Does having stronger legs and lower body help with wear and tear on joints?

#1
Building leg muscles and having a strong lower body, does it help reduce the wear and tear on the body other than making your muscles feel less fatigued on the day?

I'm talking about the long term effects like impact on joints and bones in older age?
 

Mac33

Professional
#2
I have 21 inch thighs for my 150 pounds so probably not.

For their size they are strong though.

53 and no injuries and play various sports nearly everyday.

I try to take care of my body through using extra quality insoles and shoes and of course diet is a HUGE factor too.
 
#5
It does not have any relevance.
Muscles have no weight-bearing function. Poster Ollinger M.D. told me this.
I think, strong muscles would help controlling the body parts from moving too much and resist the over extensions, yet could result twisting strain on the joints. As well as hold posture and provide more support in movement.


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On pain meds - all contributed matter and anti-matter subject to disclaimer
 
#5
It does not have any relevance.
Muscles have no weight-bearing function. Poster Ollinger M.D. told me this.
I think, strong muscles would help controlling the body parts from moving too much and resist the over extensions, yet could result twisting strain on the joints. As well as hold posture and provide more support in movement.


——————————
On pain meds - all contributed matter and anti-matter subject to disclaimer
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
#6
According to my ortho, maintaining well developed and well balanced leg muscles is of utmost importance when dealing with already compromised knees.
(in my case no ACL, bone on bone, no mcls either knee).

If you are talking knees in particular, focus on strong hamstring and all of the little stabilizer muscles (lots of single leg work)
 

Ramon

Hall of Fame
#8
I believe it does. I have a history of knee soreness from playing tennis, but one of the things that helped it tremendously was doing squats in the gym. Not half squats, and not lunges with light weights, I mean heavy barbell squat to parallel or lower.
 

Raul_SJ

Hall of Fame
#9
I think, strong muscles would help controlling the body parts from moving too much and resist the over extensions, yet could result twisting strain on the joints. As well as hold posture and provide more support in movement.
I believe it does. I have a history of knee soreness from playing tennis, but one of the things that helped it tremendously was doing squats in the gym. Not half squats, and not lunges with light weights, I mean heavy barbell squat to parallel or lower.
I was diagnosed with knee osteo-arthritis. My orthopedist told me to strengthen the quadraceps and so I had wrongly inferred stronger muscles reduced the impact on the knee joint. But I was corrected on this forum... I am guessing that strengthening the muscles may lead to more stability and possibly less pain; but again, that is very different than directly reducing the load on the joints.

Stregthening muscles does not alter the vertical pounding the menicus and joint surfaces take when you run; muscles do not support weight. Take up non-impact forms of exercise and keep the running to an absolute minimum.
The Doctor said that strengthening the quadriceps muscles reduces the impact on the knees. Isn't that true?
Not true. One is always reminded in anatomy class in med school that muscles have no weight supporting function. If anything, more developed muscles add weight that increase the load on the joints.
 
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Ramon

Hall of Fame
#10
I was diagnosed with knee osteo-arthritis. My orthopedist told me to strengthen the quadraceps and so I had wrongly inferred stronger muscles reduced the impact on the knee joint. But I was corrected on this forum... I am guessing that strengthening the muscles may lead to more stability and less twisting and possibly less pain; but again, that is very different than directly reducing the load on the joints.
I'm not going to get into the physics of muscle, joints, and anatomy. That's why we have doctors and scientists. I'm going by experience. Weightlifters and bodybuilders will all tell you that doing squats helps with your knees as long as you do them properly. They do squats for a living and go by what their body tells them, and most of them obviously have very strong knees. The majority of physicians I talk to don't even know what squats and proper form are. They look at the literature and see things like shearing force on the knee from certain movements and conclude that your best bet is to avoid the movements altogether. Kind of like when you walk into the office with tennis elbow and they tell you not to play tennis. Yet, when a sports medicine doctor who worked with athletes from Penn State examined my knees, he told me to do rehab, which consisted of doing a squat with your back against a rubber ball on a wall, and it worked. Think about it. If the school of avoidance is correct, the ultimate goal is to use your knees as little as possible. That means not doing exercises in the gym where you bend your knees with any kind of load. Heck, you might as well quit tennis too because the pounding causes the pain in the first place. I kind of think if you do that, your knees will cry out in pain the first time you do anything that requires exertion because you never gave your body a chance to adapt to higher stress loads. Then when that happens, the doctor will tell you he was right!
 
