Whether you are a seasoned veteran or a newcomer to the sport of pickleball, a proper warm-up prior to hitting the court is key for maximizing your performance and helping to reduce your risk of injury. The main concept for a proper pickleball warm-up is preparing your muscles and joints for the same types of movements and demands that they will face on the court. The first thing to think about is getting some blood flowing throughout your body to prepare your muscles to work. You can do this easily by walking briskly around the court a few times. As you start to loosen up, you can transition to a light jog.
Once you have your heart rate up a bit, try these warm-up exercises before your start your actual game. These exercises encourage your arm and leg muscles and joints to move in similar ways that they will need to move during your game. These sport-specific activities will help your body know what to expect as you play. Doing these movements before you play will make it more comfortable and efficient to perform similar movements that will occur during your game. After you walk or jog a couple of laps around the court to get your blood flowing, try this sample warm up, doing each exercise for 30-60 seconds prior to your next match. Click here for a demonstration by a regular pickleball player.
- Arm circles – forward and backward
- Marching in place
- Shoulder rotation – at your side and overhead
- Forearm stretches
- Side shuffling
- Toe walks
- Heel walks
- Hip circles
About the Author: Kelly Uding, PT, MHS, DPT, COMT, is a physical therapist in our Festus location. She enjoys staying active and is rumored to be a new pickleball fanatic herself.