03 July 2009

Yoga and Tennis Injuries

Tennis is a sport that combines strength, endurance and has explosive unpredictable complex patterns. Common injuries that are often associated with recreational tennis are: rotar cuff tendonpathy, carpal tunnel syndrome, tenosynovitis (inflammation of the tendons) and ECRB (tennis elbow); as well as other back and knee injuries.

How can yoga help?

The shortening of muscles and lack of adequate strength is a common cause of tennis-related injuries. This is especially relevant to people with sedentary jobs who may not be accustomed to the rigours of strenuous exercise.

The regular practice of yoga can help strengthen and mobilise joints such as the shoulders, hips and ankles. Many poses, particularly those focusing on balance, help stabilise the ankle and knee joints; whereas, hip-opening poses improve the range of motion in the hip joint. These poses, combined with abdominal strength (uddiyana bandha) and controlled twists, allow the body to move safely in the various directions needed in order to play tennis.

Yoga is the perfect partner for any tennis player looking to stay injury-free. It has positive effects on coordination, balance, flexibility, strength and also allows you to gain a greater awareness of your body and your capabilities; all of this while maintaining a calm, positive approach to life and the game. It is, therefore, no surprise that so many top sportsmen and women are turning to yoga to assist them in their chosen sport.

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