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Raul_SJ

Hall of Fame
#11
I'm not going to get into the physics of muscle, joints, and anatomy. That's why we have doctors and scientists. I'm going by experience. Weightlifters and bodybuilders will all tell you that doing squats helps with your knees as long as you do them properly. They do squats for a living and go by what their body tells them, and most of them obviously have very strong knees. The majority of physicians I talk to don't even know what squats and proper form are.
The conventional advice from Doctors is to avoid high impact activities when there is a pre-existing condition. The key is pre-existing condition. Some evidence shows that marathoners with healthy knees tend to benefit from running -- stronger bones. But everything goes out the window when a condition develops and the advice is to avoid the high impact.

Are squats (body weight only) considered high impact?

I am doing some squats (body weight only) and I don't feel any worse. But I am not going down all the way... Also jogging uphill (less knee joint impact).
 
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Ramon

Hall of Fame
#12
Ramon, post: 12242556, member: 208334"]I'm not going to get into the physics of muscle, joints, and anatomy. That's why we have doctors and scientists. I'm going by experience. Weightlifters and bodybuilders will all tell you that doing squats helps with your knees as long as you do them properly. They do squats for a living and go by what their body tells them, and most of them obviously have very strong knees. The majority of physicians I talk to don't even know what squats and proper form are.

The conventional advice from Doctors is to avoid high impact activities when there is a pre-existing condition. The key is pre-existing condition. Some evidence shows that marathoners with healthy knees tend to benefit from running -- stronger bones. But everything goes out the window when a condition develops and the advice is to avoid

Are squats (body weight only) considered high impact?

I am doing some squats (body weight only) and I don't feel any worse. But I am not going down all the way... Also jogging uphill (less knee joint impact).
Well, when I was only 31 I was experiencing very painful knees from playing tennis. It was so painful I had to stop playing. By the time I was 34, my knees were feeling pain just from running on grass or climbing steps. Was that a pre-existing condition? Well, if it was, then I violated that rule because I got out of that situation by doing squats. Now I'm 53 and I'm squatting over 300 pounds at least once or twice a week, and I'm going to keep doing them until I can't. The body has a way of adapting to progressively higher loads. If you never give it a chance to adapt, it won't happen.
 

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
#14
I don't think so. The pounding on ankles, knees, hips, and back depends more on the surface, the shoes, the biomechanics of your motion, and your weight. Losing 10-20% of your BMI and tending to the other issues will do much more than having stronger legs. Increasing my mountain biking to 2000 miles a year has made my legs much stronger, but a long match on hard courts does not hurt any less on the joints. Good shoes and softer surfaces do make a big difference.

Edited to add: just wrote a review of a new shoe that is working well for me:
https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...od-for-reduced-impact-less-joint-pain.616016/
 
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dman72

Hall of Fame
#15
Correct form prevents injury and damage to joints.

Yoga will teach you how to move efficiently .
It can help but not prevent. Especially on hard courts, the twisting and torquing on knees and hips is inherently harmful to joints regardless of how Federer like your movement is.

I was having major pain in my hips going back 6 or 7 years. I worked on flexibility and it didn't help. I would wake up the morning after matches struggling to walk from hip stiffness and pain.

