A proper warm up is a great way to help prevent injuries while on the court. When muscles are stiff and tight, they don’t work efficiently and this can set you up for a strain or tear. When we are considering a warm up prior to a game of pickleball, we want to slowly ramp up our intensity and will move through specific stages.
First, let’s just get the blood flowing and get the body moving. Get off the bleachers after putting on your court shoes and wake up those muscles. Start with some brisk walking to warm the body up by increasing blood flow. If you are an advanced pickleball player and plan to run, slowly build up to a jog.
Secondly, we want to go through basic dynamic movements that work large muscle groups. Exercises like hamstring butt kicks, high knees, side stepping, walking quad stretch and hamstring forward kicks are great to warm up those major muscle groups of the lower body. Arm circles, arms swings side to side, and an upper back dynamic warm up is great to get the upper body ready to go. You can continue to add in a little jog down and back to continue slowly ramping up your intensity.
Finally, we want to finish with pickleball specific movements. Mimic the positions you will find yourself in during a game of pickleball. Work your way through squats and lunges and make sure you can feel all of the muscles working. Are you feeling ready to go? You want to make sure you are feeling great and your movements are fluid in order to help reduce injury. This is your opportunity to go through pickleball motions without the reactive demands in a game.