Apart from learning the rules and the moves, it’s important to be aware of how to prepare your body for pickleball. With that in mind, this pickleball stretches guide will go over the best techniques you need to learn in order to refine your game. Explosively fun and delightfully challenging, pickleball has been steadily gaining popularity in the world over the last few decades. Without a doubt, many people enjoy the accessibility of the sport. However accessible, though, pickleball requires a certain amount of know-how.
Why It Is Important to Stretch and Warm Up Before Pickleball
Before going over our list of helpful pickleball stretches and warm-up techniques, it may be worthwhile to talk about the importance of doing these simple exercises before each game. Basically, there are two main benefits to warming up and stretching before each pickleball game.
The first benefit of stretching and warming up has to do with your performance throughout the match. When you properly stretch and warm up before a game, you are preparing your body for the intense physical activity that is about to come.
As a result, your reactions will be faster and more precise. At the same time, your movements will be faster and more powerful. Furthermore, you will be able to push your muscles to their limit without risking injuries.
Speaking of injuries, the second main benefits of warming up and stretching before each game is preventing them. When your body is prepared and ready for intense action, it is less likely that you will strain a muscle during the game. As an added bonus, stretching and warming up before each pickleball game may reduce muscle soreness after the game.
1. How to Loosen Up Your Body
The first set of pickleball stretches you should perform are those designed to loosen up your body, getting it ready for what is to come. In particular, you need to focus on loosening up your muscles and joints.
First, while standing perfectly straight, stretch your arms directly above your head as if you were reaching to touch the sky. As you perform this action, you should feel a tension in your whole body. Don’t forget to raise up on the tip of your toes.
After a few times of doing this, you should be ready to perform some twists, lunges, and bends to stretch your back. Finally, move your arms around and rotate your wrists.
2. Getting Your Heart Ready
After loosening up your body, you are ready to go on to the next phase. Get your heart ready for exercise by getting your heart rate up. This will prevent sudden changes in your heart rate during the game.
As anyone with experience in sports know, altering your heart rate too suddenly may result in performance issues as well as energy depletion. A perfect way to get your heart rate up and your blood flowing is by jogging lightly for around five minutes.
3. Stretch Your Muscles Dynamically
At this point in the pickleball stretches process, the muscles in your body should be warmed up and almost ready for action. The following step is to perform a few dynamic stretches that are more specific to the game of pickleball.
The difference between static stretching and dynamic stretching is that the latter does not require you to hold the position for extended periods of time. Instead, dynamic stretching relies on big arm circles, leg kicks, body weight squats, core twists, and knees to the chest (while you are on your back). Switch from touching your toes to stretching up to the sky.
4. Refine Your Balance
Losing your balance can be a great problem during a game of pickleball. In order to prevent this issue from arising, you may refine your balance by performing specific exercises. You can do this by balancing on one leg.
At first, this may be difficult. You can hold on to something sturdy in order to begin balancing yourself. However, at some point, you should let go of the object and begin balancing by yourself. Once you have accomplished this, you should try to walk backward around the court. This will help you when you are backing up for a lob.
5. Stretch and Warm Up With Your Partner
At this point in the pickleball stretches process, your body should be ready for an intense and challenging game. However, it can be very useful to run through a few stretching and warming up exercises with your partner.
This part of the process tends to be more fun as it should incorporate the ball and rackets. Standing across the court from each other, hit the ball back and forth for a while. Additionally, try a few lobs and above-head shots.
6. Be Aware of Your Limits
During the stretching process, you should try to listen to your body in order to be clear on what its limits are. As a result of this analysis, you will know how far you can push yourself without risking injuries and other problems.
This will allow you to make the right decision when it is time either to give up on a point or go out of your way to answer it. Remember that listening to your body and knowing your own limits will only help you improve your game in the long run.
7. Know When to Sit One Out
The final tip in this list is to know when not to play. Most injuries take place when you ignore the warnings given to you by your body. If the pickleball stretches you are performing are unusually painful, it may be a sign that you should sit the next game out.
Without a doubt, the pickleball stretches described in this article will help you refine your game. By taking care of your body before each pickleball game, you will prevent injuries and improve your performance. Did you find this guide useful? Let us know in the comment section below!