When it comes to rotational sports like golf and tennis there are several things to consider when looking at sports specific stretches and exercises. First thing you want to address is mobility. Only when you can get full ranges of motion in your mid back, lower back, and hips will you be able to properly build strength and coordination around that.
These are a few “go-to” stretches and exercises I give my patients that are want to improve their game.
This stretch is great because it involves the upper and lower body in a twisting motion. Begin laying on either side with one knee up, the other down in a neutral position, and the head supported by a foam pad. Take the hand of the arm that is in contact with the ground and grab the knee that is flexed up at belly button height. Take the other hand and grab the ankle of the leg that is behind the back, if it is too difficult to grab the ankle then use a towel or strap.
Begin to inhale and on the exhale start to rotate to the side of the up leg. Cycle through this progression a couple times until the shoulder is in contact with the ground. If it is too difficult to get the shoulder down, then elevate the flexed leg with towels or another object such as a step.
Child’s Pose with Band Distraction
Begin with a super band attached to a wall or girth hitched around a support beam of some sort. Go into a table top position with the band around the front of your right hip. Be sure to move far enough forward so that band is providing a moderate amount of resistance.
Then move into “Child’s pose” by leaning back as though you are trying to sit on your heels. The super band will provide traction and accentuate that stretch. If you are having sharp pain with this stretch, try doing it without the use of a band. If you are still having pain, this stretch may not be appropriate for you.
Hip Hinge Deadlift
When it comes to generating power in both golf and tennis, it is important for both glute and core activation. These are both addressed with the deadlift. The most important thing about this lift is keeping an arched lumbar spine with your chest facing the wall, hinging at your hips, and pushing your hips forward while standing up.
If you have never done this lift before, practice with no weight while holding a dowel rode parallel to the ground in both hands. Look into a mirror to make sure you are using proper biomechanics.
Kneeling Chops and Lifts
This exercise can be used with cables or a resistance band while kneeling on a blue Airex pad. The split kneeling stance requires balance and use of hip and upper body stabilizing muscles that are required in golf and tennis. The rotational component also builds strength and core activation.