Exciting times with the Championships in Wimbledon! So much tennis to watch, many tennis fans around, maybe the best time of the year in SW19?
From watching tennis live or on TV, you might have noticed how the top players do multi-dimensional movements on court. They need to be strong and flexible, and also have the ability to keep their focus for a long period of time.
I have a passion for Yoga for Sports and my favourite sport is tennis. If you are playing tennis you will benefit from the following in your physical yoga practice:
- Stretch hamstrings and increase flexibility in hips and back to help the fast lunging, swinging and twisting on court
- Increase leg strength to build more stamina and sense of steadiness on court
- Lengthen and increase flexibility in the spine to improve rotation and racket speed in groundstrokes
- Open chest and shoulder region to counterbalance the action of the groundstrokes
- Improve full body coordination to help the precise timing when hitting the ball
- Develop strength and length on both sides of the body to counterbalance what happens on court
- Tune in to the springiness that is naturally in the body to allow force to travel from the feet up
Below are suggestions to yoga postures targeting what is mentioned above. Some of them counterbalance movements on court, some of them enhance these movements, and some of the postures do both.
- Downward-Facing Dog: to open shoulder and back, and stretch back of legs
- Balancing Warrior: to stretch hip flexors and improve balance
- Locust Pose: to open the chest and shoulders, and strengthen muscles in arms, legs and back
- Chair Pose: to create space throughout the ankle and knee joint, and between vertebrae, and to stabilise lower spine
- Plank Pose: to work on the serratus anterior – stabilising shoulders and helping for deeper and lower breaths into the lungs
- Warrior II: to strengthen legs, open hips, chest and upper back, as well as develop balance
- Tree Pose: to improve balance and coordination, and open hips
- Half Moon Pose: to improve coordination and sense of balance, plus stretch and strengthen lower and upper body
- Revolved Belly: to stretch muscles around the spine and increase circulation to the spine
- Lord of the Fishes: to keep spine, hips and shoulder joints flexible
- Pretzel Pose: to stretch the piriformis
These are postures I regularly include in my Yoga for Sports classes. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like to see what yoga can do for your tennis! I hope you will enjoy this year’s tennis action in Wimbledon 🎾