Hi everyone. I'm Anthony [inaudible] back from Australia again. I'm really pleased to be back here at [inaudible] any time. Today we're going to do a couple of classes. The first one is stretching for tennis. Some of you may not recognize these exercises as traditional polarities exercises, but as I often say, my workshops, Joseph [inaudible] was interested in the quality of flexibility.
Um, and he also says things like piles was conceived to stretch you so that you would be as simple as a cat. Um, lots of little quotes like that indicate that he was interested in stretching. And so we're going to sort of elaborate on that interest of his today in the classes. The other thing, um, that you should be aware of is that of course there's a lot of overlap between tennis and golf in terms of muscle groups and movement patterns. So I would recommend that you watch both of the classes if you can, so that, um, you get a taste of working on all those muscle groups. And I've, I've put a class together, hopefully that contains stretches for different muscle groups so that there's not much repetition. The other thing to say finally is that, um, stretching can be used both for performance optimization and for rehabilitation or, or correcting the asymmetries them that might've emerge while your playing sports. So I've tried to prepare a class that covers, covers you from both those angles. We're going to start off with, with the tennis today and, um, we're going to use a technique called contract relax, which is quite simple. In practice, what you do really is take the muscles into, uh, into a position where you feel just a gentle stretch, say five out of 10 in terms of pain intensity. You hold that position for five seconds, then you can track the muscles and then relax and re stretch for 10 breaths.
So I'll talk you through that as we go along. But essentially that's how this, how the practice of it works. Okay? So we might start off with some stretches here. We might have Sarah doing one of them on the reformer. And for those of you that don't have a reformer, Amy's going to do the floor version. Yeah, we're going to stretch the flex the muscles of the forearm, um, which are often very tied in, in pretty much anyone who plays tennis. So what I might do, Amy, is if you can kneel down here with your hands this way and spread your fingers out a little bit. Yep. And Sarah, if you take off all the springs and I'll just show you how to position yourself here. So you need to be inside the reformer with your hands.
I'm straight and your fingers spread leaning down through the, imagine you've just got one long arm bone and you're leaning down through there. Good. So the first thing to do when you're stretching is to get into position and then assess whether or not you're actually getting a stretch and where the stretch is coming from. They're fundamental things, but often we forget to ask ourselves or our clients, are we actually feeling a stretch? So are you both getting a stretch there? Whereabouts in the forums? Good. Because if you're feeling it here, it's probably not so much of a stretch, but a sense of compression in the bones, so that's good.
So they're both feeling a stretch and what we do is we hold that first position for about five breaths, which is probably about now. So what are we going to do next is a little contraction. So activating the muscles that we're stretching to do that. If you press your fingers and the palms of your hands down into the floor for five seconds, you don't need to use too much force with that. Probably about, as I said, five out of 10 in terms of intensity. And we do that for five seconds, which is probably about now. Then we stop, take a breath in, and then to restretch. Amy, if you just lean backwards, and Sarah, if you slide the carriage out a little more just to narrow this angle.
Okay, so she's got no springs on the carriage so that it slides easily. How has that feeling there?
Then we moved to the middle finger, then the little finger, oh, he missed the ring finger they could be raising for that. Then we'll go to the other hand, so the little finger, the ring finger, middle finger, then the index finger, and then the thumb. If you find that there is a particular tight spot, you can hold it for longer than we are now. Of course, now come back to the middle and then to come out of this stretch, rather than forcing your body weight down through your arms, see if he can just lift up carefully and then give your hands a bit of a shake.
So the extensor muscles that every time that you grip a racket, you're, you're actually contracting both sides of the, of the joint. So let's try this time having the back of your hands. On the floor or on the reformer, but don't lean with quite as much weight as you would in the previous stretch. So if you can just gently lean down, try and have your arms straight if possible. And then to bring on the stretch, just lean backwards, or Sarah, you can slide the carriage out just again until you feel the stretch about five out of 10 in terms of intensity, okay?
Sometimes you don't need to move to find that. Okay, so again, we're going to hold for five breaths, which we've probably done now, and then we're going to contract for five seconds. So this time, press, press the hands down into the floor, the back of the hands for one, two, three, four, five seconds. Stop. Take a breath in. Try and make sure that your arms are straight, and then if you want to make it a bit more intense, lean backwards. We'll slide the carriage a little further out.
