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Pickleball Exercises – Every Player Should Know

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By Jacob Jackson

Pickleball is more than just a fun way to stay fit and meet new people – it’s also the fastest-growing sport in the U.S. But to truly enjoy the game and avoid injuries, it’s important to know the right exercises that can enhance your pickleball experience. Here are some must-know pickleball exercises that will help you stay fit and prevent those pesky injuries.

Warm-Up Pickleball Exercises

Pickleball Exercises

Before you step onto the court, it’s crucial to warm up your body. Getting your hips, knees, waist, and shoulders ready for action is essential for a successful pickleball session. Here are a few warm-up exercises you can try:

  • Marching: Stand with your feet slightly apart and lift your knees high toward the ceiling as you march in place. Repeat this 20 times.
  • Butt Kicks: Pump your arms while ensuring your heels touch your glutes. Aim for 60 seconds.
  • High Knees: Lift your right knee and twist your body so that your left elbow touches your right knee. Repeat on the other side. Do this four times.
  • Rotating Lunge: Lunge across two pickleball courts, rotating your body to either side as you reach the ground. Repeat four more times.
  • Leg Swings: Swing your legs to benefit your hips and hamstrings. This exercise will also serve as a cardiovascular workout.

These warm-up exercises will get your heart pumping and prepare your body for an intense pickleball session.

Strength Exercises

Building strength is essential to prevent injuries and improve your performance on the pickleball court. Here are some great strength exercises you can incorporate into your routine:

  • Bodyweight Squats: Lower your body by bending your knees and bringing your thighs parallel to the floor. Repeat this movement multiple times.
  • Curtsy Lunges: Step your right foot back and around while holding a dumbbell on your right shoulder. Repeat from the beginning.
  • Core Twists: Sit on the floor with your legs straight out. Twist your torso from side to side while keeping your legs stationary.
  • Planks and Side Planks: Get into a push-up position and hold for 20 seconds. Switch to the side plank position and hold again.
  • Knee Push-Ups: Get down on your knees and perform push-ups to strengthen your upper body.
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Regularly doing these strength exercises will help you prevent common pickleball injuries and improve your overall stability and power on the court.

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Balance Exercises

Balance is crucial in pickleball to avoid falling while chasing the ball. Incorporate these balance exercises into your routine:

  • Mountain Pose: Stand with your feet slightly apart, lift your arms above your head, and focus on what’s ahead.
  • Chair Pose: Stand tall with your feet wider than your hips, bend your knees, and maintain a neutral spine. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Tree Pose: Shift your weight to one leg and align the sole of your other foot against your thigh. Extend your arms upward and focus on a fixed point.
  • High Lunge Pose: Step forward with one leg and bend your knee while keeping the other leg straight. Extend your arms forward and hold for a few breaths. Switch legs and repeat.
  • Dancer Pose: Shift your weight to one leg and grab the arch or outer edge of your other foot. Lift your chest and slowly fold forward at your hips. Look straight ahead.

These balance exercises, inspired by yoga, will improve your stability and control on the pickleball court.

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Mobility & Agility Exercises

Improve your overall mobility and agility with these exercises:

  • Fast Feet: Perform a mid-squat and run in place as quickly as you can for 15 to 20 seconds.
  • Skaters: Jump from side to side, landing with one leg bent behind you. Alternate directions for 15 to 20 seconds.
  • Grapevine: Move in a crisscross motion, alternating your feet and crossing in front and behind. Repeat for 45-60 seconds.
  • Glute Bridges: Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and arms by your side. Lift and lower your butt to strengthen your glutes.
  • Cat Cow Pose: Get on all fours and alternate between rounding your back and lowering your head and arching your back and lifting your chest.

These exercises will enhance your mobility, power, and coordination on the pickleball court.

Pickleball Exercises Help

Stretching Pickleball Exercises

Don’t skip stretching and cooling down after your pickleball game. It’s vital for your body’s recovery. Here are some stretching exercises to try:

  • Hamstring Stretch: Bend forward at the hips to stretch your hamstrings.
  • Quadriceps Stretch: Lift your heel toward your buttocks while balancing on one leg. Switch to the other leg.
  • Standing Knee Hugs: Hug one knee close to your chest while standing tall. Switch sides.
  • Lunge Twist Stretch: Lunge forward with one leg and twist your body at the hips over the front leg. Switch sides.
  • Supine Spinal Twist: Lie on your back and place one knee across your body while stretching the opposing arm away from your body.

Make sure to hold each stretch for at least 30-40 seconds to reap the full benefits.

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What are some specific exercises that can improve my pickleball game

There are several exercises tailored to enhance your pickleball performance. Incorporating agility drills, core strengthening exercises, and cardio workouts can significantly improve your movement, balance, and endurance on the court. Engaging in exercises that target the muscles used in pickleball, such as the legs, core, and upper body, can boost your overall strength and power during games.

How often should I include these pickleball-specific exercises in my training routine?

The frequency of incorporating pickleball exercises into your routine depends on your current fitness level, goals, and schedule. Ideally, aim for at least three to four sessions per week, allocating time for strength training, agility work, and cardiovascular exercises. Consistency is key to seeing improvements in your game. Always consult a fitness professional to tailor a workout plan that aligns with your abilities and aspirations.

Can pickleball exercises help prevent injuries?

Yes, engaging in pickleball-specific exercises can contribute to injury prevention by improving muscular strength, flexibility, and balance. Strengthening key muscle groups and focusing on flexibility exercises can enhance joint stability and reduce the risk of common pickleball injuries, such as strains, sprains, or overuse injuries. Additionally, incorporating warm-up and cool-down routines into your training can prepare your body for play and aid in the recovery process, minimizing the potential for injuries.

Remember, before starting any new exercise regimen, it’s always a good idea to consult a fitness professional. Listen to your body and stop any exercise if it causes pain or discomfort. With these pickleball exercises, you’ll be on your way to improving your game and preventing those unwanted injuries. Have fun and play safe!

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