The Bespoken Word



How can you unlock the power in your serve?

Looking to hit an ace like Angelique? As the US Open is drawing to a close, we know you’re all inspired by the pros battling it out at Arthur Ashe stadium to extend your own personal summer season for as long as possible. We are all too familiar with the aches and pains that come along with a tough training day. That pesky wrist, irritated elbow, and nagging shoulder pain can seriously negatively impact your stroke. But don’t get frustrated, let us break it down and get to the bottom of what’s really going on, so you can return to the courts and bring your best ‘A’ game. 

The most common tennis injuries we see in the upper body:

  • Rotator cuff tendinitis/tendinosis
  • Tennis elbow
  • Wrist strains/sprains

So, where exactly do we start? Let’s take a moment to think about the nature of the swing. There are a variety of shots in tennis (forehand, backhand, block, slice) all which require a combination of demands on our joints. If a joint is stiff, that means it will not participate in movement the way that it should, ultimately resulting in injury over time. And although we don’t like pointing fingers, the culprit for elbow and wrist pain generally comes from the shoulder. The shoulder must have the ability to open at the top of the serve, the strength to return a volley, as well as the control to swing with proper form. If your shoulder mechanics are off, other joints will be forced to take the blow. 

Here is a quick test to help you figure out if you have overhead limitations. Set your iPhone (or Droid) at the angle I’ve shown below, and get the video camera rolling. Lie onto your belly and put your arms over your head with your biceps close to your ears, just like superman! Tuck your chin towards your chest, point your thumbs towards the ceiling and lift your arms off of the floor as high as you can. Notice a difference? Then you may have found your problem! 

Superman position to help unlock your super powers.
Superman position to help unlock your super powers.

Tennis Elbow – it’s time to meet your match! Seek help from your personal support team a.k.a.your Bespoke Therapist!! Bespoke Treatments are designed with your needs in mind. It will combine hands on treatment and exercise prescription to help manage the demands placed on your body, addressing existing injuries and focusing on recovery for optimal playing performance. Therapists employ many different techniques that will help decrease pain, release bound down tissues, and restore healthy joint motion to get you back to the courts in no time. Here are a few services we offer: 

The treatments may include:

  • Review of injury history and training regimen/playing demands
  • Physical musculoskeletal examination and movement assessment
  • Soft tissue and joint mobilization techniques:
    • Myofascial Release
    • Manual Therapy
    • Graston and IASTM techniques  (Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization) 
  • Proprioceptive and strength exercises
  • Specific neuromuscular education
  • Functional Movement Taping
  • Training strategies to reduce or eliminate pain
  • Compex Recovery and muscle stimulation
  • Ultrasound and muscle energy
  • Pre match muscle activation and warm up technique education
  • Post match education to help maximize recovery through both active and nutritional techniques.

Here at Bespoke, we are proud to give 60 minutes of one-on-one attention; where we’re able to watch the way you move, fix your asymmetries and unlock your potential. Happy training everyone, see you at the Open!