As the professional tennis tours wind down for the year, and visions of holiday feasts begin dancing through my head…I am mindful of my winter workout routine designed to outflank those extra calories and stave off father time just a tad more. This year I will be incorporating leg extensions and leg curls into my program since their requisite machines grace my new fitness center. I actually enjoy these two exercises even though they can both inflict much pain As I don’t have access to squat or deadlift equipment at the moment, I will need to make the most of my extensions and curls, focusing on toning more than ambitious strength gains. A lot can be found online and in print evaluating the efficacy and overall healthiness of these two activities. Both affirmation and words of caution typically summarize much of the running conversation. And I for one want to join in and suggest these two can be very effective at targeting quad and hamstring development with built in posture and motion control to help encourage safe lifting. A caveat is in order, however. One should be very careful not to overload these lifts (especially extensions) as strength (especially of the quads) can easily blind the lifter to risks for knee damage. By their very nature, these two lifts use the knee as a pendulum, and in so doing create torque that at greater extents can be detrimental. So, if you tennis aficionados out there already utilize extensions and curls or perhaps have considered their potential, give them a fair shake and your body a fair shake by learning how to do them right. Take care of those knees. Lift wisely!
As I sit and watch some professional football to keep track of how my fantasy team is doing, I am reminded of how rough and tumble the game is. It really is meant for only the few who can take the punishment it affords. And even then, more and more people are wondering about its long term effects on those who wear the game’s badge so proudly. In contrast, I am also reminded of how awesome the game of tennis is for “every man” or “every woman” or “every kid” and how safe and healthy this game can be for all of us for life. This is not to say that tennis injuries don’t happen or that one can’t play the game in an unwise manner. It is to say, however, that the nature of the sport itself is perfect for lifelong fitness pursuit and enjoyment well into old age.
As we settle into our new environment here, I have been talking with a number of folks about Panamanian tennis. Besides the fact that clay courts are more prevalent here (can’t wait to try some out), I am discovering a real tennis passion among people here that is contagious and exciting! How cool is this! So, once I get my ProKennex Ionic KI 5 PSE restrung with some good ole’ fashioned Babolat natural gut, I will be ready to go! In the meantime, let me know how your tennis is treating you and thanks for all the great comments you all send our way!