How to Properly warm for Serve

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by bhallic24, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. bhallic24

    bhallic24 Guest

    Interested to see what the best way to go about this is, like the pros do it.

    Do you start trying some serves at 50% power and then work your way up? Are you hitting first serves in warmup or second or a mixture?

    Any stretches for the arms that work well?

    Haven't found a good way to do this and end up double faulting a lot early on in matches.
  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Dec 28, 2008
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    I hit 10 flat serves, maybe 60%.
    Then, 5 topspin second serves, almost match speeds, 80%.
    I'm about ready after hitting groundies for 5 minutes and 10 volleys.
    Everyone warms up differently. There are slow starters, there are fast starters.
    Double faulting is something else, you are not concentrating on getting your second serves IN and where you want them.
  3. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

    Sep 26, 2008
    Central Florida
    I like to do the backscratch shoulder stretch and also stretch my shoulder with my arm in front of my non-dominant shoulder and also with my arm behind my back in the "handcuffed" position.
  4. dangitaaa

    dangitaaa New User

    May 15, 2010
    I start loose by serving balls out w/ medium speed. For ground strokes start with slow pace mini rally, baseline medium pace rally,then fast pace shots. :)
  5. Mighty Matteo

    Mighty Matteo Semi-Pro

    Oct 28, 2010
    I'm a slow starter. I first hit 10 soft slice spin serves, then i hit another 10 a little bit harder, at about 70 percent. Then i finally hit topspin serves. i warm up slice serves first because its easier on the shoulder and the back. After hitting topspin serves, i hit flat serves at about 80%. Then i just hit whatever i feel like and i'm ready to go. so maybe it takes me about 30-50 serves to fully warm up.
  6. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

    Feb 13, 2009
    Most important - do a dynamic warm up so your whole body is ready to serve.

    The serve should involve a great leg push off and tremendous body rotation, as well as the arm bashing.

    Don't risk injury by starting to serve without the leg, back, core and arm muscles all loosened up.

    We now know that most tennis injuries are "overuse injuries" that involve the accumulation of thousands of microscopic tears in muscle, tendon and ligaments.
    Once the muscle are warmed up and loosened up, muscles provide an elastic shock absorber to non-elastic tendons and ligaments.
    (But start serving with the muscles cold, and you risk incurring microscopic tears that may result in a more serious injury over time.)

    Warm Up Exercises For Tennis - The Proper Tennis Warm Up
    Dynamic Warm-Up exercises from the USTA
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  7. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

    Jun 22, 2007
    I always warm up my body first before I serve, preferably with extra clothing to warm up my joints if isn't warm outside already.

    Before hitting a practice serve, I warm up my shoulder by doing arm circles and then figure 8-style shadow serve swings with the racket. I try to stay relaxed and hit a few soft/medium practice serves before cranking up the speed. I'm more likely to stress my shoulder hitting spin serves, so I start with a flat serve during warmup.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  8. spacediver

    spacediver Hall of Fame

    Sep 21, 2009
    Toronto Canada
    arm circles are great for warming up the shoulder joint.
  9. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

    Sep 26, 2008
    Central Florida
    Heating pads also work wonders with helping me loosen up my shoulder.
  10. rk_sports

    rk_sports Hall of Fame

    Mar 19, 2006
    dynamic warmup, shot court rally, regular rally, warm up serves, regular serves, PLAY

    I serve 4-5 slow (30-50%) second serves from a little behind baseline - my logic is that second serve (topspin/kick) usually involve your full swing rather than first serve (flatter) and so warms up all necessary shoulder muscles,
    then gradually increase to full speed 2nd serves (4-5),
    then do regular speed first (flat) serves (5-6)

    Interesting, my friend disagrees with that logic and says its better to start with first serves as the mechanics are simpler on a flat serve versus spin serve

    As for warmup, I generally do some dynamic warmup before hitting warmup rally and then do warm up serves, just like what we see what pros do.. except I do mini court warmup first.
  11. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

    May 10, 2012
    I do laps around the court, sidesteps, crossover steps, high knees, butt kicks until I get a light sweat going.

    After that, I'll do a few easy practice swings for every stroke. After that I'll drop hit an entire basket of balls from the service line.

    After this I'll hit 50% serves just focusing on form and hitting all my directions and slowly warm up into hitting harder and harder.
  12. 3fees

    3fees Legend

    Jun 24, 2010
    If your playing matches, you should warm up at least 30-60 min then rest for 15-30 minutes-then play,,warming up serves hit easy till your stretched out- 75 % max, no point in hitting serves hard till your playing
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  13. rufus_smith

    rufus_smith Professional

    Apr 21, 2011
    LoL, I'm totally different. After stretching and some warmup groundies, I hit about 4 serves and I'm ready. I play matches or practice about 4-5 days a week, pretty much 52 weeks a year. I'm a senior player and additional serves are just more wear and tear that I don't need. I have an "easy on the body" serve motion anyway.
  14. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation G.O.A.T.

    Oct 20, 2006
    Very much agree with the idea of warming everything up before hitting any practice serves. One teaching pro I know has always promoted the ritual of hitting several practice overheads during match warm-ups to get more loosened up for serving - that has always made sense to me.

    Through my "career", one of the most nagging injuries I've ever sustained was a torn abdominal from serving too hard without being effectively warmed up. I could play the rest of my game just fine with plenty of core rotation for my strokes, etc., but hitting a serve brought on that stabbing pain for over a month until I mended. YUCK!

    Now my routine for getting ready to serve includes figure 8's to work in my shoulder, a few very deep knee bends to get my legs ready to bend and drive, and I wake up my abdominals a bit by holding my racquet behind my back with both hands (elbows pointed to the sky) and arching backward slowly and deliberately a few times. This gets those muscles stretching and contracting a little more to prep them for serving. Moderate exercise away from the courts will also promote better health and endurance when it's time to slug and some deliberate stretching right after finishing up can help with recovery big time, at least in my experience.

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