So five or six out of 10 is plenty in terms of the intensity of it. Okay. When you're, when you're ready, you can lift up again. Shake your hands around a bit.
So what you need to do is put your, the hand that you're stretching, put that out in front and flex the wrist and then put the other hand on, on top of it, on or on front of it. Okay. You don't need to push back very much, but to hold that in position. And then turn your fingers outwards. Okay. That's, that's the first part. The second part is then to hold this and to try and turn your upper arm outwards as well. Okay. Can you, you should feel that mostly around this area and you feel that [inaudible]
Should be on the front still. Just keeping the wrist inflection and turning it out. And you'll notice when you turn it out that the whole arm tends to rotate. We're trying to just pronate the forearm and then externally rotate the upper arm. Okay, so hold that again.
Take a breath in and then turn the fingers out further and then turn the arm out further as well. So keep the wrist flexed, keep it in this position, and then turn the up around. [inaudible] how's that?
So you're externally rotating.
Turn your fingers out and then turn the arm out as well. And then again, we're going to try and hold for 10 breaths.
But if you're doing this at home, I really would recommend 10 to 15 deep breaths at least. Okay. Okay. Alright, so we're working up the arm. So we've done the wrist flexors and extensors and the pronators. Now we're going to do this, the stretch for the biceps. So we might, we'll try one version on the floor and one on the reformer so that you can do both or one or the other. Um, what I might do is show Sarah the, the reform of version first. So for this one, or need to have all the springs on really so that the carriage doesn't move at all.
And because your biceps attach to one of the bones in the arm here and their job is to actually to supinate it this way. So for this stretch, we're going to move the end of the muscle away by pronating it. Okay. So we have the arm in that pronator position and then I'll show you Sarah and then you can try it. So I'm going to have my arm at about slightly higher than my head. Pronated and then keep, keep your arm at this height, lean away and then turn away like that.
Okay. And you should feel the stretch here and ride through the upper arm. Okay. And so why don't you try that and Amy on my kit you to try the floor version, which I'll demonstrate to you first. You start, it's almost the same as what Sarah is doing. So you're going to lie here with your um, pro noted. Okay.
And then roll this hip backward this way. Okay. Right. Let's try that. Good. So why you're getting into position and I'll just check that Sarah's, you're getting any stretch there. Okay. So roll the arm over and flex the wrist. Okay. Okay. Now try and kick the shoulders level lane.
Good. You might need to step forward a bit wrong. Yeah. So keep the arm up there, lean forward, and then turn this way. How is that good? You feeling it around you feeling it around there? I feel also just be in rotation. I feel back or, okay, I can handle that. Okay. What about you Amy? Yup.
Yup. So the hand about head height and then roll back. Go ahead. You just gotta Watch when you're doing this, the hand tends to drop. Yeah, it was. Yeah. And then with this arm you could bend it and push it down into the floor just to assist in the, in the rotation. Okay. So hopefully that's not too, too confusing for you. If you're watching, let's try a contraction, which is for Amy. If you just push your hand into the floor, Sarah, you just imagine you're kind of bend your elbow for five seconds. Oh yeah. Now relax.
Now just lift this up a bit more. Lean forward and turn. How is that? I'll try and hold still. If you're having trouble, you could always have a box next to you to put your hand on. I mean to, for you to restretch. You just roll the shoulder back a little more. The, yeah, this one. I mean, yeah, no you did, but I was just clarifying. So how was that good? Yeah. Okay. Why don't we come out of it very slowly.
Roll that hip back and the weight of your leg. If you let the leg drop back like that is good because the weight of the leg just with the rotation. How was that good. Wants to be. Okay. Good. And Sarah? Yes, you're getting that stretch there. Good. You just gotta Watch. If you're doing this, the hand doesn't drop. Try and keep it up here. Good.
So let's do the same contraction, which is to try and bend the arm of Amy to push the hand down into the floor. Four, five stop. Take a breath in, see if you can raise stretch a bit further. Good. And then we'll just hold that for 10, 10 breaths.
