When analyzing global trends, it’s easy to conclude that tennis is one of the most popular sports in the world. A study by the Physical Activity Council found that an estimated 21.64 million Americans picked up a tennis racquet in 2020. Sooner or later, all those players want to learn how to improve tennis moves.
The best thing about tennis is that it benefits your entire well-being. Recent studies have concluded that recreational tennis players of all ages, abilities, and frequency of play have higher general, physical, social, and mental health scores than the general population.
There are numerous ways to improve tennis skills on and off the court. Those include improving your tennis knowledge, having a plan when you practice, holding the racket lightly, easing up on your serve, focusing on footwork, watching your diet, and ensuring you precondition before you play.
Here, we are going to focus on how to play tennis better using near-infrared therapy and improve your game before you even head out to the court.
What Is Near-Infrared Therapy?
Near-infrared light therapy is also called red LED light therapy, low-level laser therapy, and photobiomodulation.
All these terms refer to a therapy that uses light-emitting diodes to emit a range of wavelengths that mimic natural sunlight at sunset and dawn to help treat numerous health issues.
Specifically, near-infrared light belongs to the invisible part of the light spectrum, and its wavelengths are usually in the 700 to 2,500 nanometers range, considerably longer and more effective than blue and red light wavelengths.
What that really means is that near-infrared light penetrates beyond the surface of the skin, improving cell, bone, muscle, and organ health. Consequently, it can help improve tennis at home.
Though the terminology is new, near-infrared light therapy has been explored for 50 years, and there are over 100,000 studies indicating it as an effective and safe way to stimulate the body using photonic energy.
This type of therapy treatment is applied through a portable, ergonomic device like Flexbeam. Flexbeam emits red and near-infrared light in order to help relax muscles, increase blood circulation, and temporarily relieve muscle spasms, minor muscle, and joint aches, as well as minor pain and stiffness associated with arthritis, strains, and sprains.
How to Use Near-Infrared Therapy
Near-infrared and red light therapy device is one of the tennis bag essentials for both beginner and pro tennis players. Here are some ways you can use near-infrared therapy to improve tennis at home:
Enhance Your Performance
Near-infrared light therapy can be a useful tool in preparing you for intense training, matches or tournaments.
One of the benefits of near-infrared light therapy is that it can raise the levels of beta-endorphins in plasma, which are hormones that help relieve stress and manage pain. This is why near-infrared light can be a supplementary way to treat stress and anxiety. This can come particularly in handy before a big tournament.
Additionally, near-infrared light can stimulate cytochrome c oxidase, a membrane protein encoded in the mitochondrial genome, which can help boost energy metabolism and production. Consequently, that leads to accelerated cell and tissue repair.
The treatment protocol involves placing Flexbeam vertically over the top, mid, and bottom of the spine for 10 minutes each. Follow with placing it horizontally across and above the waistline for 10 minutes. Continue by placing it horizontally and vertically over the stomach for 10 minutes each. Finish by placing it vertically over the chest for 10 minutes.
Using this protocol 24 hours before intense training, a match, or a tournament. It will help you relax, reduce anxiety levels, and improve energy at the cellular level.
You can use the same protocol to prevent dramatic fitness losses during a de-training period, which is a period of rest after dedicated training. At the same time, it can help you prevent tennis injury.
Prepare for Your Training
Near-infrared light therapy can also help prepare you for immediate physical activity, exercise, and training. More effective training will definitely help improve tennis skills.
A study has determined that the treatments using near-infrared light therapy can increase human muscle performance, in combination with strength training.
Using Flexbeam about an hour before training or a game is best. Start by covering the muscles that work the most. The second option is areas where you are experiencing weakness both on your upper and lower body.
This protocol will require 3-4 placements for 40 minutes if you’re using one Flexbeam or 20 minutes if you’re using two.
Combat Your Muscular Fatigue
The very same protocol for preconditioning your body before play can also work to help combat post-training or post-tournament muscular fatigue.
A study of male soccer players showed that near-infrared light can reduce lactate levels. That is a substance carrying oxygen from your lungs to the other parts of your body. In turn, that can speed up your recovery and improve muscle fatigue.
Simply place Flexbeam over muscles that are aching an hour after intense physical training or a match. Use one device for 3-4 placements or two devices for 4-6 placements.
However, keep in mind that you should not use Flexbeam before and after training on a regular basis. Near-infrared light therapy treatments require occasional breaks to ensure the continued effectiveness of FlexBeam.
These are only some ways you can utilize near-infrared light therapy treatments with a portable device at home to help you improve your tennis game before you even step out onto the court.
However, make sure to use Flexbeam as recommended to get the best results out of your device.
First off, if you are injured, ice your injury for a few hours until the bruise is formed. Only use Flexbeam from that point on.
Secondly, use Flexbeam directly on the skin because clothes will block the effects of red and near-infrared light. Near-infrared light emits very little heat, so there is no danger of burns, thermal injuries, or skin cancer.
Finally, do not use Flexbeam on the head and face. It is too powerful and hasn’t been tested on the areas above the neck.
It may take 4-6 weeks of regular daily use for results to become apparent. Once they do, you can improve your tennis at home. You could reach the levels of your game you never before thought possible.