Pickleball is an exciting sport that has been gaining popularity in recent years. It combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis to create a fast-paced game that can be enjoyed by players of all ages and skill levels.
A good warm-up routine is essential for any pickleball player who wants to perform at their best. The following 12 exercises are some of the most effective warm-up exercises for pickleball players. They focus on improving flexibility, mobility, and coordination while helping to prevent injury during play.
Each exercise should be done carefully, slowly increasing the intensity as your body becomes accustomed to the movements involved in pickleball.
With regular practice and dedication, these 12 exercises will help you get ready for a great pickleball match!
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12 Warm-Up Exercises for Pickleball
Preventing injuries is the main reason why you must warm up before pickleball. A muscle pull or joint injury is more likely to occur when you play pickleball without warming up. Getting your body ready for pickleball requires a good warm-up to loosen up your muscles and joints.
Pickleball is a full-body sport, so a good warmup should also target other parts of the body. Keeping the warm-up short, but effective, we’ll do a few key dynamic moves.
You should stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms parallel to the ground. Make a large circle with your arms, going forward and then backward. Make ten circles in each direction. You can either do one arm at a time or both at once – whatever feels most comfortable and natural to you. People with rotator cuff injuries or tight shoulders will benefit from this exercise.
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You should stand with your feet hip-width apart. If you wish, you can clasp your hands behind your head. You should raise one knee as high as you can and hold it for a few seconds before lowering it back to the ground. Then repeat with the other leg. You should continue marching for 30 seconds.
Side to Side Hops
Performing side-to-side hops before playing pickleball will get your blood pumping and work all your muscles. As a form of light cardio exercise, it is a fun warm-up.
In case you have had knee injuries or are of a more mature age, this kind of warm-up may be quite tough on your knees. The ideal number of hops is usually 10-20 on either side. When you hop side-to-side, it’s a good idea to use your paddle as a distance measurement. You should aim for a comfortable jump that isn’t too high.
Place your feet hip-width apart. For stability, grab a wall or something similar. Swing the other leg from left to right in front of the stationary legs while keeping one leg in place. Maintain a slight bend in both legs during the exercise to avoid overstretching.
Dynamic stretching exercises such as forward leg swings are great for improving flexibility. This exercise warms up and stretches the hip muscles and joints. In addition to preventing injuries, this movement also reduces hip pain.
Standing hip-width apart, start by putting your feet on the ground. You may want to lift one heel to your butt and hold it for a few seconds before lowering it back to the ground. Then repeat the process with the other leg. After 30 seconds, continue kicking.
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Warming up, increasing strength, and gaining flexibility are all benefits of lunges. By lunging forward one leg at a time, you can walk from sideline to sideline. An even better stretch can be achieved by adding a torso twist to the lunge. Additionally, lunges and squats are great ways to gain leg strength, so including them in a workout routine makes sense.
In addition to strengthening key running muscles, such as your glutes, it stretches others, such as your hip flexors. It can help you improve your single-leg balance and lengthen your stride naturally. With these protective benefits, you’ll be able to train longer and faster without risking injury.
From all fours, grab one foot with your hand (or use a strap if you have one) and bring it up towards your butt. Once you have held for 30 seconds, switch legs.
I find that this variation of the quad stretch stretches the quads better throughout the muscle than the simpler “standing” version. The standard standing quad stretch will do the trick if this movement feels unnatural to you.
Lastly, we have a hugely underrated tip that will help make your body ready for action.
When you breathe deeply through your nose, your body will be hyper-oxygenated. Right from the beginning, you have more fuel available to you. Increasing your oxygenation level will delay the onset of lactic acid fatigue. Furthermore, it will warm up your diaphragm and other inspiratory muscles.
Breathe deeply through your nose for 3 to 5 sets while exhaling through your mouth halfway. Do these during the other exercises for efficiency’s sake.
Triceps Lat Stretch
Place one arm on the opposite trap muscle while standing tall. The forearms and biceps should rest on your head. With your other arm, grab your elbow and pull down slightly to further stretch it. In addition to stretching your lats, pulling your elbows towards you should also stretch your hips. Repeat for the other arm/side for 15-30 seconds.
In pickleball, you are going to experience the most forceful movement in your hands, shoulders, and upper arm. The first exercise you should do to warm up is shoulder shrugs. The muscles around the shoulder and upper arm become more flexible and stronger as a result.
Here’s how: Stand straight with soft knees and feet planted evenly on the ground. Bend your knees slightly and keep your arms at your sides. Maintain a straight neck while maintaining your chip up. Bring your shoulders as close as possible to your ears as you inhale. Return to your original position by lowering your shoulders gradually.
Ideally, it should be an up-and-over motion. Your posture is also corrected when you shrug your shoulders.
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Playing pickleball with tight hamstrings can cause cramps to major muscle injuries. During a tournament, the standing hamstring stretch aids flexibility and reduces strain on your muscles.
For this, you should stand up straight and with good posture. Bend your left knee slightly while placing your right leg in front of you. Hold your right leg with your hands, leaning forward. During the process, keep your back straight. Repeat those sets in succession for 30-40 seconds.
Rotating your trunk is an important part of the Pickleball serve and many shots you will be asked to play.
Twist from side to side with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms horizontal. Throughout, make sure you’re standing up tall with your shoulders back. Repeat this 10 times on each side.
Benefits of Dynamic Warm-Up
Warming up dynamically is preferable to static stretching for the following reasons:
- Ensures that muscles receive enough blood
- Increases the temperature of the core of the body
- Joints and muscles are warmed up
- Boosts metabolism
- Increases brain and nerve activity
- Introduces your upcoming task gently
So, let’s get those arms and legs moving to improve performance, recovery, and injury prevention.
Before stretching, warm up gently for five to ten minutes. Get your muscles warm and your heart pumping by walking briskly, jogging lightly, or jumping jacks. Before or after an athletic event, stretching is a good idea on its own.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Warm up for at least 10 minutes before playing pickleball by doing five different exercises. Select exercises that target different joints and muscles to get a full-body workout.
Warming up your shoulders, hips, wrists, and lower extremities is important for pickleball. The muscles in these areas are heavily used in the game, so warming them up before playing is essential.
There is no doubt that warm-up exercises are a necessity before playing pickleball.
The best way to avoid injuries and other complications is to warm up. Exercise makes it easier for you to move around the court when you have a well-planned workout.
Furthermore, these are just a few of the quick, effective warm-up exercises for pickleball we have discussed. Depending on what kind of muscles you are trying to target, you can choose from several additional Pickleball warm-up exercises.
I am a professional physiotherapist and the author of the BallSportsPro. I worked with athletes of all levels, from amateur to professional, and i helped them overcome injuries and improve their performance. I am a certified Pickleball instructor and has been playing the sport for over 10 years.