After a long, hard tennis match, the body can start to feel like it is about to fall apart. It is a grueling game on many different parts of the body, so proper recovery is necessary to get back into some type of playing shape once again.
How can a person get back into the swing of things? Using these recovery techniques, it is easier than ever to feel like the body is back to normal. Below are the 9 best ways to recover after a tennis match.
1. Ice Bath
It is very painful to step into an ice bath the first time, but it is well worth it to help with recovery. In fact, it works in two different ways, allowing people to see the benefits and start to get addicted to ice baths in general.
The first is that lactic acid will start to go away quickly right after a match if a person immerses themselves in an ice bath. It is essential to handle this lactic acid as much as possible, as people will bounce back much faster.
Having an ice bath also helps kill the chances of soreness seeping in. That is because it heals some of those micro-tears that exercising causes, and muscles return to their original state.
As long as the person does not stay in an ice bath for too long, the cold will not get to them. It just takes a little bit of getting used to before things can be second nature. Once tennis players notice some of the benefits they get from taking a bath like this, it becomes one of their favorite recovery options.
There is no reason to go out there and swim as fast as possible, but some leisurely laps can help stretch out and recover the entire body. The important thing here is not to keep things too strenuous, as a person just went through a pretty long match.
Swimming also allows people to cool themselves down a bit, and it could be very relaxing on the warmer summer days. As long as a person knows how to swim and is not afraid to try something different, it can be a great way to keep the body moving while also cooling down.
3. Hit Around
A light hit around after a match can be very beneficial for players trying to cool down. Not only does this help with the body’s recovery, but it can be a bit of a mental recovery as well.
The important thing is not to focus too much on the negative aspects of a match that just ended. This is just going to cause a lot of stress, and people are going to feel like they are beating themselves up for no reason. Try to keep things very simple and just hit around as more of a fun activity than anything.
The body starts to cool down with a light hit, and mentally, players might start to forget about some of the negatives as well. Keep a positive attitude during the post-match hit, and it will work for the best.
Going on a short jog is one of the easiest ways to recover after a tennis match. It requires no additional equipment, can be done just about anywhere, and people can relax their mind as much as their body when running.
A person does not have to run too fast to see the benefits of an excellent run. It is going to allow the muscles to cool down effectively, and that will help with the recovery process overall. It does not have to be too long, but just enough for people to feel like they got something out of it.
The one negative to jogging is that it is more pounding on the legs. For something that does not involve as much impact, cycling is a great option as well. It gets athletes off the hard surfaces while still getting some extra cardio.
A lot of people are going to get the same thing from jogging and cycling, but this is a little easier on the body. The only negative is that a person needs to bring a bike with them either to the match or access a stationary one close by.
They are not always available, but it is pretty common to see pro players using a bicycle to recover after a match when they are.
6. Stretching and/or a Massage
Not everyone can get a massage, but it can be very beneficial with the recovery process after a tennis match. Players are getting a full-body workout for the most part during a match, and having someone who can really help out with relaxing the muscles certainly is beneficial.
They are going to be the best at naturally increasing blood flow to help release lactic acid. They also help out a lot with injecting oxygen into those muscles.
Do not have time for a massage, or someone to provide it? The best alternative is to go with stretching over everything else. It is a very important part of the post-match recovery process and can work together or by itself when thinking about a massage.
Plenty of tennis players get by without getting a single massage in their life. By learning some of the basics and trying out tennis-specific options, stretching can be good enough. Never blame a lack of resources as a reason why recovery is not going as well as it should.
7. Eat & Drink
A body is pretty depleted after a tennis match, and food and water will make a big impact. Try to eat something relatively healthy, but something is better than nothing as long as the person is not trying to do everything on an empty stomach.
Water will help with replenishing fluids in the body and reduce the chances of any cramps popping up as well. That is the last thing anyone wants to have to deal with, as a person’s body is particularly vulnerable when sitting down.
Not capable of eating actual food right after a long tennis match? Some drinks can also provide nutrients one would typically get from food. They are easy to digest, even if a person has no appetite.
Meditation helps to clear the mind, but it relaxes the whole body once a person gets into it as well. It is a strategy that has been used across a lot of different sports, as people are trying to take a different approach to how they play the game.
It might not be super easy to meditate right after a match, but try to do it within the hour if possible. It just takes a little bit of time, and people will start to notice a difference more and more.
Meditation can help those who are having trouble going to sleep right after a match. It allows a player to get in sync with their body, and reflect on what went well during tennis that day. The body might not always feel the best, but it usually feels a little bit better after a proper amount of meditation.
A key part of any recovery process to start is to get sleep. It is not always easy to fall asleep too fast after a match, but the body needs some level of rest.
Even a reasonably routine tennis match can wear on the body, and trying to play the next day again can be very tough on short rest. Take care of recovery in a few different ways before ultimately falling asleep.
Ideally, a player should be looking to get around eight hours of sleep. If a person is really struggling to go to bed after tennis, try to remove as many distractions as possible. Television, computers, smartphones, and more are all right there and easy to check out, but it can be very distracting for those actually trying to go to bed.
Making Recovery Routines a Habit
As long as a person is relatively disciplined, they can start to create some healthy habits that will last for a long time. It is better to start early on in a tennis-playing career, but it is not impossible to learn new techniques as well. As long as a person is willing to be just a little bit disciplined, they can see an increase in their tennis overall.