In an annual survey by Sport England, the sports governing body for England, about the number of people who play tennis, it was found that as of 2021, roughly 641,700 people play tennis at least twice a month
With Wimbledon nearly at an end for another year these numbers are bound to increase as inspired tennis players take to the courts either as beginners or motivated seasoned players. No matter what level of sports you play, looking after your body is key. If you’re playing at a professional or semi-professional level doing all you can to prevent injury, improve fitness levels and stamina is top of the list.
The GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® was developed by Juliu Horvath more than 30 years ago. A blend of dance, yoga, tai chi, and swimming, the method promotes fluid, undulating motion accompanied by varied breathing patterns to regenerate and stimulate the entire body. The GYROTONIC practice uses specialist equipment which supports the body through all ranges of movement and encourages expansion and suppleness.
Tennis great, Andy Murray turned to Gyrotonic following back surgery in 2013. In an interview with The Guardian Murray said:
“I used to train extremely hard. I don’t think I looked after my body as well as I should have done. That was something that changed a few years ago. Now that I have been looking after it, doing way more different types of stretching, sort of injury prevention work, my back is no issue whatsoever. Whereas for two years I was in a lot of pain because I was training hard but not doing the right stuff to get it better.”
Professional tennis player, Keelan Oakley has been using Gyrotonic in his training for the past couple of years under the tuition of Hayley Oxley in Brighton.
“Since I've been working with Hayley doing Gyrotonic exercises I have noticed a big difference in not only awareness of my own body, but also my ability to put my body in positions that look stressful on court, but are controlled. The Gyrotonic method has helped strengthen my back so it feels comfortable and stronger in all positions and I haven't had a back spasm in 18 months which has been amazing as I was getting them every 3 months!”
With its growing popularity, the system is also being used to enhance training for a variety of different athletic fields. It was only a matter of time before tennis added GYROTONIC® to its list for strengthening and cross-training. The equipment is designed for the execution of movements and exercises; which encourages total freedom and enhances coordination, strength and flexibility. With special attention paid to increase the functional capacity of the spine, results are a superior and well-proportioned body, which is significantly less prone to injuries. Motion patterns are natural, turbulence free and pure without interruption, creating a bridge between contraction and extension through the rotating movement of the joints, thereby creating enhanced balance. These very concepts are a direct link to the needs of tennis players of any level.
Some areas specific to the needs of tennis players are upper and lower body alignment and form. Attention to footwork and placement of weight on the metatarsal for greatest balance and agility. Exercises increase rotation of the spine, strengthen wrists, abdominals and back muscles, and improve serves, volleys, and ground strokes. Along with this are elements of breathing, which are key to remaining focused and keeping muscles healthy and responsive in the midst of any athletic venture. There is also a cardiovascular-aerobic element for the more accomplished athlete.
Whether you’re an athlete looking to improve your performance, or a newbie to the tennis courts, Gyrotonic can ensure you give your very best to the sport, keeping injuries to a minimum.