Warming up your muscles can prevent pickleball injuries

By Liz Filippone

About the author: Liz Filippone, owner of Mindfully Fit Ninja in Albany, N.Y., helps retired women and men age 55 or older experiencing physical discomfort in their movement to improve their range of motion, gain strength and build confidence through a pain-free exercise program. She runs small group and 1:1 training programs virtually and in-person. She is holding a special event called Power Up for Pickleball for the Pickleball518 community.

Whether it is the dead of winter or in the peak of spring and summer, preparing the body
before and after physical activity will have a huge impact on your performance and reduce injury.

The human body spend most of the day sitting or moving forward – walking or jogging maybe. Pickleball forces you to move sideways, backward and rotationally – movements your body isn’t used to. So when you are getting ready for your pickleball game, it is important to get those muscles perked up and ready.

The more you warm up the muscle groups used in pickleball, the less you’re setting yourself up for injury initially or down the road.


Power Up for Pickleball

Liz is hosting a special virtual session for pickleball players called Power Up for Pickleball for the Pickleball518 community on
Friday, Feb. 16, 2024 at 1 p.m.

A 5-minute dynamic warm up that incorporates these muscle groups can also enhance your game and athletic performance.

One of the most common injuries in pickleball players is the lower back due to the rotational movement in the trunk in a paddle swing. Stretching the back prior to playing will not only help warm up and lengthen the back muscles, but also strengthen the core, keeping the spine stable and safe and create more power with your swing.

But don’t forget about the lower extremities such as hips, knees and ankle joints. According to an article by The Journal of the Missouri State Medical Association regarding pickleball injuries, “acute injuries can result from falls, secondary to sudden turning or pivoting movement.”

RELATED: Advice for avoiding injuries the first time you play pickleball

Chronic injuries can also develop from overuse and repetitive movements done with the arms, shoulders, trunk, legs and feet.

If you want to start pickleball – or keep playing – be sure you prepare your body physically. A five-minute warmup before your game will keep you on the court for many more years.