New research shows tennis players’ endurance and strength improves after Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT). The research from Pune, India, is in the International Journal of Current Research (February 2018).
What affects tennis performance
The main characteristics of this game are intense bouts of running, such as sprinting to reach a ball. Consequently, breathing is driven to its highest levels. And this induces extreme breathlessness. This affects performance.
In order to continue to play effectively while maintaining a high level of skill performance, breathing mustn’t hinder performance.
Breathing effort in tennis
Playing tennis involves using your breathing muscles in your torso to brace and twist during a racket stroke. Also, experienced players use their inflated lungs to brace the impact of the ball and racket. This helps them to control the release of air from their lungs and optimise the transmission of force. However, breathing muscle fatigue impairs this control. Thankfully though, breathing muscle strengthening training will improve this. Using a device that specifically trains the breathing muscles, the inspiratory muscles, is the easiest way of doing this. These are called Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) devices, such as POWERbreathe IMT. And training your breathing muscles to become stronger can help with a player's postural control and movement too.
Research into players' endurance
The research from Pune highlights the fact that tennis matches feature high-intensity, short- duration bouts of extreme activity with a short rest time. And it’s the competition of blood flow between the arms and legs and the breathing muscles which ultimately increases breathing fatigue.
For this study, researchers use the POWERbreathe KH1 Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) device to strengthen participants’ breathing muscles. Furthermore, each participant performed a prescribed protocol for using the device for five days over four weeks. Researchers were aiming to assess the effect of IMT on cardiovascular endurance in lawn tennis players.
The findings of this latest research show there to be,
“significant improvement in cardiovascular endurance and strength in lawn tennis players after progressive inspiratory muscle training.”
How to improve tennis performance
POWERbreathe IMT specifically targets the breathing muscles, strengthening them by around 30-50%, significantly improving performance and helping to eliminate breathing fatigue. And these findings are a result of studies with tennis players who, after IMT, took less time to recover and were ready sprint maximally again more quickly.