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What to do
I tore a muscle in my calf the other day and the doctor gave me anti-inflamatory tablets and told me not to play tennis for a month. It's killing me not being able to play as I normally play about 12 hours a week and all of a sudden I've got loads of time on my hands. (One reason why I am on this forum a lot lately.)
Any tips for avoiding this in future? And what excercises to do in the mean time. I was thinking of going swimming while I am off the tennis and when I am fully fit again start working out with weights to build up the muscles a bit.
I always warm up fully and stretch before playing by the way.
The tennis channel sure would help pass time. Good luck with your recovery.
Thanks. Been watching the Miami Masters. Baghdatis looks on fire.
I love how he enjoys tennis. How does somebody play competitively at that level yet always finds a way to enjoy win or lose?
By your statement of warming up and stretching ALWAYS, maybe you're prone to tight muscles and tendons/ligaments, and you stretch because you KNOW it's something that might get pulled during hard exercise.
For now, play air hockey and pingpong one legged, making your opponent do the same..
For the future, maybe controll your enthusiasm going to the ball, allow winners to be winners, and take it easy. Some say the chondrotin/glucosomins's help retain flexibility in the joints, but I won't comment, as it's hard to prove one way or another.
Reign in your spirits.
Thanks for the tip on one legged air hockey and ping pong - good one. Do I use the side of my hand with that?
Actually the main reason I always warm up and stretch before a game is because that is what you are supposed to do. Been lucky up to now with injuries really and this is the first so can't really complain considering the amount of tennis I play.
Maybe I will do a Baghdatis and come back all guns blazing.
Ugh! I am out with golfer's elbow, so I totally sympathize. In doing some reading on-line, I got some terrific tips from Mayo Clinic including that all this time I spend typing can be a factor if the ergonomics aren't correct. Who would of thunk?!
Increase your protein intake. Feeding the muscles more protein keeps them healthy and with training, will build the muscles as well. The more muscles fiber you have(especially in the lower extremities), the better. You won't have issues with flexibility or anything like that (look at Chang's legs and he never had an injury). Just make sure you stretch. The bigger and stronger your muscles are, the less chance you will get injured. I've seen bodybuilders who were twice as limber as some of the tour players I know and have three times the muscle mass. Also, after eating a healthy meal, soak your injured leg in warm to hot water so that the nutrient-enriched blood flows down to that area more freely. The warm water will really open up the vessels and let the blood flow through that area well......
Swimming is really amazing. I know this 1 teacher @ my middle school who used to coach college tennis and now coaches swimming, and she says that swimming probably helped her a lot, and her team also. I think she had them swim once a week or so.
You have no real stress on the joints, and its very good to keep you fit.
Mal-J do you play in an indoor or outdoor court? When I used to play outside, even if I stretched adequately, (my indoor routine), it usually wasn't enough if it was cold. I pulled a lot of muscles from that..
I don't really know much about weight lifting, so what everyone else says sounds great.
Thanks for those tips Tennisking. With regards to the protein intake, what would you say was a good balance with carbs? Two parts carbs to one part protein?
Thanks 03White. I am going to start swimming more. I play indoors and out (more inside during the winter) and first got the injury indoors. I should have stopped altogether for a while straight away. But I had arranged to play a match in Spain and didn't want to pull out so in less than a week I was back on a court thinking it would be OK. Then limped off after a set and a half having made it worse than it was originally. Won't be doing that again. Shame because I had won the first set 6 - 0.
The most annoying thing about it all is that just before the injury started in the first place, I was having a really good run. People I had traded sets with in the past I was now beating easily, and one guy - who I had never beaten before - I beat in straight sets. It's like one step forward and two steps back.
I think that would be fine. You need to take in extra protein to build that muscle back up and once you start training, to build it bigger. Make sure you use the warm water on it to get the blood flowing to that area. Ice is great for inflammation, but not good when you are trying to heal an injury as the blood will flow away from that area. Just add a protein shake to your diet everyday. That should help it. Once it is healed, do calf raises to build them up. Stretch in the shower too. Good luck!
Originally Posted by mal-j
Let it heal completely. Take all the time required for complete recovery. A torn calf muscle can be a recurring injury. Some things never really are 100% again and will always be a potential problem. It's better to be off now for four to six weeks than to be hobbling around with a recurring injury and having to modify your playing style.
couldn't agree more with the geezer. it will be tough to stay off the courts especially this time of year, but you will thank yourself the rest of your life.