Here is a different approach at addressing one of the top injuries related to playing tennis. The three common types of backhand strokes are theone-hand topspin stroke, the two-handed topspin stroke, and the slicethat is best achieved as a one-handed stroke).The most popular shot now among advanced players is the topspin stroke. Before buying all those braces and straps to help mask the injuries, this article is designed to look at an entirely different view on injuries and treatments.
Tennis elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis) is a common injury associated with weak wrist extensors that would normally help with deceleration during a backhand tennis swing.
As the tennis ball is approaching with increased velocity (100 mph+), the amount of force used by the wrist muscles would need to work with the rotator cuff muscles and core muscles in an effort to absorb the balls speed and be able to recoil the eccentrically decelerating muscles into a backhand return.
You must always use the entire body and not the arm to return the shot; a common mistake used by players,
Faulty stroke mechanics will need to be corrected by instructors and implemented by the player, but a true understanding of the kinetic chain from the axis of the shoulder down to the grip of the racquet would need to be assessed from a biomechanical evaluation.
Hyper extension of the wrist is subjectively taught differently from instructor to instructor but the main muscles responsible for absorbing the energy from the speed of the ball are the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis and Longus.
Which muscles aren’t working? Do you even know which muscles are being used excessively and which muscles are not participating enough? A Muscle Activation Techniques Specialist (M.A.T.) can test neurological weakness and activate the imbalances throughout the entire kinetic chain.
Do braces and straps help? Yes and No. Any form of support will help to stabilize a repetitive injury but will not correct the problems associated with inflamed tendons or muscular strains.
Core muscles as well as hip stabilizers are also major components in a swing and will be addressed in futures articles related to Back Pain, Shoulder Pain, Knee Pain and Ankle Pain related to tennis injuries.
Stop by the Personal Training Department, and set up a FREE Assessment of MAT and see which muscles are not working and how to activate them within a session and increase power in your swing and reduce injuries.