Weak Links in the Kinetic Chain in Tennis Players
Presenters of the Academy of Hand and Upper Extremity Physical Therapy session described the role of kinetic chain in tennis. They explained how weak links in the chain can translate into upper extremity injuries.
In tennis, the chain begins at the ground and moves upward through the legs, hips, trunk, back, shoulder, elbow, and, finally, the wrist. Most of the force produced in a tennis swing should from back the ground and lower extremities (50-54%). Along the chain, the amount of force produced shoulder diminish- with 21% at the shoulder, 15% at the elbow, and 10% at the wrist.
The researchers stated that a lot of recreational players stand there on the court. But the body needs to go back and down into the ground to load energy.
Most tennis injuries show up as overuse injuries in the rotator cuff and scapular area. And while this is the area of pain and tissue injury, it is important to look at all parts of the kinetic chain to see why the overuse is occurring in the shoulders.
— Korey Pieper, DPT, OCS, CCI
— PT In Motion 2019