Originally posted on the Upright blog.
Professional tennis player and former world No. 1 Serena Williams is serving up some serious posture goals in 2020. Teaming up with Amazon Sports, the tennis champ recently named the UPRIGHT GO 2 as one of her wellness must-haves for the new decade. The smart posture trainer sits alongside other essentials such as her trusty Wilson racket and rubber medicine ball. Check out the full list to see which other items made the cut.
For Williams, there were no shortcuts on the road to victory, which explains her steadfast reliance on self, rather than any quick fix, to achieve her goals. The beauty of the UPRIGHT GO 2, and one of the reasons it made it onto her list, is that it trains you to be completely self-sufficient. The tiny smart device sits on your upper back and gently vibrates when you slouch, reminding you to correct your posture. In as little as 14 days, you’ll start to build healthy new habits that last. Whereas New Year’s resolutions come and go, the GO 2 makes great posture and wellness a practical part of your everyday life. “I always say it’s about the lifestyle, not a moment,” Williams shared in an interview with Vogue.
The tennis legend clearly gets the relationship between good posture and performance on the court. Let’s explore in more detail how the two are connected and, hopefully, take your game to the next level.
Tennis the menace
Most sports involve a lot of repetitive movements that put a disproportionate emphasis on isolated muscle groups. The tennis swing, for example, works just your shoulders, chest, and abs, making you more likely to develop a muscle imbalance. As you continue to practice, your chest and shoulder muscles may shrink, pulling your shoulders inward so they appear rounded. What’s more, overworking your ab muscles as you build up your serve could leave you with an undesirable upper-back curve.
Don’t let all your hard work backfire! Stretch after every game and add some resistance training to your workout regimen. This will strengthen those underused upper back and shoulder muscles, helping you achieve a more balanced tennis posture. Of course, practicing correct body alignment shouldn’t end the moment you step off the court. A smart posture trainer like the UPRIGHT GO 2 enables you to keep strengthening your back and core all day, every day – without breaking a sweat.
A balanced posture gives you greater control of your contact points; those pivotal moments when the ball hits the strings of the racket. Players with incorrect posture often drop their head on the serve or overhead and dive headfirst into the contact point. This is a rookie mistake as hitting the ball too early often means burying the shot into the net. An upright shoulder and head position will help your swing to go out into the court as opposed to down into the net.
Tennis posture: Frame, set & match
Your ability to move nimbly around the tennis court in any direction ultimately depends on your ready position. That’s the stance you take as you wait for your opponent to hit the ball. Many players make the mistake of bending at the waist and keeping their knees locked while looking up at their opponent. But that just throws you off balance and slows you down. A much more effective ready position is one in which you bend your knees (up to 90 degrees) rather than your waist. Ideally, your back should be straight, head upright, and eyes level with the court.
When you watch professional players, you’ll notice that they keep their heads still as they move around. By resisting the temptation to let your head bob around in an uncontrolled manner, you’ll be able to execute smoother, more efficient swings and shoulder movements. Remember; the saying is to keep your eye the ball… not your whole head!