The aim of Pilates for Tennis players
- · To promote pelvic stability and good central control to provide an anchor point and a stable axis for trunk rotation
- · To allow controlled trunk rotation through an adequate range for each different shot
- · To provide sufficient mobility and stability at the hip to allow good transfer of power from pushing off the ground, therefore transmitting an optimal force to each stroke
- · To improve flexibility at the thoracic spine (extension and rotation particularly) and mobility with control at the shoulder girdle and throughout the upper limb, allowing power and precision
- To reduce the risk of injury due to the diverse demands of a tennis game: preventing muscle imbalance problems due to the one sided dominant nature of the game and managing the constant acceleration and deceleration
In side lying have feet, knees and hips stacked with your feet in line with your hips and the hips in line with your shoulders. Ensure your pelvis is neutral with your upper waist lengthened and lower waist lifted.
Use the upper gluts (buttock muscles) to lift the top knee; opening like a clam shell. Just as far as you can, isolating the movement to just your hip. Then lowering your knee back to the start position.
Start on your hands and knees; ensure a neutral pelvis with a flat back. Chin is tucked in and eyes gazing down to the line between your thumbs on the mat.
Centre muscles working. As you breathe out, lengthen one arm and the opposite leg away from the centre, pushing the ground away with the hand and knee left down to maintain control.
Then, as you breathe in, return the arm and leg to the start position. Alternate this side to side.
Lie on your back with your centre set. Bring both knees up to your double tabletop position. Place your hand lightly behind your head and come up to your abdo prep position.
As you breathe out, lengthen one leg, rotating with the upper trunk to bring your elbow towards the opposite knee. Simultaneously alternate leg positions as you alternate with your trunk.
Lie on your front and have your elbows folded so your head is supported on your hands. A neutral spine with your tail bone drawn under.
As you breathe out, draw your arms with your breast bone away from the mat to lift the upper trunk, keeping your head in contact with the hands.
Remain lifted as you breathe in lengthen the arms away. With the next breath out, circle the arms round to bring them by your sides with the palms of your hands facing inwards. With the next breath, fold the arms through in a breastroke motion to bring them back to the start position.
To start with, return to the mat in-between each one, then as a progression, maintain the lifted position whilst doing the repetitions.