How to prepare your body for the Tennis season and avoid Tennis elbow!

Jun 16, 2021

The sporting season is upon us! Summer has finally caught up and if there’s one thing that’s best done in the sun, its sports! The easing of lockdown couldn’t have happened at a better time, teaming up with the European Football Championship and Wimbledon! As a nation, we love sports, so it’s no wonder that Football and Tennis are both in the top 5 spots for favourite UK sport and favourite UK sporting event to attend. The sudden surge in heat and motivation from organised outdoor sporting events has caused us all to dig out our old footballs and tennis rackets from the shed and get playing!

So now that we’re all enjoying playing sports again it is important to know how to prepare yourself for the sport and how to offset the impact on your body to avoid injury – today we’re going to talk about Tennis!

Tennis is a great sport and loved by many, and although it is great for our general health to play Tennis, it is also a heavily one-sided sport. What this means is that your body is constantly working on just one side repeatedly which can have a negative impact on you if not counter acted. Heavily working just one shoulder/arm and side of your back can easily cause overloading and lead to injury. If your chosen sport of 2021 is going to be Tennis, you will need to make sure to do some compensational sports alongside playing Tennis to counter act this.

What makes a good compensational sport?

A good compensational sport is any sport that works a different part of your body than the sport you play. For example, pro Tennis players will strive to play Football in their free time. Football is a great partner sport for Tennis as it works mainly your legs and lower body which will allow your arm time to rest in between Tennis sessions helping you to avoid overloading and creating balance of the body.

Another important thing to bear in mind when playing Tennis is your choice of racket. The wrong racket can cause you to play improperly and can also lead to injury so choosing a good racket is essential.

What makes a good racket?

There are many different types of Tennis rackets, usually varying in size and weight. This is because everyone’s grip strength and arm length differ, so what makes the racket good will be how it matches with your strength/ size and grip. A common mistake is to assume all rackets are the same. Ending up with a racket that is too heavy for you can result in overloading of the shoulder from bearing the weight of this racket. The outcome could either be a poorer performance when playing or even injuries such as Tennis elbow or Golfer’s elbow.

What is Tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow is mostly caused by overusing your forearm due to a repetitive or strenuous activity. It can also sometimes occur after banging or knocking your elbow. If the muscles in your forearm are strained, tiny tears and inflammation can develop near the bony lump (lateral epicondyle) on the outside of your elbow. You may get tennis elbow if your forearm muscles are not used to doing a certain activity, or sport. This is why those of us who have just started playing Tennis again recently to get back into the swing of Tennis season, are at high risk of getting this. However, Tennis elbow is not restricted to Tennis players only.

You can develop tennis elbow by doing any form of activity that involves repeatedly twisting your wrist and bending your elbow or using your forearm muscles. Examples include:

  • Any other racquet sport (badminton or squash) or sports that involve throwing (javelin or discus)
  • using hand tools repeatedly (gardening shears, screwdriver or scissors)
  • using tools while decorating, plumbing or bricklaying
  • activities that involve fine, repetitive hand and wrist movements (typing or sewing)
  • activities that involve repeatedly bending the elbow (playing golf, which can also lead to golfers’ elbow)

What is Golfer’s elbow?

Golfer’s elbow, or also known as medial epicondylitis or epicondylopathy, is a condition which causes pain around the inside bony part of the elbow and can radiate down into the forearm. People of any age can get golfer’s elbow but it mainly affects people between the ages of 40 and 60 with males and females equally affected.

Golfer’s elbow can happen as a result of a specific injury but is more often an overuse injury primarily due to repetitive strain from tasks and activities that involve gripping, rotating your arm and flexing your wrist. Repeated movements of flexing the wrist, gripping or swinging can cause strains or small tears in the tendons at the elbow similar to that of Tennis elbow which is why it is possible to get either Golfers elbow or Tennis elbow while playing Tennis.

If you believe you may be suffering from either of these conditions or you’re unsure if Physiotherapy is for you, why not book a FREE 15-minute discovery visit?

In this complimentary visit you will have a chance to speak to a physio about your needs/and or condition/concerns and they will let you know if physio is right for you.

