Tennis. Play or not to play on the clay. That’s the question

 ____  6th June 2019  ____

Preparing for tennis clay tournaments with the Vislide

Different tennis court surfaces vary greatly in mechanical properties, with clay in particular imposing a greater demand on a player’s body.

Longer rally lengths, greater distances covered and a greater proportion of baseline points on clay courts demand a superior physiological response compared to an acrylic court. In addition, movement patterns are altered such as sliding during rapid decelerations or changes in direction to allow players to quickly return to the right position to play the next point.

Some veteran tennis players decide not to play on clay courts in order to protect their knees and back. A solution to this issue is to prepare the players before starting clay tournaments. But how should it be done? When changing surfaces, it is important to seek quick adaptations to the new demands by simulating technical movements through low impact sliding exercises. For these purposes, trainers and coaches may use the Vislide sliding platform with vibration as a powerful injury prevention tool. By combining sliding exercises and vibration, players may improve trunk stability and learn in advance how to adjust to the new situations they will encounter on the clay courts.

Sliding on clay has also been associated with an increase in muscle activity and fatigue. Use of the Vislide can help address these issues by increasing muscle activity through the effect of the vibratory stimulus on a low impact sliding surface with sudden changes of direction. In addition, it allows users to perform series of up to 4 minutes to improve resistance strength and mitigate the effects of fatigue. Everything a tennis players need to properly prepare for competitions on clay.

Recommended reading

Chelsea S., et al. Biomechanical responses to changes in friction on a clay court surface. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport 2017; 20(5):459-463.

Ponzano, M., et al. Effects of hard versus clay courts on athletic performance under conditions of fatigue in competitive tennis. Medicina dello Sport 2018; 71 (1) : 11–17.

Ura, D., et al. Influence of Clay Properties on Shoe-kinematics and Friction During Tennis Movements. Procedia Engineering. 2014; 72: 889–894.

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