PLEASE NOTE: The medical opinions in USTA.com's Ask the High Performance Lab are responses intended for the average player. Please consult with your primary physician before beginning any new exercise program.
The answers to this week’s "Ask the Expert" column come from Scott Riewald, PhD. Dr. Riewald is the USTA Administrator of Sport Science. Dr. Riewald and the Sport Science staff work with Coaching Education to provide information to the coaches of top American players through seminars, workshops and newsletters.
|Scott works closely with the Coaching Education and Strength and Conditioning staff within High Performance, as well as the USTA Sport Science Committee, to collect and disseminate information related to sport science and tennis. Scott is also a Certifie© USTA|
Q: I read on Webmd.com that USTA put out a booklet on warm-up exercises. Where can I get this?
-- Gail Pritchett, Suwanee, GA
Dr. Riewald: The USTA has produced a DVD on Dynamic Tennis Warm-ups in conjunction with Human Kinetics. This DVD outlines the importance of a dynamic warm-up for tennis players and presents 30 different exercises, as part of three warm-up routines, that can be incorporated into an effective warm-up.
You can also download dynamic warm-up exercise descriptions, as well as other strength and conditioning exercises, from the USTA Player Development website. These exercise descriptions can be found under the Sport Science - Strength and Conditioning link.
Q: It seems that tennis players are jump roping more and more, prior to a match or as part of regular training. Talk about the benefits of jump roping as it relates to tennis.
-- Michael Basha, DO, FCCP, Fort Gratiot, MI
Dr. Riewald: Jumping rope can be used by tennis players to achieve a number of effects. First, it is a pretty good general warm-up exercise, elevating body temperature and getting a player ready for tennis.
Second, it is a good low-level plyometric exercise that can help build leg strength and power. As with any exercise, it is possible to overdo a good thing, so be careful not to rush into doing too much jumping rope too soon.
Jumping rope is also an impact “sport” and can cause wear and tear on the legs/ knees and back. When possible, do the jumping rope on a clay court, grass, or another “soft surface” – try to avoid hard courts or concrete. The harder the surface the greater the load the legs and back will experience.
Players with leg or back injuries should also be sure to exercise caution when starting a jump rope program and do not jump rope if it causes pain.
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