Serve after serve, shot after shot, tennis players’ shoulders are bound to feel the burn. Unfortunately, the repetitive serves and returns can result in chronic shoulder pain or more serious injuries. To reduce the possibility of injury or to rehabilitate athletes, clinicians need a thorough, research-supported tool that can be used to strengthen the shoulder and the surrounding musculature. Elastic resistance exercise bands can provide great exercises for tennis players; and here’s why:
1. Elastic resistance is portable, convenient, and inexpensive for tennis players.
Taking the time to visit a gym or an office to train with a physical therapist is ideal, but not always practical for today’s tennis player. When athletes are on the go, they need a portable solution that can be used at home, on the road or on the court. The portability of elastic bands is unmatched by traditional weights. After all, providing your athletes with a suite of bands is much easier (and cheaper!) than having them carry a set of dumbbells in their gym bag.
2. Elastic resistance exercise provides results similar to those found in traditional weight training.
Elastic bands might be easier to carry than traditional weights, but can they provide the same level of performance? Todd Ellenbecker, DPT, MS, SCS, OCS, CSCS, thinks so. Ellenbecker is the clinic director of Physiotherapy Associates Scottsdale Sports Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ and is the Vice President of Medical Services for the ATP World Tour. He has spent an extensive part of his career researching shoulder and elbow rehabilitation, using elastic resistance for over 30 years. In fact, he’s published 2 books on elastic resistance training!
In his 2011 study Perceived Self-Report of Effort During Rotator Cuff & Scapular Exercise in Patients during Shoulder Rehabilitation, Ellenbecker found that there was “no significant difference between perceived exertion levels using elastic resistance and cuff weights.” With ease of use and effective results, elastic resistance training makes sense for tennis athletes looking to make the most out of their rehab time.
3. Elastic resistance provides one tool to satisfy all of a tennis players training needs.
Sure, elastic resistance sounds great, but tying bands into knots for individual exercises is a hassle for any clinician. Luckily, with the Theraband CLX, gone are the days of tying knots or attaching handles. With its cutting edge consecutive loop technology, the CLX is an all-in-one tool that can be used to build strength and endurance in a tennis player’s shoulder. In fact, Dr. Ellenbecker has created multiple tennis programs using the CLX as well as other Theraband products that he uses on the worlds elite professional tennis players.
Based on his extensive knowledge of isokinetic exercise application and musculoskeletal adaptations in elite level tennis players and overhead athletes, Ellenbecker has created a program specifically for tennis players who suffer from shoulder pain or are aiming to strengthen their shoulders for better performance.
View part one and two of his shoulder exercises for tennis videos: