Quick Pickleball Warm-Up Exercises to Prevent Injuries in 2023

No matter how enjoyable pickleball may be, we mustn’t forget the importance of Pickleball warm-up exercises. Before each session of pickleball, it’s essential to take a few minutes to warm up and stretch. Doing so can help prevent injuries, aid recovery, and improve performance. Stretching is beneficial and makes the game more enjoyable, so even though it may be tempting to jump right in, it’s essential to take the time to stretch beforehand.

Pickleball warm-up exercises

A dynamic warm-up is an active sequence of movements designed to increase the body’s temperature before engaging in physical activity, so one of the best pickleball warm-up exercises. On the other hand, static warm-up or stretching is a set of stretches without any movements intended to “loosen” up the body ahead of any sports activity.

5-Minute Pickleball Warm-up Exercises Routine

While it may be tempting to skip stretching to jump right into playing pickleball, it is important to remember that stretching is an essential part of every practice. Not only does it help prevent injuries and improve recovery, but it can also enhance athletic performance. It’s easy to incorporate stretching into your routine, as it only takes a few or just 5-10 minutes before and after playing to see the benefits. Here are eleven stretches you should do before every pickleball game.

1. Running

Running a few laps around the court or back and forth is a great way to warm up and avoid injury. Begin by running, then add a backpedal to the routine. Avoid stumbling. Finally, add a few sprints at the end for more challenges. By going backwards and forward, speeding up and slowing down, you can increase agility and practice the shifting you will experience on the pickleball court.

2. Arm swings

Arm swings are an effective warmup exercise for pickleball, as they target the shoulders and arms. To perform this exercise, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and interlock your hands in front of you, keeping your arms straight. Then, swing both hands out to your sides in a wide arc, lifting them up until they reach shoulder height. Return your hands to the starting position and repeat the motion 10 times on each side.

Pickleball warm-up exercises

This exercise helps to warm up your muscles and prepare them for more intense activities such as playing pickleball. Additionally, it increases blood flow in the upper body and loosens any tightness or tension that may have built up from sitting or standing still for long periods of time. Arm swings should be performed before every pickleball session as part of a comprehensive warmup routine.

3. Side Shuffling

pickleball warm-up exercises - side shuffling

The side shuffle is a common move in pickleball. To practice this movement, players should shuffle sideways across the court, staying as low as possible, then shuffle back in the same direction. Visualising stepping over and keeping the paddle in front to hit a pickleball makes this an effective warmup. To improve hitting accuracy, it is important to make sure the feet do not cross when shuffling and to hit the ball as far in front as possible for shots that are far away. Practising the side shuffle at different speeds can help players get used to moving quickly or stretching low.

4. High Knees

Performing high knees is an effective way to warm up before playing pickleball. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and running in place, bringing your knees up to your chest as high as possible with each stride. Engage your core and keep your back straight for increased stability, and add arm swings for better balance. This dynamic exercise increases muscle temperature and improves hip and leg mobility, making it a great choice for pickleball warm-up routines.

warm-up exercises for pickleball

The high knee is a simple exercise that can be modified based on one’s fitness level. To increase the intensity, you can pick up the pace or hold a lightweight in each hand. To make it easier, slow down or use a reduced range of motion. Including high knees in a pickleball warm-up will improve performance and reduce the risk of injury. It is also recommended to stretch both sides of your body for 20-30 seconds, and other dynamic stretches, like leg kicks or butt kicks, can be added for a comprehensive warm-up.

5. Leg swings

Leg swings are an outstanding warm-up routine for pickleball. Stand facing a wall and grasp it for support. Swing one leg in front of you and then behind you, then switch legs. This stretch helps to loosen your hips and legs, as well as enhance your steadiness and Coordination.

Pickleball warm-up exercises

6. Shoulder rotations

Rotating your shoulders is an ideal approach to get your upper back and shoulders warmed up. Stand with your arms parallel to the ground, making a circular motion with your shoulders. For a more thorough stretch, you can switch the direction of the rotation.

7. Torso twists

Rotating your torso is an effective way to get your core muscles ready for exercise. Stand with your feet firmly planted on the ground, shoulder-width apart, and place your hands on your hips. Carefully move your trunk back and forth, ensuring that you keep both feet in the same spot.

8. Lunges

Lunges - pickleball warm-up exercises

Lunges are one of an excellent Pickle ball warm-up exercises for warming up your lower body and developing balance. Take a stride forward with one leg and descend until your thigh is level with the floor. Drive off your front foot to return to the starting point, then alternate legs.

9. Calf stretches

Calf stretches are a necessity when preparing for a game of pickleball. Face a wall and use it to maintain your equilibrium. Take one foot back, making sure the heel remains on the floor, and then lean forward towards the wall. This stretch helps to relax your calves and enhance the flexibility of your ankle.

10. Quadriceps stretches

Quadriceps - pickleball warm-up exercises

Quadriceps stretches are another vital exercise for pickleball players. Support yourself by keeping one hand on a wall and using the other to clasp your ankle. Pull your heel towards your rear to extend your quadriceps muscle. Be sure to stretch both legs equally.

11. Dynamic stretches

Besides static stretching, it is a sensible notion to involve some dynamic stretches in your warm-up practice for pickleball. A few examples of dynamic stretching are leg swings, high stepping and butt jogging. Such stretches involve mobility and can help elevate muscle temperature plus enhance suppleness.


Before your game, you can do three different types of warm-ups:

  • Cardio Warm-ups raise your body temperature and get your blood flowing
  • Dynamic Movements to help your body prepare for exercise
  • Static Stretch to improve flexibility

Regularly engaging in walking or running can significantly improve one’s pickleball performance, as well as their overall cardiovascular health. Going for a brisk walk or run can help build up stamina, which will, in turn, make one a better player when one returns to the court.

Prior to engaging in a game of pickleball, it is highly crucial to stretch and warm up your muscles properly.

Extend your arms to the sides, palms even with your shoulders in a “T” position. Raise your head and spine towards the ceiling, and slowly twist your torso to the right as far as is comfortable. Return to the centre, then twist to the left. This is one repetition. Do 10 to 12 repetitions.

Final Verdict

To sum up, Pickleball warm-up exercises, warming up and stretching are essential before playing pickleball to reduce the likelihood of getting hurt and boost performance. Incorporating a mixture of passive and active stretches into your routine can help ready your body for the physical exertion of the game. Be sure to make dynamic warm-up activities a part of your regular pickleball regimen for maximum benefits.

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