So start with your arm here. Then the stick goes on the outside like this. Okay. And you need to try and keep the arm at 90 degrees. Yep. Good. Now to bring on the stretch, you pull this in the bottom and towards the middle. And what will happen is your upper arm will start to externally rotate and you'll be stretching the, the internal rotators.
Can you both feel that good? So it goes slowly with this. Good. The rest doesn't matter too much.
When you do the contraction, make sure there's, there's no movement that occurs, but you try and trying to push your hand back to the middle. So let's do that now. So one, two, three, four, five stop. Take a breath in and then re stretch a little more. Good. And then we hauled that again for 10 breaths. Yeah, that's good. Okay, so I might just show you Amy, if I can just take yours from in a while. Sarah, you can, you look like you're enjoying them and you can hold it a bit longer. The, the most of the external rotation in tennis is required up here.
So if you want to make this stretch more specific, you could try doing it up at this joint angle instead of down here. Okay. Okay. Alright, so there we have, well we better do the other side. Um, and then we'll do the other rotator cuff muscles. Yeah, yeah, that's great. Okay, good. So you've got your, you're at the angle at the elbow is 90 degrees. Yep. And the upper arm is roughly horizontal. Okay. Now if you slowly just pull on the bottom of the stick towards the middle.
Yeah. Different size. Yeah. You'll often find that and you're both looking good, but often people will attempt to do that. So keep the shoulders level
We always try and re stretch on a breath out because your body has a little less tension as you're breathing out. Okay? Okay. Yeah. Okay. I'm just letting you enjoy the streets. Right?
I'll just put these away and then we're gonna so we turn the arm out. Now we're going to turn the arm inwards, but we might use the reformers for this. It looks a little bit awkward, but it's a, it's a very effective way of stretching with turning the arms in. So we're stretching the external rotators. Okay. So I'll show you how it looks. Um, I'm going to have maybe two red springs and sit on the reformer facing away from the foot bar. Maybe. Sarah, do you want to try getting into position and, and copy me and then I may can do it. So, so put the, the strap from the opposite side just above your elbow this way and like this. And then what you do is put both hands behind your lower back. Oh really? My hands are on my sacrum. Okay. And what you'll find is that um, your shoulders want to round like this.
So it's really important that you keep the chest lifted, you pull your shoulder blades together and then that's, that's your starting position. You and you need to hold the carriage still with your feet. Okay. So I'll, I'll move out of the way and you can try that Amy and then I'll talk you through the stretch. Good. So that's a nice looking position there. You feeling any stretch yet? Okay. So with this stretch, most most stretches a, a kind of quite diffused.
This one you'll be focused quite specifically usually just around where the muscles attach here. So that's a good starting point. Now if you're able to keep the shoulder blades just where they are, let the carriage slide in and let your elbows be pulled that way. Okay. You good? So hold the Scapula and let the elbows people that way. Oh my gosh. Okay, good. Okay, so we're going to hold that still.
It looks very awkward from back here, but uh, okay. Maybe it seems so much more intuitive. Just slouch. Yeah. Well, when you slouch, the Scapula move forward and the stretch disappears. Right? Good. So let's do a contraction. So this time again, make sure that the elbows don't move and just push your hands into your lower back as if you're swinging forwards. So one, two, three, four, five, take a breath in. And again, let the shot, let the elbows go without the shoulders, the shoulder blades moving. Those of you who play a lot of tennis, um, you'll probably find that the dominant arm is much tighter.
So if you turn a fraction towards that tighter side, you'll find the stretching creases and it doesn't need much. I just thought, yeah, it just, the thought, the very thought of it makes it stronger. Yeah, yeah. Moving it. That's right. And for some reason just turning the head slightly seems to intensify the stretch.
So if you find that you have a tight sigh, then it's a good idea to do the tight side probably at least for a few months, twice as often as the other one. Okay. So when you're coming out of this stretch, if you can use your feet just to pull the carriage a little to give yourself some slack. Yeah. And then just bring the arms out.
And also in the joints of the upper back and in the muscles between the shoulder blades. Okay. I'll show you how it looks. You kneel on the carriage and you want to try and be about parallel with the bar if you want to try that while I'm [inaudible] maybe few. Yeah. If you go that way. Yeah. So roughly parallel with a bar, just far enough away that you can read under and hold the bottom bar there. Yeah. Can you, yeah. You got it. Yeah.
