Most athletes spend a few minutes warming up before playing a sport. Warmup exercises for pickleball are crucial because they prepare your body for the game. A pickleball warmup routine boosts your performance and reduces your risk of injury so you can play longer and harder.
Check out this guide to learn about the various exercises you can use to create a routine.
3 Pickleball Warmups to Loosen Up the Body
A thorough warmup is essential to help your body perform its best. This section reviews stretching, exercises to increase your adrenaline and numerous pickleball strokes for you to practice.
1. Stretch Your Muscles
You can do various exercises to stretch your muscles, including:
- Arm circles: While standing, stretch both arms straight out to either side to form a T pose. Leaving them extended, move your arms in a complete circle. You can engage your brain by having one arm turn clockwise and the other counter-clockwise. Make the circles for about 30 seconds before switching directions.
- Reach-overs: Place one hand on your hip. Stretch your other hand over your head, reaching and bending as far as you can. Do about twenty reach-overs, alternating sides. You can increase the challenge by incorporating resistance bands.
- Core twists: Start standing with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart. Use your core to twist your shoulders to the left, then the right, without turning your hips. Try to do 20 twists.
- Side crunches: Standing with your hands behind your head, bring one knee up while leaning down to meet it with your elbow. Alternate legs and complete 20 reps.
- Hip swings: There are a few options for hip swings. You can stand on one leg and swing your leg back and forth or side-to-side. If you want to do rotational swings, lift your knee so that it's level with your hip and rotate your shin from side to side. Rotational swings allow for a deeper stretch.
2. Get Your Blood Pumping
After you stretch your muscles, it's time to get your blood pumping. Here are some exercises to increase adrenaline:
- Jog the court: Maintain a comfortable pace as you jog up the court, then turn around and jog back to your starting point.
- Jump rope: Get your legs ready for bounding, jumping, lunging and running by using a jump rope. Opt for a weighted jump rope to challenge yourself and get your heart racing. To engage your Achilles tendon and calf muscles, try to land on the front half of your feet before letting your heel touch the ground. Do 20 skips with both your feet, then do 20 skips while alternating between each foot.
- Lunges: Start by standing with your feet together before stepping out into a forward lunge. Only go as low as is comfortable, then rise and step back to your starting position. Once in your starting position, step side-to-side and perform a side lunge. Go back to the middle and repeat the exercise five times on each leg.
- Jumping jacks: To do jumping jacks, stand with your feet hip-width apart, your knees slightly bent and your arms relaxed at your sides. Jump your feet outside of your hips and land on your heels while raising your arms overhead. Then, jump your feet back to the middle while lowering your arms to your starting position. You can do jumping jacks for as long as you want — a good starting point is 60 seconds.
3. Practice Your Stroke
The final step in your warmup routine is practicing your pickleball stroke. You can improve your game by incorporating drills. Different types of pickleball strokes include groundstrokes, dinks and volleys.
When the ball bounces once and you hit it, it's a groundstroke. The majority of pickleball shots are groundstrokes and include:
- Backspin return serve: If a semi-high serve comes your way, slice it by bringing your paddle downward. The ball will sail into the air and land with a sidespin, making it nearly impossible for your opponent to return.
- Backhand punch: When your opponent sends you a high dink, you can put your paddle in the backhand position and punch the ball.
A dink is a groundstroke you can only use when you're in the kitchen, the 7-foot area on either side of the net. It requires gentleness and precision, as you want the ball to barely clear the net. Since the point of a dink stroke is to mess up your opponent, hit to whichever side of theirs— backhand or forehand — is weaker. Try to stay focused, mindful and controlled when performing a dink. Dink strokes include:
- Cross-court: A cross-court is a dink shot that goes from one side of your court to the opposite side of your opponent's court. Cross-court dinks focus on distance and power. You have to use more force to get the dink where it needs to go.
- Dink fake: The key to a dink fake is making it seem like you will dink a semi-high ball, but you drive the ball instead. This shot is more effective if you aim it at your opponent.
Finally, a volley is any shot you make before the ball hits the ground. Some popular volleys include:
- An overhead smash: An overhead smash is when you smash down a ball slightly over your head. If the ball goes into the net, use less wrist action. When the ball goes out of the opponent's baseline, use a lighter paddle or more wrist action.
- Drive: The drive is a volley you return as hard as possible. Use a drive when there is an opening in your opponent's court or your opponent is running toward you.
Why a Pickleball Warmup Routine Is Essential
Pickleball warmups are necessary to loosen up the body and prevent pickleball injuries. Some of the benefits of a dynamic warmup include the following:
- Increased range of motion: When your body is warm, your range of motion increases. An increased range of motion can help your body move and exert force more effectively.
- Improved performance: Warmup exercises increase the blood flow and oxygen to your muscles. As a result, you have more energy, allowing you to play the game for longer.
- Decreased muscle and joint stiffness: Stretching your muscles helps loosen them, so even the ones you usually don't use aren't stiff.
- Reduced risk of injury: Flexible muscles and joints and an increased range of motion reduce your risk of injury.
- Activated metabolism: As your body warms up, it activates your metabolism.
Warm Up for Your Next Game With Rhino Pickleball Equipment
Warming up is the most effective way to prepare your body for your pickleball match and improve your game. You can take your warmup routine to the next level by incorporating equipment. Rhino Pickleball offers quality equipment to pickleball players at affordable prices.
Whether you need fitness equipment, paddles or accessories, we've got you covered. Our equipment is sure to boost your warmup routine and help you score. Browse our online selection today!