We will provide you with an individualized exercise program that is suited to your unique conditions and requirements, and done in the comfort of your home. When performed according to Dr. Donath’s specifications, your customized exercise program can enhance the benefit of your chiropractic adjustments by as much as 30-40%. Specific exercises and stretches can assist in restoring health and balance to both mind and body.
The Core of Tennis Fitness
Five Simple Exercises that will Improve Your Game
Who doesn’t want to move like a cat on the court? We all desire to achieve our full potential. Do you know which exercises can help or hurt your game? Many people don’t. Pumping iron pumps up your arms, legs and shoulders, but does nothing to enhance power and speed.
So, what is the most effectual component of tennis fitness?
The Body’s Core
The core, meaning the abdomen, lower back and sides, maintain the body’s stability and balance. Therefore, strengthening the core is the key to tennis fitness. A weakened core cannot help but have a negative impact on balance, agility and body control. However, when you optimize the spinal and abdominal muscles of the core, coordination, power, and speed, are significantly enhanced—and so is your tennis game.
In just a few minutes a day, you can strengthen your body’s core muscles with five simple dynamic core-stabilization exercises. Unlike the typical strength training exercises, the core-stabilization training builds endurance as well as strength. This is important because lower back pain is often due to a lack of muscle endurance and muscle weakness.
Stabilization exercises are unique in that your bodyweight functions as resistance against a rubber gym ball, or medicine ball. The exercises below focus on the back extensor muscles, the rectus abdominal and oblique abdominal muscles, which will facilitate and enhance the moves required to improve your tennis game. When you feel ready, there are advanced techniques that can be integrated into this beginner’s program.
The Cat and the Camel
On the floor, get down on all fours and slowly, deliberately and smoothly arch your back like a cat and continue (no stopping) into flexing or humping your back like a camel. The key here is fluid movement throughout the exercise. Perform 5-6 reps a day.
The focus of this exercise is the low back extensors and abdominal oblique muscles. Lay on your side with your legs out straight. Put your top leg in front of your lower leg. Raise your upper body by resting on your elbow, which should be directly beneath your shoulder. Now, brace your abdominals and lift your hips off the floor. Keep your body straight; don’t twist or lean forward or back. Hold this position for eight seconds and repeat three times. Then flip over and repeat on the other side.
This exercise involves sucking in your lower stomach while tightening the lower abdominal muscles. Hold the position for eight seconds. You can do this while standing, sitting, and lying down— even while reading this page! In any position, hold for eight seconds and repeat three times.
This exercise targets the lower back extensors. First, assume the abdominal brace position above. Hold, and without twisting your body, raise your left arm and right leg, keeping them as straight as possible. Hold this position for 8-10 seconds; repeat three times. Switch to the opposite arm, leg, and do three sets for 8-10 seconds each.
This last exercise targets the rectus abdominis muscles (the six-pack below your ribcage). Many people assume that in order to create solid, six-pack abs, hundreds of sit-ups are necessary. This is not true. Lie on your back with one leg bent at the knee, the other out straight. This may seem unusual, but research has shown that this is the most effective way to isolate muscles while limiting back strain and tension. Once in position, place your fingertips lightly on your forehead and tighten your abdominals. Now, raise your head and shoulders. Hold this position for eight seconds and repeat three times. Then switch leg positions and repeat three times. Stick with it, and you will be amazed at the quick and dramatic result!