Tennis is a very physical sport; tennis players must be ready to hit the ground running when they step on the court. But this might be hard to do if you have tight, sore calf muscles -- you just can’t move. If you find yourself in a must-play situation, performing a 15-minute dynamic warm-up can help. This type of pre-match warm-up involves stretching with movement. Once you’ve gotten your muscles warm, given yourself a quick massage and put on some sort of muscle support, you should be good to go.
Take several laps around the tennis court to elevate your body temperature and get your blood flowing to your muscles. Make the first lap a slow walk, the second lap a brisk walk and the third lap a slow jog. While you're doing your laps, swing your arms back and forth and practice controlled breathing.
Stand on one doubles sideline and face the opposite line. March across to the opposite side of the court lifting your knees up as high as you can. As you do, wrap your arms around your knees and draw them into your chest for a quick hug. When you get to the opposite line, turn around and march back to the starting line. Repeat three times.
Add a lunge and a calf raise to your marching. When you lift your left leg for a knee hug, simultaneously raise up onto the toes of your right foot. After releasing the hug, take a large step forward with your left leg. Bend your hips and knees slightly and lower your body into a lunge position. Pause, push with your legs and return to a standing position. Now, lift your right leg, give your knee a hug, rise up onto the toes of your left foot and take another lunge step forward. Continue toward the opposite sideline. Repeat two times.
Warm up with toe and heel walks. Stand on one doubles sideline to start the exercise. Rise up onto your toes and walk across the court to the opposite sideline. Turn around, flex your ankles, pull your toes up to stretch your calf muscles and walk back to the starting line on your heels. Repeat one more time.
Apply muscle heat ointment to your calf muscles. Give your legs a little massage and then slide on a stretchy calf sleeve to give your muscles a little extra support while playing.
- Perform a few static stretches after playing your match. These are stretches without movement and are held for 20 to 30 seconds. Static stretches help prevent post-tennis soreness and improve your flexibility -- your muscles lengthen instead of tightening up.
- It's not uncommon for muscles to become sore from playing tennis, or any sport. If your soreness is more intense to the point of being painful, consult your doctor before playing.