Thursday, 14 January 2016

Tennis Anatomy

I decided to read this book for two reasons. I'm both a therapist and a tennis player, so the book appealed to both aspects of my thinking. The book has value to both, but maybe not as much for the therapist as for the player.

As a therapist, the value of the book lies in the detailed analysis of which muscles are at work in the full range of tennis shots. Knowing where to focus your attention when working with any sports person can be a challenge, and of course it differ from sport to sport. As well as tennis players I get to treat a range of sports people from runners to rugby players.

The books provides a general introduction to how a tennis player moves and how they adapt to different surfaces and also how different styles of playing influence the way muscles are used. There's also a useful section at the end of the book on movement patterns that could be used to provide the basis for rehabilitation exercises, and a chapter covering common tennis injuries and stretches. The chapters in-between look at specific areas of the body (shoulders, wrists, core, etc). Chapter 8 is focussed on rotational strengthening.

Each chapter looks at the anatomy of the area, how it is used in tennis and then offers a series of exercises related to strengthening that area.

The reface makes the aim of the book very clear:
This book is written for serious competitive and recreational tennis players... In this book, we highlight the different muscles groups involved in each of the strokes and show you how to best train those specific muscle groups as part of a comprehensive approach to tennis-specific training.
The book certainly delivers on that level! From a therapy perspective, the book's value lies in increasing one's understanding of the mechanics of tennis. How you apply that knowledge is up to you!

My verdict: Not really a therapy book, but a useful read if you're dealing with racket sports.