I started doing squats and the situation improved dramatically. I have more meat on my hips and behind now, and I believe that muscle supports the area and takes more of the pounding.
 

dman72

Hall of Fame
#16
I don't think so. The pounding on ankles, knees, hips, and back depends more on the surface, the shoes, the biomechanics of your motion, and your weight. Losing 10-20% of your BMI and tending to the other issues will do much more than having stronger legs. Increasing my mountain biking to 2000 miles a year has made my legs much stronger, but a long match on hard courts does not hurt any less on the joints. Good shoes and softer surfaces do make a big difference.

Edited to add: just wrote a review of a new shoe that is working well for me:
https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...od-for-reduced-impact-less-joint-pain.616016/

Mountain biking is not the nearly the same movement as tennis. Doing squats or hex bar deadlifts will help your hip pain more than mountain biking. Personal experience.
 
#17
I have 21 inch thighs for my 150 pounds so probably not.

For their size they are strong though.

53 and no injuries and play various sports nearly everyday.

I try to take care of my body through using extra quality insoles and shoes and of course diet is a HUGE factor too.
what insoles are these?
 
#18
It can help but not prevent. Especially on hard courts, the twisting and torquing on knees and hips is inherently harmful to joints regardless of how Federer like your movement is.

I was having major pain in my hips going back 6 or 7 years. I worked on flexibility and it didn't help. I would wake up the morning after matches struggling to walk from hip stiffness and pain.

I started doing squats and the situation improved dramatically. I have more meat on my hips and behind now, and I believe that muscle supports the area and takes more of the pounding.
Yoga done properly builds intense strength as well as flexibility. Plus ballet and dance classes take strength, balance and flexibility , plus intense coordination , especially as a man lifting your partner .
 

dman72

Hall of Fame
#19
Yoga done properly builds intense strength as well as flexibility. Plus ballet and dance classes take strength, balance and flexibility , plus intense coordination , especially as a man lifting your partner .
What is "intense" strength vs just plain old strength?

I don't knock yoga, it definitely has it's place in tennis as well as general life for multiple reasons, but let's not exaggerate its benefits beyond those of strength training.

Exercise/health dogma isn't helpful to anyone.
 

dman72

Hall of Fame
#21
The conventional advice from Doctors is to avoid high impact activities when there is a pre-existing condition. The key is pre-existing condition. Some evidence shows that marathoners with healthy knees tend to benefit from running -- stronger bones. But everything goes out the window when a condition develops and the advice is to avoid the high impact.

Are squats (body weight only) considered high impact?

I am doing some squats (body weight only) and I don't feel any worse. But I am not going down all the way... Also jogging uphill (less knee joint impact).
Squats do not put repeated impact on the joints like jumping rope or running. You are putting a LOAD on your joints, which has it's own risks, but the point is to start light, have proper technique, and progress slowly and safely. You should start with a weight you can go all the way down with to get maximum benefit...because you are effectively increasing your hip flexibility at the same time as building strength through the movement. Again, make sure you are doing the squat correctly. Many places on the internet to see proper form. There should be almost no shearing force on your knees if done correctly.

I do hex bar deadlifts as an alternative to squats and traditional deadlifts. It splits the difference between movements, and takes the direct load off the spine. There are high level athletic trainers who say this is the most important exercise to both gauge and improve performance in sports. Do some research on it.

For general strength and benefits to tennis, I don't see the point in going much beyond 300 lbs at my height and weight (6'1 180). It's okay to push yourself to a certain level,but what is the end goal? To have a decent looking lower body that is relatively strong and protected from injury. I'm around 260 hex bar now and progressing slowly, doing sets of 3x3, 3x4, then 3x5, then I add 5lbs and drop down reps.

Will probably just stop at 300 and increase total reps or sets.
 
#22
What is "intense" strength vs just plain old strength?

I don't knock yoga, it definitely has it's place in tennis as well as general life for multiple reasons, but let's not exaggerate its benefits beyond those of strength training.

Exercise/health dogma isn't helpful to anyone.
It has many benefits beyond strength training, mental and physical for example.

Strength from a gym is fairly easy really if you are willing to put in regular workouts. The mental and physical effort required to do intermediate or advanced yoga is far harder mentally than gym work. That is what I mean by intense. Have you progressed beyond beginners Stretchy classes? Few men do.
 
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Raul_SJ

Hall of Fame
#24
Squats do not put repeated impact on the joints like jumping rope or running. You are putting a LOAD on your joints, which has it's own risks, but the point is to start light, have proper technique, and progress slowly and safely. You should start with a weight you can go all the way down with to get maximum benefit...because you are effectively increasing your hip flexibility at the same time as building strength through the movement. Again, make sure you are doing the squat correctly. Many places on the internet to see proper form. There should be almost no shearing force on your knees if done correctly.
I was diagnosed with knee osteo-arthritis. Orthopedist gave me the green light. Told me to do basically whatever I want but listen to my body.

I don't use any weights on squats and dont go all the way down. Similarly, I use a towel when doing the yoga heel sit.

 

Ramon

Hall of Fame
#26
Probably less intense than a sprinter, or sprint cycling.
Comparing Strongman to Sprinting or Sprint Cycling is like comparing apples and oranges. There's really no point in making a comparison between completely different sports.

BTW, it's well known that the best sprinters are doing squats. How many of them are doing ballet and yoga?
 
#27
Comparing Strongman to Sprinting or Sprint Cycling is like comparing apples and oranges. There's really no point in making a comparison between completely different sports.

BTW, it's well known that the best sprinters are doing squats. How many of them are doing ballet and yoga?
You are doing many variations of squats in yoga and dance.?
 
#28
Comparing Strongman to Sprinting or Sprint Cycling is like comparing apples and oranges. There's really no point in making a comparison between completely different sports.

BTW, it's well known that the best sprinters are doing squats. How many of them are doing ballet and yoga?
Thus defining intensity is difficult and subjective. But I have done thirty five years in the gym which I find easy and I am not stretched. Personal experience.
 

Ramon

Hall of Fame
#29
Thus defining intensity is difficult and subjective. But I have done thirty five years in the gym which I find easy and I am not stretched. Personal experience.
If lifting weights is so easy what are your weight lifting accomplishments? I'm not saying I have impressive accomplishments either, because I don't, but I don't say something is easy if I haven't mastered it. It's like me saying I can run a mile in under 10 minutes... geez running is easy!
 
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#30
If lifting weights is so easy what are your weight lifting accomplishments? I'm not saying I have impressive accomplishments either, because I don't, but I don't say something is easy if I haven't mastered it. It's like me saying I can run a mile in under 10 minutes... geez running is easy!
I am not a weight lifter, but lift weights.

I have lifted weights since I was 16 when the army PE instructors allowed us to . It was only a means to be strong enough to do whatever sport I wished. Achieved 100kgs in rows , deadline, squats, benchs and 50kgs for arms and walking lunges. Never had any interest in going any further so just idled along with medium weight, therefore easy, weights are just to keep a minimum level of fitness. I like to do other things including tennis to stretch myself.
 

dman72

Hall of Fame
#31
I was diagnosed with knee osteo-arthritis. Orthopedist gave me the green light. Told me to do basically whatever I want but listen to my body.

I don't use any weights on squats and dont go all the way down. Similarly, I use a towel when doing the yoga heel sit.

You are not getting optimal results not going all the way down in squats, and actually may be putting more pressure on you knees by stopping at some mid point. If you are going to do squats like that, you shouldn't add weight, because you will hurt your knees. But, if you do squats with full range of motion and start using just say, the bar, you will start to see benefits.
 

