Racket sports like squash, padel, tennis, and badminton are dynamic and exhilarating, demanding agility, speed, and precision. A proper warm-up is essential to perform at your best and reduce the risk of injury. Our physiotherapist Kaylee has tailored a list of the best warm-ups for racket sports. These exercises prepare your body for the dynamic movements, ensuring you’re game-ready.
Dynamic Leg Stretches can enhance your fitness routine by improving flexibility, increasing blood flow to muscles, and reducing the risk of injury. Incorporating them into your warm-up regimen can help you move more freely and comfortably.
Leg swings offer a quick and effective way to enhance leg flexibility and mobility. Incorporating leg swings into your warm-up routine can improve your range of motion, reduce muscle tightness, and ultimately enhance your overall performance during workouts. This can lead to a more enjoyable and compelling game.
Stand beside a wall for support.
Swing one leg forward and backward, gradually increasing the range.
Do 10-15 swings on each leg.
For further guidance watch this video demonstrating proper technique for leg swings.
Side Leg Swings:
Face the wall, holding it for support.
Swing your leg sideways across your body and then out to the side.
Repeat 10-15 times on each leg.
For further guidance watch this video demonstrating proper technique for side leg swings.
In racket sports like tennis, badminton, and squash, shoulders play a pivotal role in generating power and accuracy in your shots.
Warming up your shoulders effectively before a game or practice session is crucial to reduce the risk of strain and potential injuries.
A proper shoulder warm-up routine increases blood flow to the muscles, making them more supple and responsive. This enhances your performance on the court and ensures that your shoulders can withstand the demands of the game, allowing you to enjoy your racket sports sessions without the worry of discomfort or injury.
Extend your arms at shoulder height and make small circles, gradually increasing the size.
Do this for 30 seconds, then reverse the direction.
For further guidance watch this video demonstrating proper technique for arm circles.
With a resistance band, pull it apart while squeezing your shoulder blades together.
Do 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps.
For further guidance watch this video demonstrating proper technique for band pull aparts.
Planks and side planks are highly effective core-strengthening exercises that provide numerous benefits. These exercises help improve core stability, essential for maintaining proper posture and balance during various activities, including sports and daily tasks.
A strong core also enhances power and performance in lifting, running, and even racket sports. Moreover, planks and side planks engage multiple muscle groups, not just the core, leading to a more toned and resilient body.
Hold a forearm plank, ensuring your body forms a straight line.
Hold for 30 seconds to a minute.
For further guidance watch this video on proper technique when doing a plank.
Transition into a side plank, balancing on one forearm and the side of your foot.
Hold for 30 seconds on each side.
For further guidance watch this video on how to do a side plank.
Raising your heart rate through dynamic exercises like jogging, high knees, burpees, and star jumps is fundamental to any effective warm-up routine. These activities help increase blood circulation, oxygenate your muscles, and elevate your heart rate, preparing your body for more intense physical activity.
Incorporating these dynamic movements into your warm-up will ensure that your muscles are adequately primed for the workout ahead, reducing the risk of injury and enhancing your overall performance.
Jogging: Start with a light 5-minute jog around the court.
Skipping Rope: Use a skipping rope for a 3-5 minute session.
Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms at your sides.
Begin the exercise by dropping into a squat position and bending your knees while keeping your back straight.
Place your hands on the ground before you, just inside your feet.
Kick your feet back so that you’re in a plank position with your body in a straight line from head to heels. Keep your core engaged.
Perform a push-up by lowering your chest to the ground, or you can skip this step if you’re a beginner.
Push your chest back up and jump your feet back to the squat position.
Explosively jump up from the squat, reaching your arms overhead.
Land softly back in the starting position, and immediately go into the next repetition.
For further guidance watch this video on how to do a burpee.
Engage in drills that mimic the movements of your sport like shadow playing where you mimic the movements of play and drills or gentle rallies with friend pre-game.
Mimic the movements of your sport without the ball.
If you have a partner, start with gentle rallies, gradually increasing intensity.
These 5 warm-ups are a great start, but consider enhancing your game with a tailored training plan focusing on your unique needs and goals. After a rigorous game or training session, a sports massage can help alleviate muscle tension, enhance blood flow, and speed up recovery.
A comprehensive warm-up routine is the foundation of any successful racket sports session. By incorporating these exercises, you’re setting yourself up for better performance and reduced injury risk.
Nordic Balance is here to support you in injury prevention and recovery. For more detailed guidance tailored to your goals feel free to reach out to our team of physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors and sports therapists in St. James’s, Central London, Clapham and Wimbledon.
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