Depending on age and fitness level the time needed to regenerate after a hard match can vary quite a bit between individuals. In order to "help recovery" most players will spend some time standing under a hot shower, which in physiological terms is described as passive recovery. Very few will take an ice bath which draws the blood to the body's skin thus removing lactic acid out of the muscle tissue. Some will make time for a valuable massage session, which is described as a semi-passive recovery method. Maybe a few will use a stationary bike to spin off the lactate in their hard worked legs. I have no doubt that a percentage of top players use some of these methods to get a leg up on recovery. Yet one of the most time efficient, active recovery method, has stayed undiscovered in the tennis world, until now.
Time to introduce the 20 minute "regenerating-row-off." Why would a tennis player want to use rowing for faster recovery. For starters, rowing is a full-body-zero-impact-weight-supported motion which is extremely gentle on the joints and thus makes it easy to attain full range of motion with knees, hips, and ankles. The upper body hinges at the hip joint with loose shoulders while the lower back is supported allowing the hamstrings to gently stretch and contract, while the back is evenly engaged during the entire stroke cycle. Rowing's gentle and gradual resistance is excellent therapy for sore muscles. Rowing is an ACTIVE process for regenerating the body.
Rowing is also an excellent cross training exercise. Workouts vary in intensity and duration. The sport is known to produce some of the most aerobically fit and mentally tough athletes. Adding rowing to the weekly workout routine brings variety to training that otherwise is heavily focused on being upright and putting further pressure on joints that are already heavily taxed through tennis workouts and matches.
It would be awesome for me to help tennis players use rowing to improve their recovery and winning record! Consider our 10 Week Beginner package, which is excellent to gently learn to row, perfect for tennis cool downs and cross training.
www.row2go.com for online rowing workouts.
www.xenorowingcoach.com for DVDs and private coaching.