Ramon

Hall of Fame
#32
You are not getting optimal results not going all the way down in squats, and actually may be putting more pressure on you knees by stopping at some mid point. If you are going to do squats like that, you shouldn't add weight, because you will hurt your knees. But, if you do squats with full range of motion and start using just say, the bar, you will start to see benefits.
I agree. I think the idea that half squats are better for your knees than full squats is one of the biggest myths out there. When you are at the bottom of a half squat, all the weight is applied to your knees and you suddenly put on the brakes...ouch! That's why the half squat doesn't work your butt. It's all legs. At the bottom of a full squat, the weight is distributed between your knees and your hips, and your hips are built to take that kind of stress. Going down to parallel or below will take half the pressure off your knees and work your glutes at the same time. BTW the ladies love tight glutes! So save your knees and get more dates at the same time! That's a win-win!
 

moonballs

Hall of Fame
#33
Probably less intense than a sprinter, or sprint cycling.
You sure? If you pick a time interval, say 10 sec like the world record of 100m, and measure the energy output of a power lifter doing dealift of a weight he can do 5 or 6 reps within the 10sec, I suspect he will have output way more energy than the sprinter.

Of course if we compare the energy output within the time frame of a single lift, say 2-3 sec, the power lifter will beat the sprinter by hug margins.
 
#34
You sure? If you pick a time interval, say 10 sec like the world record of 100m, and measure the energy output of a power lifter doing dealift of a weight he can do 5 or 6 reps within the 10sec, I suspect he will have output way more energy than the sprinter.

Of course if we compare the energy output within the time frame of a single lift, say 2-3 sec, the power lifter will beat the sprinter by hug margins.
Who is fitter, a marathon runner or a power lifter, a table tennis player or formula 1 driver. Subjective.
 

Raul_SJ

Hall of Fame
#36
Squats do not put repeated impact on the joints like jumping rope or running. You are putting a LOAD on your joints, which has it's own risks, but the point is to start light, have movement. Again, make sure you are doing the squat correctly. Many places on the internet to see proper form. Tp
Point taken regarding half squats... With regard to load vs impact, I know that jogging places about 3-4 times body weight on the knees with every step. It is high impact.

Not familiar with difference between load and impact in terms of effects on the knee joint cartilage. I am guessing that a single bodyweight full squat places less stress on the knees than a running step...At least that's the way it feels when I do full squat. Feel it more in my butt and thigh than the knee...

I am guessing that one squat plus 2x added weight might be about the same as running in terms of forces on knee joint.
 
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Ramon

Hall of Fame
#37
I am guessing that one squat plus 2x added weight might be about the same as running in terms of forces on knee joint.
It's hard to say which one puts more force on the knee joint because it's a different kind of force. One is impact while the other is a shearing force. What I can say is that if I play a long tennis match on hard courts with poorly cushioned shoes, my knees feel worse after the match, but on a typical leg day when I do squats my knees actually feel better at the end of my workout. They might feel a little tinge when I'm warming up, but they feel really good towards the end, and I typically get to the neighborhood of 300 pounds. It should feel better because your body is adapting to the stress, which is definitely a good thing. I don't really think it's doing much to adapt to the impact of running. If your back and knees don't feel better at the end of your squat workout, you're probably doing it wrong.
 
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Raul_SJ

Hall of Fame
#38
According to this study squats are just as damaging to knee cartilage. Although the subjects of the study performed frequent knee bending rather than properly executed squats. But their conclusion for those with existing knee issues is to avoid squats.

