Because of the amount of physical stress you place your body under when you play tennis, stretching is an important weapon in your armoury when it comes to improving mobility, aiding recovery and reducing your risk of injury.
Tennis players should ideally stretch every day, and certainly every time before and after play.
Aim for active or dynamic stretching ahead of playing tennis – this will ideally support and supplement the nature of the movements you’re likely to make on court, as well as stimulate blood flow before you play.
These stretch the hip flexors, and simulates playing a low volley. Place one leg behind you with knee touching the ground, and the other leg with foot flat on the ground; lowering your hips forward, bring your forward knee over your planted foot.
This stretches the adductors, and is simply an exaggerated simulation of the position you’ll adopt when returning serve; with your legs and feet wide apart, squat down slowly and push out your knees.
Keeping one leg straight, bend your other knee and sink into the stretch; this works your gluteals and adductors.
At this time, you should be winding down after playing with static stretches. Examples include:
Sitting down, stretch out your legs and reach for your toes.
Standing on one leg, grasp the other foot and bring it up to your gluteals.
Leaning against a wall, put one foot out behind you, plant your heel and lean forward while keeping your planted leg straight.