And you want to be able to do that without having to twist your whole body. So you rotating the upper back. Once you've got a hold of that bar, lower yourself down and lean away. So that's the first bit. So I'll let you try that, Amy, and then we'll get into, that's just prep, preparing, getting into position. Although for some people it could already be a stretch. Yeah. Allowing yourself, no, you're right. Hold on to their, lower your chest. Good. And then lean away. Good. So that's the first position. Now if you want, if you want to make it a bit stronger, you, you have this hand directly above the bottom one and you push this hand into the bar and that takes this shoulder back and twists the thoracic area around a bit more. Okay, you're both feeling that.
So let's do a contraction, which is really just to [inaudible] try and pull the scapula back towards the middle of your spine. So retracting the Scapula. So let's go. One, two, three, four, five. Take a breath in. Ray, stretch first by leaning and then by pushing this hand in and youtube both got your arms straight, but your pretty flexible. A lot of lot of people, particularly men will have the arm of out here and just pushing the hand into the bar will make the stretch more intense. Again, if you find that you're able to straighten your arm easily, sometimes if you've got a yoga block, you can just put it in there and then you can be pushing against the block. Yeah. To get some more rotation and you're actually getting a lot of movement of the Scapula away from the spine, so you're going to be stretching those muscles in there as well. Okay. You can see Amy's spine from here is rotated quite a lot.
Yeah. In the roadway. Okay. So to come out of it, let's just take the bottom hand off the bar and the top one. Yep. And then just lift yourself out of it slowly.
Okay. So yeah. So lean away and then try and push that top hand in.
Take a breath in. Lean a little further. Good. And then press that top hand into the bar a bit more. And just one more little addition. If you, if you're able to, if you could turn your sternum towards the Cary Jamie, without actually moving out of position though. So you leave your arms where you are. Just think of turning a little bit. I, I was reluctant to say that because it can get confusing, but you need to hold yourself in position and just turn slightly to your, the middle of your chest towards the carriage.
But keep the downs where they are. Good. So when you've had health 10, let's come out of the stretch slowly. If you feel lightheaded as you come out of those stretches, just hold your breath until you're up like this. Okay, good. Alright, so we've done a bit of rotation. Now we need to stretch the long, the long head of tri-cities, which is often very tight in tennis players and the Letts specially on the dominant side. So let's, um, let's do another one on the reformer and then there is a floor version, but you both look comfortable there.
So let's try it on the reformer. So what you need here is probably just a blue spring. And to stretch the lads, we need to get the arms overhead. That's the essential part. So what we'll do is I'll sit on an on, not quite parallel on a slight angle, a bleak angle towards the bar. And then I'm going to push the carriage out and low on my chest this way.
Okay. It doesn't matter if you bought them lifts. So that's the starting position. And really what we'll, while we're in is an overhead position. That's the start. So let's, let's get into that and then I'll talk about the rest. Sarah, if you just put your hand a bit wider. Yeah, that's good. So slight angle, reach around, push the carriage out as far as you can and lower your chest as much as you can. So that's the first position. Then watch an eight to do is you need to move your shoulders sideways away from the center of the carriage. So it really, we're doing that so we, yeah, moving out.
So we're bending the LED's around the rib cage. This can be a shorter, yeah. Yeah. That hand about shoulder width and this hand, the middle hand on the bar is pushing into the bash. Yes. Push and lane. Oh, okay. Yeah, yeah. That one's just holding still good. So you're both feeling a stretch there. Again, the stretch should be there on the outside of the spine. If it's deep in the shoulder joint, it's not a stretch, it's, it's probably a an impingement. So if that's the case, we'll find a different stretch for you. All right, so we'll do a contraction.
So we're gonna push this arm, the one that we're stretching outwards, so as if you're trying to length on the bar. So push it out. So one, two, you're just pushing into my hand. Three,
And this is by pushing you out a bit more. Yeah. The very ice in here is to lift the outside shoulder, but you need to make sure when you lifted, you keep leaning. Yeah. How's that feel? Yeah, you won't get a great deal of movement that you might find that the stretch moves here and down into some of the lake and quadratus muscles as well. Yeah. You have the Cape, the lane, you're getting a stretch this. Yeah. So I'll just push you a bit. Now try and lift this outside solver
How's that? So as I said, that might change the stretch to a little lower down and maybe around the waist a bit more. Especially if you exaggerate your breathing. Yeah, I can feel your breath going into here. And that is like pumping up a little ball in there and it stretches all the muscles that are surrounding it. Okay, good. All right. So you can roll back slowly and bring the carriage in.
