Shoulder or Chest Self-Rehab With Exercise Bands


Recently I was reminded of the great benefit exercise bands provide for a simple self-rehab program to heal a light to medium shoulder or chest strain. Sometimes called resistance bands or fitness tubes (check out some of my earlier posts here under “My Health” or “Tennis Health” for additional info), these inexpensive items are really a must have for any weight lifter. Several weeks ago I tweaked my left pectoral muscle while bench pressing, and a few days later I began a five-direction shoulder-focused daily rehab routine that four weeks later has resulted in a fully healed chest as well as even fitter deltoids. This week I have toned the routine down to alternating days with the intent of maintaining it biweekly in conjunction with my normal workout schedule. This latest episode is yet another example of just how well these bands can work in helping to facilitate the body’s natural healing process. I highly recommend them!

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Rafa Nadal – Will He Ever Return To The Top Four Again?


The longer the current tennis year plods along (we are nearing the US Open), the more many of us are wondering just how extensive Rafa’s “slump” will be. In Cincinnati a few days ago, he lost to friend and compatriot Feli Lopez in the round of 16. Before 2015, this would have been front page tennis news. Now, it’s not really news at all. And this got me thinking about something. I have come across several articles over the past couple of years highlighting the trending upward average age of tennis’ top players, Interestingly, the average age of the ATP top 20 right now is about 28. Two and three decades ago it was about five years younger…which may not seem like much to some folks…but in tennis where careers typically don’t last like they can in golf or even baseball, five years is a whole lot. In decades past, the grand slams saw a number of teenage champions. Becker and Chang taking Wimbledon and Roland Garros respectively before their 18th birthdays serve as examples. How many teenagers have even come close to taking a slam in the last ten years, however? Well, Nadal conquered his first French in 2005 as he was turning 19. And that’s it! No other teenager has even made a slam semi-final appearance in the time since! Which takes me back to my musings on the current state of Rafa’s game. I’m beginning to wonder if Nadal happens to be the last of the Mohicans so to speak…a throwback to when players developed and peaked earlier…but then also began declining earlier. I wonder if we should compare Rafa not to contemporaries like Djokovic or Murray (or the amazing outlier extreme, Federer) but rather to a predecessor like Borg. Nadal talks of confidence and form and working hard to return to playing his best once again. But, when the body begins to move a fraction of a step slower than it used to, the mind and playing style can only compensate so much. I hope I’m wrong on this one, but from my own experience playing soccer, I can attest to the frustrating nature of coming to grips with the reality that is, “same level of competition…meet my aging body.” All the best to Rafa as he prepares for New York! Let’s shorten those points, go for winners more often and perhaps throw in some extra serve and volley! The sport needs this humble champion around for as long as he’s game for it! A return to the top four I don’t see…but the lifting of a few more trophies before he decides to golf and fish fulltime…a reasonable hope!

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