What is “Squat Lift Knee Arthritis’? Well, one common gym activity that we see cause injury is the weight lifting squat. Usually, it will cause low back disc injuries, as carrying hundreds of pounds on your back and flexing your spine can be a bad thing (who knew?) This week a paper was published showing a connection between knee bending activities and cartilage loss. The study took 115 middle aged people (45-55 years old) with no knee pain and no obvious evidence of arthritis on x-ray. This was part of the Osteoarthritis Initiative database, so serial MRI studies and extensive questionnaires were available. Those study participants who reported frequent knee bending were about three and a half times more likely to develop a cartilage problem, usually under the knee cap (OR 3.09, 95%CI 1.22-7.79). The increase in risk was higher in subjects involved in more than two knee bending activities. At 3-year follow-up, individuals reporting frequent knee bending were about four times more likely to show progression of cartilage damage (OR 4.12, 95%CI 1.27-13.36) and abnormalities in their meniscus (OR 4.34, 95%CI 1.16-16.32). The upshot? If you have early arthritis, you may do well to avoid activities like squats or knee bending activities!
 
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Ramon

Hall of Fame
#39
According to this study squats are just as damaging to knee cartilage. Although the subjects of the study performed frequent knee bending rather than properly executed squats. But their conclusion for those with existing knee issues is to avoid squats.

What is “Squat Lift Knee Arthritis’? Well, one common gym activity that we see cause injury is the weight lifting squat. Usually, it will cause low back disc injuries, as carrying hundreds of pounds on your back and flexing your spine can be a bad thing (who knew?) This week a paper was published showing a connection between knee bending activities and cartilage loss. The study took 115 middle aged people (45-55 years old) with no knee pain and no obvious evidence of arthritis on x-ray. This was part of the Osteoarthritis Initiative database, so serial MRI studies and extensive questionnaires were available. Those study participants who reported frequent knee bending were about three and a half times more likely to develop a cartilage problem, usually under the knee cap (OR 3.09, 95%CI 1.22-7.79). The increase in risk was higher in subjects involved in more than two knee bending activities. At 3-year follow-up, individuals reporting frequent knee bending were about four times more likely to show progression of cartilage damage (OR 4.12, 95%CI 1.27-13.36) and abnormalities in their meniscus (OR 4.34, 95%CI 1.16-16.32). The upshot? If you have early arthritis, you may do well to avoid activities like squats or knee bending activities!
What's a knee bend? If you ask a typical 50 yr old to do a knee bend, what do you think it's going to look like? The answer is it's going to look like a half squat! If you showed them how to squat all the way down without weight, they couldn't do it! They would fall on their a$$es! The doctors or scientists who did this study obviously had no background in weight lifting. They took a group of 45-55 year old people, told them to do knee bends, and they assumed it was the same thing as doing a proper squat in the gym. Wrong! On top of doing the movement with the wrong form, they are doing it without a load that would force adaptation. So they are doing a movement that causes shear force on their knees and doesn't do anything to stimulate their bodies to adapt to higher loads. Not good.
 
#40
So old people over 25 shouldn't exercise then?

Most young people in the gym show off with poor form. Cannot be bothered to do it properly as this would be boring and isn't cool.
 
#42
I'm currently recovering from a bad meniscus tear and sporting a new ACL. The number 1 thing my surgeon wants to see before he clears me to play is my quad and hamstring strength. So I think that is telling as to how important strength is for the joints.
 
#43
Building leg muscles and having a strong lower body, does it help reduce the wear and tear on the body other than making your muscles feel less fatigued on the day?

I'm talking about the long term effects like impact on joints and bones in older age?
yes.
being able to stay flexed longer in an athletic position, allows you to use your legs like springs... energy/impact of ground reaction forces get dissipated to you muscles vs. through your skeleton.
if you don't have the strength and endurance to stay flexed, then tendency is stay 'lock kneed', and the impact of movement is directly transmitted through your bones.. resulting in wear and tear at the joints.
that's why you're more likely to get injured and tired... your form (think athletic squat) breaks down and you start "standing upright", then try to move suddenly from that "upright" position.

i don't think you need to build volume of muscle (i think dense wiry strength is better as there is a high strength to weight ratio - think gymnast).... but the main thing, is can you support your weight running, splitting, hopping, etc... for a 2-3h match. at what point do you start getting "lazy" and standing upright?
 