So always you're leaning away from the center of the carriage.
Or it's as if you're lengthening the bar and stop. Take a deep breath in and then see if you can lean a bit further out and then push the hand in. It's in the middle of the bar. Push that into the bar. Good. And the final variation was to just lift. Raise that outside shoulder and I'll show you again, if you've got a partner they could push you out and help you to raise.
Is that all right? And it can exaggerate the breathing as much as you can. What we're trying to do with the breathing here is use the breath to open up whatever space is available. So it's not um, lateral constricted breathing. It's full breathing. Okay. When you found well while you come out of it, I'll just get a box or here's one and we're going to do a back bend to finish off. Good. So a lot of tennis players, um, are very tight in the pics because of the nature of the sport again and there'll be quite rounded through the upper back. Um, so let's try a stretch that will open up the chest and extend the upper back a little as well. So I'm gonna, I've put the box here because not everyone likes having their head into strong and extended position. Let's um, let's put on all the springs because we don't need the carriage to move.
I'll get you in position first time if you sit right up here facing that way. And depending on how much a I'll have, how much have Barney your back is in him? I'm trying to think of a delicate way of putting this. It depends on how much body fat there is. Back here you have, you've got quite a lot there. I mean, no, I'm kidding you. You don't have much. Say you might need some more padding, but let's give it a try first.
So if you like lie back like this, the, the bar is just below your scapula. Yeah. And take, he hit back. Is that comfortable? Okay. Now I'll get a, you can try that too and I'll get a stick while you're relaxing there. All right. So take your head back and take your arms back and with your legs.
Let them hang over the aides so that your hip flexor muscles are relaxed. Because remember your hip flexor muscles also attached to the lumbar spine. And I will prevent your lumbar spine from opening up and being distracted if they're tight or contracted. So relax them as much as you can. I'll get to you in a minute. Sarah, if you just relax there. So Amy, I'm going to just pull back on your arms and you tell me when it's enough. She's never going to say stop. Uh, not obviously. Just letting, yeah, just relax.
Fantastic. Okay. Is that far enough? This? Sure. Yeah. So remember the first position should be about five or six out of 10 in terms of what you think he could tolerate about their good. So let's do a contraction. If you push your hands up to the ceiling, good, then stop breathing. And then I'm going to re stretch a little. You say when Jane Moore.
When you're coming out of this, be very careful because remember that your disks are all protruding forward. I'll give you a stretch in a minute. So you need to contract your abdominal muscles, tighten and just flex yourself forward. And then you might want to do a counter pose, which is what you're doing pretty naturally anyway, which is just going into that rest position. While you're doing that, I'm going to give Sarah an alternative position, so see how you've got your hands together. You can bend your elbows for those of you who have that sense of impingement here.
If you hold this position it externally or turns out the upper arms, which gives you a bit more space here so it's a bit more comfortable. So from here I'm going to pull your arms back and down
All right, so push your arms up and relax. Breathing.
I'm going to step back very quickly. Okay, good. So again, remember when you're coming out of this stretch flex, I take the Tuck Your Chin in towards your next, a little bit of flexing. Good. Tighten your abdominal muscles and you might even want to use your arms to help you out of it.
Rissa pushed them voids and upwards flex or, or tilt your, allow your pelvis to tilt backward and tighten your abdominal muscles. So we're flexing right through the spine and by pushing forward and upwards brings the stretch up here as well. As I said, we were going to do a golf class in a moment and there's a lot of overlap between the rotational movements in swinging a golf club and a tennis club. So in the next class, we're going to focus a bit more on the muscles of the hips and trunk, um, B, which will also be relevant to tennis players, but it's, um, so hopefully if you look at the next one, you will get a really good, um, group of stretches that you can find for yourself and practice over a period of time. Okay. Thank you. All right. Thank you