not enough. Just a couple if minutes of dynamic stretching. I do need to get my back sorted out!! I used to do quite a lot of weight training and think I've picked this up from that. Thinking about it there is never a day I do nothing so I probably just need a rest. My racquet is a babolat aero pro drive (the original one) I do have a one handed backhand although its mainly serving that hurts my elbow so could be just bad serving technique

Say Chi Sin Lo 03-05-2013 10:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by will3689 (Post 7253856)
Thanks for all the helpful comments people. I do stretch before playing but almost definitely not enough. Just a couple if minutes of dynamic stretching. I do need to get my back sorted out!! I used to do quite a lot of weight training and think I've picked this up from that. Thinking about it there is never a day I do nothing so I probably just need a rest. My racquet is a babolat aero pro drive (the original one) I do have a one handed backhand although its mainly serving that hurts my elbow so could be just bad serving technique

It's always refreshing to hear someone question their own technique/fitness versus blaming their equipment by default.

Though a lot of people say the Aero Pro Drive line is not elbow friendly (I've never used one, so I can't say from experience).

I don't know what your built is, but big bulky muscles do you no good in tennis. It robs you of your flexibility and places more stress on your muscles. Lastly, I'd strive for joint and muscle balance so nothing is overwhelmed by their counterpart. For example:

Knee joint - The quads common overwhelms the hamstrings (good way to pull a hammy that way :) ). Also, stressed/tight hamstrings is a sure fire way of back problems!
Shoulder - Internal rotators overwhelming the external rotators.
Upper arm - Triceps overwhelming the biceps.

Lastly, rest :)

UCSF2012 03-05-2013 11:45 PM

I think you're not recovering btwn sessions. You're tiring out, your muscles are getting weaker from overuse, and now they gave out.

You must get sugar during long play. Gatorade, Goo, etc. Then, eat right off the court.

ollinger 03-06-2013 06:00 AM

Telling someone he "should not" have back issues at his age is not helpful, because it's very real. A well controlled study in a pediatric journal a decade or two ago assessed spine films in a group of HIGH SCHOOL TENNIS PLAYERS and found markedly increased spinal arthritis (yes, arthritis) compared with age matched cohort of non-tennis players. Tennis is very rough on the back, stretching will not prevent spinal trauma, plenty of pros have quit the tour because of back problems at roughly the same age as the OP, and one should not ignore those types of problems if you have them.

charliefedererer 03-06-2013 06:04 AM

Tennis leads to muscle imbalances.

Your "hitting muscles" get stronger and stronger from all that ball bashing.

Your whole dominant side gets stronger and stronger - pulling your back out of alignment.

To play as much as you do, you need an off court program to continue to play and not be plagued by a series of overuse injuries.

(And yes, you need more rest now, and to build more rest into your program.)


Here is a minimal off court program that should help:
Thrower's Ten Exercises: http://www.muhlenberg.edu/pdf/main/a...throwers10.pdf
Tennis Weight Training - Exercises of Weight Training for Tennis http://optimumtennis.net/tennis-weight-training.htm
Tennis Elbow: Step-By-Step Instructions For Treating Elbow Pain Using A Flexbar (Tyler Twist) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2QQaVfeI4U


You mention you used to do fairly heavy weight training.

To prevent overuse injuries you don't have to "lift heavy". Even fairly minor increases in strength - especially in your non-hitting/non-dominant side muscles - can help prevent overuse injuries.
(Of course if you have the time, or have an offseason, getting even stronger can help build up more of a reserve for the long tennis season.)




Here's a good source if you want a balanced training program that will take more time:
Sports Fitness Advisor Tennis Training Section: http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com...-training.html

charliefedererer 03-06-2013 06:14 AM

You mention shoulder problems as well.

It sounds like you are a good player with overall sound technique, but over time little changes can creep in that can be harming your shoulder.

Are you doing anything that could be helped by reviewing these shoulder videos:

Your serve technique doing more harm than good? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgdXawklcZk

Preventing Rotator Cuff Injury http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTRvxaBMh8s

Rotator cuff injury http://www.tennisresources.com/index...v=1&vidid=3712

charliefedererer 03-06-2013 06:23 AM

Specifically for your back, you need to do a course of back exercises to help you get "over the hump".

These exercises seem rediculously easy to do, but will help get the para-spinal muscles that are tense to stretch out, and help build strength in the tiny back muscles that oppose the action of ones you have "strengthened" from tennis activities.

Your back - like all your muscles - have to be evenly balanced between those that push and those that pull - or else the strong ones will pull your back out of alignment and result in pain.

Slide show: Back exercises in 15 minutes a day http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/back-pain/LB00001_D


Most find that if they are later doing more major exercise like squats that involve the back, that these "ridiculously easy to do" exercises no longer become necessary.
(Most - but not all.)

charliefedererer 03-06-2013 06:26 AM

You play a ton of tennis.

