The Stretching Myth: What to tell your players?

Stretch USPTA ProFor years pre-exercise stretching was done holding tissue in a static position before exercise or competition. Research over recent years has shown that static stretching reduces strength, speed, and power if performed immediately before exercise. Tennis is all about speed, power and direction change and you should help your players develop a dynamic stretching routine to be used prior to every court session. Various studies show a reduction in power of 5-30% when comparing athletic performance after static stretching vs. active dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching occurs when the muscle is stretched during a controlled movement pattern allowing the muscle to be elongated under a controlled lengthening and shortening process. This allows the muscles to be activated throughout the available ROM vs a static hold in one position. Before tennis practice a player shoulder warm up with a dynamic stretching routine for a minimum of 10min but up to 30min. After playing tennis they may benefit from typical static stretching for approximately 5min.

Patrick Weaver