Being able to fully recover from a long match or training session is an underrated part of enhancing tennis performance. This blog will look at some useful methods for improving the ability to physically recover after training!
Stretching is a huge key to not only improving movement on the court, but also preventing muscle tightness or injury. For pre-match stretching, dynamic stretching is recommended to properly warm-up. Dynamic stretches such as leg swings help to increase blood flow without straining cold muscles. For post-match stretching, static stretching is recommended. After a match static stretching helps to reduce buildup of lactic acid and regain muscle flexibility. Therefore,use dynamic stretching to warm-up before playing tennis and static stretching after playing to help improve recovery.
Getting proper nutrition is huge. Playing hours of tennis it can be easy to forget to drink enough water and get dehydrated. This is why rehydrating with water or an electrolyte drink after tennis is extremely important.
It is also recommended to eat a meal containing 20-30g of protein after playing tennis. This provides the muscles used with the resources needed to rebuild and recover. In terms of carbohydrates, an optimal level of carbohydrates consumed immediately after playing tennis is 1g per kg of body weight.
Getting a good night of sleep before or after training is extremely important. Getting adequate sleep is crucial to having enough energy to put in high intensity while playing, or being able to recover from an intense session. It is generally recommended getting 7-9 hours of sleep in these circumstances, depending on recovery requirements.
Reducing muscle soreness:
Ice baths can greatly help in reducing muscle soreness and inflammation. 10-12 minutes in an ice bath after physical training can help reduce muscle soreness and reduce whole-body inflammation.
These recovery methods used together can contribute to a huge improvement in the ability to recover from both training and playing tennis in general. Improved recovery means the ability to train longer and/or more frequently, contributing to greater overall performance in the long-term.