It’s not uncommon for tennis players to cool down after a game or practice. For instance, you might wonder why do tennis players ride a bike after a match and if this has any effect on their health.
Tennis players will hop on a bike after a match or practice to wind down their bodies. Biking after a game also reduces muscle cramps, slows the heart rate, removes lactic acid build-up, and helps tennis players recover quicker to maintain their health and stamina for future events.
Are you looking for new ways to warm down after a tennis match or practice? Keep reading because we’ve got some ideas!
Table of Contents
- How Do Tennis Players Recover After A Match?
- Regular Post-Match Routine For Tennis Players
- How Long Should A Cool-Down Routine Take?
- Will Cycling Help Improve Your Game As A Tennis Player?
- In Conclusion
How Do Tennis Players Recover After A Match?
Regarding ways to recover after a tennis match, you want to focus on getting your body back to normal and keeping active immediately following an intense game or practice. Generally, tennis players want to focus on these things post-match:
- pain relief
- psychological recovery
An easy way to recover correctly is by warming down after a match. Like a warm-up, a warm-down can do the same for your body. To do this, we recommend getting on a bike and staying active for 15-20 minutes post-match or event. You can also try stretches, a quick jog, or anything to get your body moving: but not so much you’re overwhelmed or overworked.
Regular Post-Match Routine For Tennis Players
Now that you know the benefits of a post-match tennis match routine, here are some ideas to inspire you the next time you play. Here are some things to try the next time you head off the court following a game:
During a warm-down, you can spend 10-15 minutes doing some light cycling on a stationary bike. This low-intensity workout will be better than simply lying down or ending movement and can benefit your body immediately off the tennis court. Furthermore, your warm-down strengthens your muscle fibers more than resting, which is better for them.
Going from 100 to zero isn’t always as good as it seems.
Next, you want to focus on giving yourself plenty of hydration after a tennis match. Generally, players will have a combination of electrolyte and glucose drinks. You might prefer Vitamin Water or Gatorade after a heavy-duty exercise. Having a bit of sodium and other electrolytes helps your body absorb and retain water better post-exercise.
After you feel hydrated, it’s always crucial to stretch. Tennis players can prevent injuries on and off the court by stretching. Take it easy, merely touching your toes, jumping jacks, or doing yoga. This doesn’t have to cause you to break a sweat.
One of the most important routines to develop post-tennis match is grabbing a snack. Every player needs an energy boost after playing tennis, so eating something healthy and light is a good idea.
*We recommend carbs and protein*
Another routine for tennis players after a match is to consider cold hydrotherapy. An ice bath is a perfect example of this. Five to ten minutes in an ice bath can reduce swelling, decrease muscle soreness, and speed up a player’s recovery.
Lastly, it might be a good routine to have a massage after a tennis match. Depending on the game’s intensity, massaging your muscles can speed up recovery and keep you in good shape for your next on-court event. ATP pros will almost always finish their day with a 45-60 minute massage: so why can’t you?
How Long Should A Cool-Down Routine Take?
Most tennis players take 20-30 minutes to complete their cool-down or warm-down after a match. As we covered, this can vary by player, but you don’t need to get too intense after court time. Riding a bike for 15 minutes and stretching can be perfectly fine for your cool down or even a light jog. Take things easy on your body.
Considering that tennis matches can last anywhere from an hour to over two hours, it’s not always feasible to continue for 30+ minutes aftward. See what feels best for your body. Experts recommend taking it lightly after a match, mainly to prevent serious injury down the road.
Will Cycling Help Improve Your Game As A Tennis Player?
Most health experts can agree that cycling after a tennis match is beneficial. However, tennis pro Allistair McCaw mentions that doing this will only sometimes help your game directly, being better used as a warm-down technique.
He even goes as far as to say he “would rather ‘save my legs’ and energy and focus on the needs that my sport demands.”
Again, it’s best to shift your focus to on-court training to improve your game, while cycling can be the perfect warm-up or cool-down exercise. Allistair also mentions how if he had an athlete with an injured lower limb, he’d keep them off the court and on a bike to “maintain their fitness and aerobic level.”
So, these are all good tips and insights to remember.
Other Cool-Down Exercises After A Game
Regarding what other exercises you can do after a match, these are some stretches we’d suggest:
- Tennis back exercises such as supine twists
- Calf muscle and Achilles tendon stretch
- Tennis elbow stretches
- Cross shoulder stretches
- Chest stretches
- Quad and hip flexor stretches
- Hip stretches like a supine figure four
- Sitting hamstring stretch
- Butterfly stretch
- Pigeon stretch
Keep your body flexible and loose after playing tennis: it helps prevent soreness and aching later.
In this post, we covered whether riding a bike after a tennis match is helpful, as well as a routine for yourself post-game. You want to focus on rehydrating, stretching, eating, warming down, and keeping your body healthy before, during, and after a tennis match or practice.