Hitting the Tennis Courts? 5 Ways to Help With Tennis Recovery
Aug 24, 2021
After a long tennis match, it’s not shocking if you feel like you’re about to fall apart! Whether you’re playing competitively or just having a fun game with friends, recovery is an important part of tennis. Each match is a test of endurance and puts a lot of stress on your body.
Hitting the tennis courts soon? Today we’re checking out 5 ways to help with tennis recovery that will keep you ready to play to your full potential. Play hard, just don’t underestimate the importance of recovery afterward.
Best Methods for Tennis Recovery
You don’t need to be a professional athlete to recognize the importance of tennis recovery after a match. All athletes and active individuals understand how crucial these post workout recovery routines are to staying in performance shape and for how to recover from sports injury incidents.
Before you step on to the court for your next match, plan ahead for your tennis recovery with some of these techniques, tools, and tips:
- Stretching to avoid muscle soreness
- Eating and hydrating properly
- Getting a massage for tennis recovery
- Applying cold or heat therapy
- Getting enough sleep
After Tennis Stretches
One of the most important post-match tennis recovery routines you should do is stretch. Even though you worked up your muscles while playing, you need to help them cool down properly or you risk muscle stiffness, potential injury, or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). Any of these could put you out of commission and prevent you from playing for longer than you’d like.
Stretching increases flexibility, as well. Staying flexible means you run a smaller risk of injuring yourself because muscles are able to bend further without tearing. When you’re doing after tennis stretches, you’re helping muscles return to their neutral position as they cool down while preventing them from seizing up.
Other benefits of after tennis stretching include taking care of the mental part of tennis recovery. Gentle stretches not only cools down the body but it also calms the mind.
Tennis Nutrition and Hydration
Nutrition and hydration are critical parts of tennis recovery, too. Eating the right foods helps create new muscle proteins and may help with how to build a strong immune system, keeping you healthy and strong.
After your next tennis match or practice, grab a recovery snack such as a recovery shake, banana, or healthy energy bar. Within a few hours of playing, however, be sure to eat a proper meal with balanced nutrition. The ideal post-match meal will be balanced between carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats.
Before, during, and after your match it’s crucial to stay hydrated as much as possible. Even a 2% loss in body weight due to dehydration can have substantial negative effects on your muscle strength and power. Staying hydrated is also beneficial for avoiding muscle cramps, soreness, or more serious health issues that stem from dehydration.
Aim to drink at least 20 ounces of water per pound of body weight lost in hydration during your physical activity. It’s important to remember not to chug water, however, as that may result in an upset stomach or cramps. Instead, have a steady intake of water over time. You might also consider recovery drinks which may help replace the sodium that you lost while stimulating glucose absorption to boost energy levels.
Getting an After Tennis Massage
Getting a massage is more than a vanity experience. Having an after tennis massage helps your muscles cool down without seizing up. It also helps increase blood flow, which delivers oxygen and nutrient-rich blood throughout the body. Better blood flow facilitates faster bodily healing as tissue is able to repair itself more efficiently.
Some of the most popular recovery tools for athletes today are portable massage guns. Two of the most popular massage gun recovery tools for athletes on the market are the Hyperice Hypervolt and Theragun. These powerful handheld tools are great for warming up tight muscles before a workout or helping prevent muscle soreness after physical activity.
Other tennis massage tools you might consider are luxury massage chairs. Massage chair benefits for athletes stem from the plethora of massage chair features available today. In addition to providing a variety of massage techniques to choose from so you can enjoy the benefits of massage therapy at home, the best massage chairs also offer features like heat therapy, chromotherapy, as well as calf and knee massage.
Full body massages reduce stress while relaxing your body, making them ideal for taking care of both your physical and mental health during tennis recovery. Another of the benefits of owning a massage chair is that you can use it whenever you like from the privacy of home. This is great for those with busy schedules who still want to make time for self-care but may not have the time to schedule regular massage therapist appointments.
Cold and Heat Therapy for Tennis Recovery
Next up in our exploration of ways to help with tennis recovery is applying cold and heat therapy. While the benefits of heat therapy include muscle relaxation and help the healing process after you’ve put your body to work, cold therapy can also be beneficial as it’s potentially helpful against inflammation and as a first step in sports injury recovery.
Whenever you’re applying ice to your body, be sure to wrap the pack in a thin towel to prevent direct contact with your skin. Applying ice packs directly to skin can damage the cells on the surface and do more harm than good. Apply ice for 20 to 30 minutes to sports injuries for the first couple days, then switch to heat therapy to help improve blood circulation and enhance the healing process.
If you’re using a massage chair for health benefits and tennis recovery, you can use heat therapy functions to potentially increase your experience and have you back on the court ready to play in no time.
Getting Enough Sleep for Tennis Recovery
Last up in our list of ways to help with tennis recovery is making sure you’re getting enough sleep. Sleep and rest are critical forms of recovery as the body heals itself most efficiently while you’re asleep. If you’re participating in tennis multiple days a week, be sure to set aside one day for rest to reduce your risk of a sports injury.
If you find you’re having a hard time sleeping after matches, you might consider taking melatonin to help you sleep. Melatonin is a naturally-occurring hormone (sometimes referred to as the sleep hormone) central to your body’s sleep-wake cycle. Its production increases at night, promoting healthy sleep and helping to orient our circadian rhythm. You should always consult a healthcare professional before taking any sleep supplement, but melatonin may help you induce a state of calm more easily that allows you to sleep restfully.
Whether you’re having a friendly game or playing competitively, have a tennis recovery plan before you hit the court. Make sure you’re staying hydrated, eating properly, getting enough rest, and consider athlete recovery tools to keep your muscles healthy. Taking care of your body after you’ve left the court is the most important thing to do to stay in peak condition and be ready for your next match!
Want to learn more about massage chair benefits? Check out these resources to see how they can elevate your lifestyle while keeping you healthy and strong:
- How To Choose a Massage Chair That's Right For You
- 6 Ways Knee and Calf Massages Help Muscle Strain
- 5 Reasons Why You Need a Massage for Health & Wellness
- 5 Deep Tissue Massage Benefits You Need to Experience
- Benefits of Using a Massage Chair vs. Human Massage