You owe it to yourself to devote 15 minutes to read through the following booklet to see if there are other changes in your regimen you should consider changing:

USTA Recovery in Tennis http://assets.usta.com/assets/1/dps/...%20VERSION.pdf

will3689 03-06-2013 12:42 PM

Wow some really useful advice there. I already do core exercise twice a week and jog 3 times a week but looking at some of the exercises above I need to work more specifically for tennis and concentrate a lot more on stretching. Yeah I really need to improve my serving technique because this is most likely causing the problems in my elbow and shoulder. Again thanks for all advice and the video links

tlm 03-06-2013 01:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by charliefedererer (Post 7254232)
Tennis leads to muscle imbalances.

Your "hitting muscles" get stronger and stronger from all that ball bashing.

Your whole dominant side gets stronger and stronger - pulling your back out of alignment.

To play as much as you do, you need an off court program to continue to play and not be plagued by a series of overuse injuries.

(And yes, you need more rest now, and to build more rest into your program.)


Here is a minimal off court program that should help:
Thrower's Ten Exercises: http://www.muhlenberg.edu/pdf/main/a...throwers10.pdf
Tennis Weight Training - Exercises of Weight Training for Tennis http://optimumtennis.net/tennis-weight-training.htm
Tennis Elbow: Step-By-Step Instructions For Treating Elbow Pain Using A Flexbar (Tyler Twist) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2QQaVfeI4U


You mention you used to do fairly heavy weight training.

To prevent overuse injuries you don't have to "lift heavy". Even fairly minor increases in strength - especially in your non-hitting/non-dominant side muscles - can help prevent overuse injuries.
(Of course if you have the time, or have an offseason, getting even stronger can help build up more of a reserve for the long tennis season.)




Here's a good source if you want a balanced training program that will take more time:
Sports Fitness Advisor Tennis Training Section: http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com...-training.html

Another great post by charlie, to the op follow this advise and you should be fine.

SystemicAnomaly 03-06-2013 01:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by will3689 (Post 7253856)
Thanks for all the helpful comments people. I do stretch before playing but almost definitely not enough. Just a couple if minutes of dynamic stretching. I do need to get my back sorted out!! I used to do quite a lot of weight training and think I've picked this up from that. Thinking about it there is never a day I do nothing so I probably just need a rest. My racquet is a babolat aero pro drive (the original one) I do have a one handed backhand although its mainly serving that hurts my elbow so could be just bad serving technique

Babolat racquets, in general, are bit hard on the arm (shoulder, elbow, wrist). The AeroPro Drive is rather stiff and may not have enough frame shock dampening or enough frame shock isolation to prevent a lot of frame shock from getting to your arm. Stiff strings, like polyester strings, can exacerbate the problem. What string and string tension are you using?

I had some lower back problems in my late 20s and early 30s from weight training. Badminton and, to a lesser degree, tennis added to the problem. I improved my weight lifting techniques/practices and the problem subsided. Have experienced very few lower back problems from my late 30s thru my early 60s (now).

Relinquis 03-06-2013 01:56 PM

awesome advice... was going to ask about recovery, but this has answered a lot of my questions.

any specific routines you guys use after a heavy practice* session or match?



* My practice tends to be harder than most matches.

will3689 03-07-2013 01:37 AM

I do use polyester strings. What strings are recomended to help prevent problems like this? would using a vibration dampner help?
Anyway i had a serving lesson with the club coach yesterday and he reckons my shoulder and elbow problems are down to my serving technique because alot of the power i generate is coming from my shouder and im not using my legs enough to push up.

jonahnaturals 03-07-2013 02:26 AM

I would also look at getting deep tissue work to supplement your stretching. I find that doing both within an hour of a heavy hit can significantly reduce soreness and stiffness the following day. Foam rolling is a great way to simulate deep tissue work - it's free once you get an inexpensive roller, and you can do it anywhere and at any time. Just google "foam roller" and YouTube will show you the way.

Good luck.

SystemicAnomaly 03-07-2013 06:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by will3689 (Post 7256135)
I do use polyester strings. What strings are recomended to help prevent problems like this? would using a vibration dampner help? ...

The Babolat frame with polyester strings is probably not an ideal combination. Stiff frame with inadequate shock reduction/isolation with a very stiff string can be a recipe for arm problems. The vibration dampener will not help much, if at all. It is frame/string shock, not string vibration that stresses the arm.

Look for a softer string, perhaps a synthetic gut (nylon). You might check the Strings forum for some ideas. Another possibility is to go with a polyester/nylon hyrbid setup at a very low tension (below 45 lbs). However, it might be best to avoid polyester altogether with your Babolat frame.

Using more leg drive and other corrections to the serve motion should certainly help. Again, make sure that you are not squeezing the handle too tightly.
.

goober 03-07-2013 06:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by will3689 (Post 7255034)
Wow some really useful advice there. I already do core exercise twice a week and jog 3 times a week but looking at some of the exercises above I need to work more specifically for tennis and concentrate a lot more on stretching. Yeah I really need to improve my serving technique because this is most likely causing the problems in my elbow and shoulder. Again thanks for all advice and the video links

I don't see you mention rest and recovery.

You don't need to play every day. It is not like you are training to be a pro or for a college scholie. Take it easy, listen to your body. Let yourself completely heal and when you start again start slowly and do not play through pain. If your plan is to play 30-40 years more, you need to look at the bigger picture.


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