Seniors tennis pro. When was the last time you powered down an ace? How about reached the deep scrambling forehand your young opponent forced you across court to get?
Tennis is one of the best sports for us to play as we get more birthdays under our belt. Unlike the rough and tumble on the footy grounds and netball courts we are able to continue to play tennis as our years start with a 5, 6, 7 and even 8.
But when you’re playing seniors tennis in your 60’s your don’t have to look (or feel) like the tin man from the wizard of Oz.
You can power down aces. Scramble the baseline. Attack your volley game.
Let me show you the age defying exercises you need for your tennis game.
Get your serve power back.
Your Big Powerful Serve (More Aces)
If you find yourself straining when you arch your back and cock your arms back during the overhead serve you will benefit from some upper back and shoulder mobility work.
Your upper back’s (known as your thorax) role is to provide rotation to your trunk and serve as a platform for your shoulder blade to sit on. During a serve, your upper back rotates and arches to allow you to bring your arms overhead.
Most of us take for granted our back mobility when we are young. But the reality is if we don’t use it we lose it with father time. If you’re playing seniors tennis add these exercises to your gym routine.
Have you heard of the rotator cuff muscles? They’re your group of 4 muscles which supports the ball and socket joint of your shoulder. If you would like to smash the tennis ball with power you will need strong shoulder and rotator cuff muscles.
You might have heard (or suffered from) a rotator cuff tear. It’s a very common injury with around 10 – 20% of people aged between 50 to 60 years having one. As we move up to the 70’s around half(!) of us get rotator cuff tears.
What this means for you is that your shoulder might be less load tolerant to the high forces involved during tennis as you get older. But this does not mean that you have to stop!
Despite having a rotator cuff tear you can still get a strong shoulder and have full range of motion with regular resistance exercises. All while being comfortable as you give your opponent the run around with powerful forehands.
OK even Lleyton Hewitt started to slow down when he hit his 40’s. But you can bet your bottom dollar Lleyton continues to crush all those before him on the seniors tennis circuit with his exceptional court coverage.
Being able to move around the court quickly to reach balls in all pockets is hard work on the knees. You might even have mates who have quit tennis because they have been told that they have knee osteoarthritis. Actually, there’s plenty of chances you might have a degree of knee osteoarthritis too.
If your knee:
- Feels stiff in the morning or with inactivity
- Creaks with movement
- Aches after intense activity
- Pain in the knee joint at the end of day
There’s a good chance there’s some arthritis there. Shock / horror!
But. We have heaps of evidence and testimonials from older Aussies that progressive loading (the right exercises) is the best wait to maintain and improve your knee arthritis. We know the right exercises under wear and tear and increase capacity.
And here’s your secret sauce. As most people don’t know this. You can still get stronger with age. There is hope. You can get stronger, faster and better at tennis!
Here are some exercises that will help you get real low to return the serve and improve your on court agility.
Ready to defy your age?
If you’re ready to defy your age, pound big serves and reach those deep baseline balls we’re here for you. You can join our Masters of Strength weight training program where your physio will design a personalised program just for your needs. It’s your secret to enjoying success at seniors tennis
You can jump into our small group classes with others just like you. Share the fun in getting stronger to defy the youngsters at the tennis club with your power, speed and agility on the court.
The Clock is Ticking
Ok, so by now you know that at any age you can get stronger. This is true. The unavoidable difficult truth is that today is the youngest you and I will be. Each day we wait our physical peak becomes a little lower. So start today. Join me and your fellow Masters of Strength to stay on the court in top shape.
More Seniors Tennis
About the Author
Pascoe Vale Physiotherapist Dom Tan is on a mission to help seniors live their best lives. Using his physio knowledge as well as strength and conditioning background he’s helping people turn back the clock. Discovering strength, agility and confidence that has been missing. When not helping others Dom can be found with his head in the books or lifting and working on his impressive vertical leap.