#44
I'm currently recovering from a bad meniscus tear and sporting a new ACL. The number 1 thing my surgeon wants to see before he clears me to play is my quad and hamstring strength. So I think that is telling as to how important strength is for the joints.
i had an allograph about 20y ago... leg strength atrophies alot from lack of use for the 9-12mos you're doing nothing with that leg. i recall working out like crazy prior to my surgery... i was (back) squatting easily 315x10reps back then.
 
#45
One other thing that I don't think has been mentioned is HOW you move and run. Landing and being light on your feet and having good posture during athletic movements can also help.
agreed, alot of folks, in old age, focus on strength... ie. to withstand the eventual mistep they will take....
instead, better off working on flexibility and balance... to avoid mistepping in the first place.
all 3 (strength, flex, bal,...and endurance to sustain for say a 2-3h match) are ideal.
 
#46
What's a knee bend? If you ask a typical 50 yr old to do a knee bend, what do you think it's going to look like? The answer is it's going to look like a half squat! If you showed them how to squat all the way down without weight, they couldn't do it! They would fall on their a$$es! The doctors or scientists who did this study obviously had no background in weight lifting. They took a group of 45-55 year old people, told them to do knee bends, and they assumed it was the same thing as doing a proper squat in the gym. Wrong! On top of doing the movement with the wrong form, they are doing it without a load that would force adaptation. So they are doing a movement that causes shear force on their knees and doesn't do anything to stimulate their bodies to adapt to higher loads. Not good.
100% aagree, some doctors, as educated as they are,... often can't give proper functional advice... in fact several books talk about doctors having done more harm than good over the last century.
So old people over 25 shouldn't exercise then?

Most young people in the gym show off with poor form. Cannot be bothered to do it properly as this would be boring and isn't cool.
IMO, working on proper range of motion is better than doing half squats to build strength.
instead, lets say you build alot of strength doing half squat movements,... you're actually fooling yourself because your strength is concentrated in a such a narrow band of movement (also why i like movements like dumbbels, kettle bells, single leg squats, etc...).
BUT, when you fall, mistep,... and generally get injuried, it's because you've moved well beyond your "strong" band of movement
problem with working on range of motion... ego! because you got 21y olds squatting 3 plates (most have crap technique anyway - but can ignore it claiming, "3 plates, bruh").. and here we are 40+ working with a pilates bar, trying to extend our range (which is hard to do if your range of motion sucks).
 
#47
Answer to OP - Yes, No, Maybe.:D Your legs will do most of the work on the tennis courts. Everything else is along for the ride until you are ready to hit the ball. You do not have to be strong above the waist compared to below the waist. Think soccer player vs NFL linebacker. The less overall mass you carry, the less you will stress out your lower leg joints. Most male pros have well developed legs, not torsos.
 
#48
i had an allograph about 20y ago... leg strength atrophies alot from lack of use for the 9-12mos you're doing nothing with that leg. i recall working out like crazy prior to my surgery... i was (back) squatting easily 315x10reps back then.
Things are different now. I did a cadaver and they start you at PT very soon after surgery. I’m doing almost full weights in the gym now and straight line running at full speed after 3 months. I won’t be playing singles again until 6 months but I see the light at the end of the tunnel.
 
#49
I almost exclusively work on legs at the gym. I make sure I get every part of the legs including hip ab/adductors and shin muscles. If you have access to a gym but are limited on time, then I would focus primarily on legs. After a few months at the gym I actually stopped wearing knee sleeves for tennis. I think leg workouts help because improved muscle quality will help lessen shock to the joints and tendons and also correct any muscle imbalances you may have. I also think that improved muscle endurance would probably help against injury because injury usually happens after muscles have been overly fatigued.
 
#50
I think it is important to also have a bit of flexibility work as well and also to work the torso and back.

If you have really strong tight legs/lower body with little flexibility and your upper body and back is weak, then if you are lunging for a ball or you may tweak your back.
 
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