To book an appointment or a discovery visit, call us on: 0207 636 8845


Since seeing Louise (following an Achilles rupture repair), I have:

- Made it back onto tennis / squash courts to (tentatively!) celebrate 1 year anniversary of my surgery 
- Ran my fastest 10k at 43.57! 
- Ran 5k in 21:30 (vs pre-surgery PB of 20:18) 
- I increased my single leg calf lift to 59 kg (vs ~18 kg initially a few months ago) 
- I had a final appt with my consultant, who discharged me while congratulating me on a wonderful recovery

All the above is to illustrate that I'm absolutely delighted with the progress I have made since last summer when I couldn't do anything and the outlook seemed bleak. I'll be forever grateful for Louise’s guidance and support as I've navigated the long road back from my injury, and I appreciate the continued advice to help me prepare for more dynamic activity. Louise has been really fantastic and I couldn't have asked for better care.

Recovering from a full Achilles rupture. Started my work with Nina in feb and my progress has only been positive and upwards and I am almost at full speed again. Nina put me back together again almost from scratch. She is the best physio I have ever worked with and will again. Very knowledgable and very hard working. Can’t recommend enough.


What a great find! My orthopaedic surgeon recommended them and I can't rate Luigi, Gloria and the team more highly. Excellent service and very effective treatment- recovering nicely!


I am 84 years old, and have always been fit and healthy and exercised regularly. 3 years ago I underwent emergency surgery for peritonitis, and had a colonoscopy bag for 6 months and straight after surgery to reversal of the stoma. After this surgery I felt my legs very weak. To complete my drama, during the last summer I developed an abdominal hernia and had surgery for hernia repair. This made me even weaker specially at my legs. I have recovered but felt weak. I started my sessions at ALO Physiotherapy at the beginning of January, with the Vibra Machine combined with specific exercises. I have now recovered my body strength, particularly in the legs. I am now walking normally and without pain. I am delighted!


Great clinic with great people! I was so lucky to find this clinic and even more when I met Andre. He's a very talented therapist and a wonderful person who makes you feel comfortable every time. He helped me to resolve my back problems in few appointments and I will be always grateful to him! From my experience is the best clinic in London and I highly recommend them without any doubts!


One of the best physiotherapy centres in the world! The professionalism and knowledge of this centre amazed me.


I am so glad I found this clinic. Luigi has been amazing. After my 1st session I felt an improvement and now have ALOT more movement and significant reduction in pain. I couldn’t recommend this clinic & Luigi enough. So helpful and flexible whenever I have needed to amend appointments. Every one is fantastic. I will continue to come here for as long as I need.


Andre is the best physiotherapist I came across. As a dedicated martial arts practitioner, I regularly use his services. He has always managed to fix my various back and leg injuries. I would recommend Alo Physiotherapy to anyone who suffers from body pain.


Where do I begin? The journey has been too long with Andre Oliveira and ALO Clinic , as he helped me both physically and mentally to overcome an injury I had in both of my knees. A small injury , after following wrong treatment became chronic and I found myself unable to walk/stand/run and do the simplest things- the mental impact was worse. I was introduced to Andre by Eleftherios Pavlidis who runs Laertion in Athens. lefteris with his team were the first to accommodate the problem and told me what I need to do. As a Londoner, I was introduced to Andre and ALO Clinic, and the rest is history. Since February 2017 when I had the first session with Andre and he identified the biomechanic nature of the problem, along with the use of Tecar the results were visible after one month. Since then, along with personal effort and strengthening I did always guided by Andre, I the problem is restored and the pain is gone. I highly recommend ALO Physiotherapy Clinic , and Andre Oliveira for anyone who suffers from sport injuries , amateurs or professional top athletes.


Very professional staff and friendly environment. I felt a lot better after very first session. Appointment are easily available. I would definitely recommend this place


The care I received from ALO Physiotherapy was outstanding from the first session to the last. Sessions with Louise were informative as well as practical, allowing me to understand the context/logic behind treatment as well as tips to prevent future injuries. Louise was always readily available to answer my questions and the treatment process was collaborative rather than being prescriptive. Beyond the expertise of the team the quality of the equipment and facilities was incredibly high and aided my recovery significantly. I would recommend ALO Physiotherapy to anyone who requires physiotherapy treatment in the Marylebone area.

ALO is an excellent well-run clinic and Louise Hynes who looked after me is a superb physiotherapist. Louise is knowledgeable, skilled and very efficient at her job. My sore shoulder was sorted out in no time thanks to her. Thank you, Louise, and thank you ALO.

Julian Webber, Harley Street Endodontist.

ALO is an excellent well-run clinic and Louise Hynes who looked after me is a superb physiotherapist. Louise is knowledgeable, skilled and very efficient at her job. My sore shoulder was sorted out in no time thanks to her. Thank you, Louise, and thank you ALO.

Julian Webber, Harley Street Endodontist.

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