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When faced with a tennis injury of any kind, it’s important to find the right kind of tennis gear to ensure you’re no longer causing additional pain or worsening the existing injury in some way.
Luckily, thanks to the latest technology and the commonality of tennis injuries in general, there are plenty of options for you to choose from.
If you’re someone who suffers from a shoulder injury of some kind, the best place for you to start swapping out your current gear for injury friendly gear would be with a new tennis racquet.
There are plenty of shoulder friendly tennis options out there, but it’s important to start with the basics before jumping into key considerations.
Having a better general understanding of tennis racquets will help you when considering which racquet will be the most ideal for your particular shoulder injury – as there are many different variations on shoulder injuries that could affect your personal racquet choice.
Types of Racquets
Unlike other gear groupings, racquets are grouped by what they have to offer, not a specific name. These groupings would be: Power, Control, In-Betweeners.
Though you may be more interested in which racquet is best suited for your injury, it’s still worth your while to read up on these racquet types when considering what fit might be best for you.
If you’re interested in more details about the types of racquets and the racquet selection process, you can watch this short video below for more information.
As the name states, these racquets help tennis players hit more aggressively without overexerting themselves.
Usually this category of racquets are recommended for beginner to intermediate players for this reason, as they may not have had time or training to hone their skill set to generate the appropriate amount of power necessary for a solid hit.
This racquet can supplement in the meantime.
That isn’t always the case though; tennis players who are smaller, shorter or have yet to build up strength in their arms could really benefit from a racquet that offers plenty of power, as they may struggle to generate it on their own.
If you’re unsure what a typical Power-based racquet looks like, here are a few key characteristics:
- oversized head: the larger the head, the more power the racquet will be able to provide and the bigger the sweet spot which are a few features many beginner players love to benefit from
- larger in length: more leverage
- stiff frame: better ball rebounds – quicker and with less effort
- lighter construction: easy to swing and light on the arm
These racquets, also called players racquets, are the exact opposite of the Power racquets mentioned above.
Rather than focusing primarily on power, these racquets are all about ensuring accuracy and control on the court.
This is because generally the player has already acquired the necessary skill or form to provide the power needed to swing.
You won’t find many beginner players using this type of racquet, as this is generally the choice for the more seasoned or professional players.
That being said, just because you may be an advanced player, doesn’t mean that you have to assume a control racquet is best for you.
There are plenty of professionals who still opt for a Power or In-Between Racquet.
It’s still important to find the best fit for YOU – as opposed to just choosing a more advanced racquet for the sake of being a more advanced player.
It’s just not recommended for beginners to choose a Control Racquet since they don’t possess the necessary form or skills required to wield the racquet well.
If you’re someone who tends to try and reign in their hard hits, this might also be a good fit for you, as it doesn’t make swinging with power any easier.
With another racquet like the one mentioned above, you might find it only makes the issue worse because it lends itself to adding power.
This racquet could help reign in your game a bit and add some accuracy as well. Be sure to try it out and see how it feels.
Here are a few characteristics of a Control Racquet to keep in mind as you research and shop around:
- smaller head: lower margin for error, less spring, requires you to be more exact with your strokes
- shorter length: less leverage, but greater control when swinging because of the smaller racquet head
- flexible frame: tennis ball sits for a bit longer on the racquet which gives the control the player seeks
- heavier construction: more control, but heavier to swing, harder on your arm, requires proper form and footwork – not just swinging harder
Not surprisingly, these racquets are those that fall somewhere in the middle of the Power and Control Racquets.
These tend to provide a general sweet spot for players of varying skill levels and uses.
You’re able to get both power and control, but not so much of one or the other that you’re either relying too much on the racquet or required not to rely on the racquet at all.
It’s a great place to start, especially for beginners or youngsters who aren’t sure what suits them best.
This is what the typical In-Between Racquet looks like:
- mid-sized head
- mid-sized length
- mid-weight construction, usually leans a little lighter though
What to look for in a shoulder-friendly racquet
Before diving into those key characteristics you’ve been waiting for, it’s important to note that before purchasing a racquet on a whim you should definitely try it out first.
Every player knows the feel they’re looking for, but he or she won’t know for sure until the racquet is in hand. Keep this in mind as you look through the following quick characteristics:
- lighter or mid-weight construction to keep your arm and shoulder from doing too much of the work
- mid to oversized head to provide a larger sweet spot that allows you to have more flexibility in your hits and requires less accuracy
- semi-stiff to stiff racquet which would prevent overextending your arm or shoulder as you swing
In general, it would be best to go with a racquet that either leans more towards the power side, as your injury will prevent you from providing the same amount of power as a player without a shoulder injury, or racquet that falls somewhere in the In-Between range.
That should be your ideal sweet spot to take it easy during game play and give your shoulder some relief.
Shoulder Friendly Tennis Racquets
There are a number of shoulder-friendly racquets that may help to support your joint and shoulder needs. It’s important to always consult a medical professional before selecting a new racquet if you are having shoulder issues or concerns.
The following racquet options may work well for your shoulders.
Wilson 2018 Pro Staff 97 CV (Countervail) Tennis Racquet – Quality String
This Wilson racquet checks every box on the list for an arm friendly racquet.
It falls into more of the power category and provides an overall lightweight feel to take some of the pressure off of your shoulder.
Though it does pack a punch, it doesn’t compromise on control or maneuverability either.
Sure, it won’t provide as much control as some racquets, but you probably won’t miss much with this option.
The string pattern on this racquet is 16×18, which ensures you’ll have plenty of shock absorption and is actually one the key characteristics that puts it in the running for the best shoulder friendly buy.
Another fun little detail – who says you have to compromise on looks just because you need a racquet to help out with a shoulder injury?
This racquet is designed with a sleek black look and has the traditional Wilson logo printed on the strings, making for a classy look that will stand out on the court.
View at Amazon to learn more about how this racquet may work for your needs.
Here are a few key specs from the manufacturer:
- 10.7 ounces
- 6-point head light balance
- 16×18 string pattern
- Offers shock reduction and absorption
The only con we might mention is in regard to the narrow grip.
Wilson Blade 98 16×19 CV (Countervail) Green/Black Tennis Racquet Strung with Custom Racket String Color
Wilson seems to knock it out of the park for arm and shoulder friendly racquets. This racquet’s main goal is to reduce the vibration and shock many players can experience while hitting during practice or game play.
Though this racquet is very lightweight (which is always great for anyone with shoulder injuries), most players are surprised and impressed with its construction and overall feel.
Even the most abrasive shots seem to be absorbed as you swing. Its well distributed weight allow for a great deal of control and maneuverability despite its priority for control overall.
Just like the other model, Wilson doesn’t slack on design or customization.
This model offers an elegant design and customization options for the string color.
With 10 different colors to choose from (from neon pink to a simple black or nude option), your racquet is sure to stand out from the crowd. You can’t go wrong with a Wilson racquet.
View at Amazon for more information on the use of this product with your should needs and limitations.
Here are a few key specs from the manufacturer:
- 11 ounces
- 16×19 string pattern
- Impressive shock reduction and absorption
- Slightly Head Heavy
- Great power with every shot
The only cons we seem to be able to report on are the narrow grip and less-than-stellar performance on top spins.
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com @IgorTishenko