Is Your Tennis Racquet Arm-Healthy?

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If you glance to your right you will see SHARRS, an assessment tool that addresses the arm-healthy nature of any tennis racquet appraised by it. I created SHARRS a few years ago, but now it is running in a new and improved way! Yes, I have honed its logarithm so that it can even more accurately diagnose how salubrious (or not) is your current stick of choice or any racquet whose specified specs you have handy. So, give it a whirl and see how you do! For example, my favorite stick these days is my ProKennex Ionic KI 5 PSE. Plugging in its features of 63 RA, 13 oz, 27 in, 9 pt HL and a built in shock reduction system, it gets a whopping grade of 97…an “A.” This is a good thing, no? :) Now I have played with racquets in the past that would not score nearly this well. But, I have gleaned some insight through my trial and error, including learning from that great teacher himself, Mr. Severe Arm-Pain, and I am excited to be able to share some wisdom that might help others swing their racquets in a healthier manner.

But here’s the trick. Whether you use SHARRS or not (and I hope you do!), please take the time to do some quality research before going out there and buying another stick! Dropping $200 on the same racquet your favorite pro uses (simply because she uses it) is not a good approach. Don’t prioritize color scheme, pizzazz quotient or popularity anywhere near the top. Rather, ask lots of questions and figure out the mechanics (yeah, the physics) behind how a racquet affects the arm in general …and then your unique arm in particular! Look for options engineered to take care of you in the long run. Finally, playtest these options as much as you reasonably can. I suppose I have banged on this drum here at www.theracquetshack.com a number of times in the past. But, it really cannot be stressed enough. There is simply too much at stake! Well, try out SHARRS, and any and all feedback will be great appreciated :) Until next time…keep knocking that felt off!

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Lower Body Fitness For Tennis Revisited!

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A few months ago I wrote a post on leg extensions and leg curls for tennis. I still stand wholeheartedly by what I penned at that time, for these two exercises, if done wisely and cautiously, can be used to build leg strength for added explosiveness and endurance on the tennis court. However, since that time I have found a way in my apartment gym to do one better. With a pair of 5kg (8.8 lbs.) dumbbells, enough floor space for room to walk and a padded bench (about 14 in. off the ground) I am now pursuing one of the simplest and best lower body workouts around! A two exercise routine as well, this one flat out surpasses the former in every way. I invite all of you my readers to try several sets of walking lunges followed by several more sets of hip thrusts and then see how you feel two days later :)

Walking lunges can be varied down to stationary lunges if balance becomes an issue, but lunges in general are a fantastic total leg workout with less risk for serious injury than squats. Squats are great, but lunges are preferable if you don’t have a squat rack and/or a spotter, and they can be effective with much less weight. Hip thrusts are similar to glute bridges, but whereas bridges are generally performed with your back on the ground, thrusts are done with your mid back (area just below your shoulder blades) resting on the padded bench and your feet flat on the floor in front of you. Your body is then thrust up to a level plain powered by the contraction of your glutes. Proper form is critical for both of these exercises, and weight should only be added once good form is mastered. Well, enough talk for now as it is almost time for me to hit the gym once again! Drop me a line and let me know what you think…about these exercises or anything else tennis health related!

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