Should I stretch before or after I play?

For years pre-exercise stretching was done holding a muscle in a single position for 30 seconds or a minute before exercise or competition. Medical research in the last 10 years has shown that such “static” stretching may however not be the best for our on-court performance. In studies static stretching before sport participation actually reduces strength, speed, and power if performed immediately before exercise.Stretch Player We recommend that before playing tennis you skip the static stretches and instead perform a more dynamic routine such as a light jog with high knees and gentle leg swings while holding the net or fence. (Many of these will be demonstrated on our facebook page or embedded videos). Try to get in at least ten minutes of a dynamic warm up. After you play is still a good time for a static, slow stretch. That helps keep the muscles from tightening up after a long three setter. So to put it into practice, try to get to the court about 10-15 minutes early. Do your “dynamic” warm including 5 minutes of gentle cardio like jogging the perimeter of the court forward, sidestepping and backward and then do some hip pendulums, walking high knees, standing “washing machines” and some gentle air swings mirroring 10-20 forehands, backhands and serves. Then it is time to play. After you play try to coordinate 10-15 minutes for a cool down stretch. The stretches should be “static” stretches held for at least 30 -60 seconds per muscle. Try to mix in at least 5 upper body and 5 lower body stretches per time. Check out our other blogs, videos and facebook page to learn more.

Patrick Weaver DPT

Preventing Skin Cancer 101

Skin-Care is a crucial part of your on and off the court health care.  It is easy to overlook it’s importance but your skin is crucial to maintaining good hydration (it keeps you from drying out), helping with detoxification and elimination of toxins(during sweating) and of course it is hormonally active (sun exposure helps you form the bio-hormone vitamin D).  However prolonged skin exposure to the sun can result in injury.  Thus prevention is key.  Here are some quick tips to remember.

  • Prevention:

–Avoid Excess Exposure

  • Sunscreen
  • Clothing
  • Scheduling
  • Location: Court Side

–Internal Sunscreen: 20-30% Cancer Risk

  • Quit Smoking
  • Avoid excess oxidizers
  • Fill up with the good stuff: Colorful fruits and veggies

–Yearly Doctor Skin Check

–Monthly Home Skin Check

Explosive Power from the Ground Up



Explosive power is important to any athlete and a tennis player is no different. Plyometric exercises are a great way to work on building power but if not done with correct form they can easily lead to injury. Today we will look at the box jump. The takeoff and landing positions are just as important as the actual movement itsell, but if not done with correct form they can easily lead to injury.When preparing to take off move into a partial squat keeping your knees out and not allowing your weight to transfer too far forward. At the landing on top of the box you want to land with knees bent, knees out and not allowing your knees to get out in front of your toes.Arm swing may be utilized to drastically increase the power of your entire jump.Perform 20-30 nice controlled reps 2-3 times a week.

Core Strength and A Killer Forehand



Power comes from the core and let’s face it we could all use a little work there. All too often the recreational player tries to create power with their arms or wrist and injury results. Here at FIT we believe that sustainable and reproducible power in your groundstrokes come from appropriately using the kinetic chain. So load into your feet, calves and hips and then unload through the shot. In today’s tip, Patrick highlights a great exercise to practice this loading technique. All you need is an elastic band. So hook the band onto a sturdy fence post or the like and the hold the band handles in both hands, while facing perpendicular to the band, stand far enough from the post to create tension and then rotate from one side to the other. Repeat 25 times per side and perform 4-5 times per week.