Spring Exercises: Strengthening for Tennis and Golf

Harlan B. Levine, M.D. March 31st, 2022

As the mobility exercises become easier, you should practice progression exercises to increase your strength. These exercises shouldn’t be painful or too difficult, but they should be challenging as you push your body.

If you experience any pain during the exercises or have difficulty completing them, it may be necessary to seek treatment from a physical therapist to help you get ready to safely return to playing tennis and golf.

SHOULDER ROTATION STRENGTHENING:

Shoulder External Rotation (ER) Begin by tying a resistance band to a stable object to your side. Hold the opposite end of the resistance band in one hand, and place a rolled hand towel under your arm.  With your elbow bent to 90 degrees and your hand resting on your chest, slowly rotate the forearm outwards until your hand is in line with your elbow. Return your hand and forearm to your chest. Repeat 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each side



Shoulder Internal Rotation (IR): Begin by tying a resistance band to a stable object to your side. Hold the opposite end of the resistance band in one hand, and place a rolled hand towel under your arm.  With your elbow bent to 90 degrees and your hand straight in front of your elbow, slowly rotate the forearm in towards your chest then return to in line with your elbow. Repeat 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each side

Lower Body Mobility:

  1. Hip flexors: Begin kneeling on the floor with one leg bent in front of you, lean forward towards the bent knee, keeping the shoulders up straight, until a stretch is felt in the front of your back leg. Hold 30seconds, repeat 3 times.

  2. Quadriceps standing: Begin by looping a towel or strap around the front of your ankle. Bend the knee backwards, and pull from the towel until a stretch is felt in the front of your thigh. Hold 30 seconds, repeat 3 times for each leg

  3. Hamstring stretch: Begin lying on your back with a towel or strap looped under one foot. Use your arms to lift the leg straight in the air, do not bend the knee, and pull until a stretch is felt in the back of the thigh. Hold 30 seconds, repeat 3 times for each leg

Lower Body Strengthening:

  1. CLAMSHELL ON YOUR BACK PROGRESSED TO SIDE LYING
    • Clamshell: Begin lying on your back with a band tied around your knees. Start with your feet hip width apart, and slowly rotate one knee out to the side, keeping the other knee pointing at the ceiling. Repeat 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each leg.
    • Side-lying Clamshell: Begin lying on your side with your hips and knees bent and a band tied around your knees. It is important to place a pillow between your knees if your top leg has had a hip replacement. Keeping your feet together, rotate your top knee up so that you try to point it towards the ceiling. Be mindful to prevent your trunk from rotating backwards. Repeat 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each leg.
  2. HIP ABDUCTION STANDING PROGRESSED TO SIDE STEPS
    • Hip Abduction: Begin standing with your feet hip width apart. Slowly lift one leg out to the side, then return to hip width apart. Be sure to keep both hips pointing forward and to keep the foot in line with your body as you lift. For more of a challenge, you can loop a light resistance band around your ankles. Repeat 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each leg.
    • Side step:  Place a looped thera-band around your knees and begin with your feet hip width apart, your knees slightly bent, and the core engaged. Take a step out to your left, then bring the right leg in until your feet are hip width apart again. Control the motion so that the band does not bring the feet together quickly and your feet do not fully come together. Take 10 steps to your left, then 10 to your right. Repeat 3 times. For more of a challenge, the band can be placed at your ankles.
  3. STEP UPS PROGRESSED TO LUNGE
    • Step ups: Begin standing in front of an exercise step or your staircase. Hold on to a stable surface, or the railing, with only one hand. Lift the right leg on to the step and slowly rise to lift up the left foot. Take your left foot off of the step first, and carefully step back off, allowing the right knee to bend. Repeat 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each leg.
    • Lunge: Begin standing with your feet together and your hands by your hips. Take a long step forward with your left leg, and lunge down bending both knees to 90-degree angles, trying to touch the right knee to the floor. As you rise from the lunged position, step backwards to bring your feet together again. Repeat 15 times for each leg
  4. SIT TO STANDS PROGRESSED TO SQUATS PROGRESSED TO SQUAT WITH OVERHEAD PRESS
    • Sit to stand: Start in a seated position with your bottom at the edge of the chair and your knees bent so your feet are underneath you. Stand up until your hips and knees are completely straight, then sit back down. Try to complete this motion without using your hands, but they may be used until you feel strong and stable enough to progress to not using them. Repeat 3 sets of 10 repetitions
    • Squats: Begin standing with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands out in front of your shoulders. Squat by hinging your hips back trying to get your weight behind you; do not bend from the knees as the initial motion. Engage the muscles in your bottom as you rise up to the start position

       
    • Squats with overhead press: Begin standing with your feet shoulder width apart and a light weight resting on your shoulders.  Squat down, hinging from your hips, and as you rise back to the starting position push your hands overhead at the same time. Return your hands to your shoulders, repeat 3 sets of 10 reps

Dr. Levine is a fellowship trained, board certified orthopaedic surgeon specializing in total joint replacement surgery at Rothman Orthopaedics. He sees patients in Montvale and Rutherford. For more information or to make an appointment, visit RothmanNJ.com.

Dr. Lauren Zarro, PT, DPT has a clinical background in outpatient orthopaedics, with experience in a diverse patient population including sports rehabilitation, balance training, joint replacements and pediatric orthopedic cases. Lauren is employed by Professional Physical Therapy, and is currently treating at the Rothman Orthopaedics in Rutherford. If you are experiencing pain with the exercises in the above program and would like to set up an evaluation with Lauren, please contact: (551) 258-0864.

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