Do You Warm Up Before Rec Play?

Do You Warm Up Before Rec Play?

This week, the city I live in reopened its parks and sport courts. We are limited to individual play which, as a singles player means good singles games are to be had and without being squished off the court by doubles play. After over two months of no pickleball (hitting against the wall barely counts?) I’m not only excited to be playing once again but my body is ready for a reprieve from biking and jogging on concrete!

One thing I’ve noticed in the past which leads me to this week’s topic is the act of warming up before recreational play. Prior to COVID-19 I was attending a weekly drop-in play and if our drop-ins are anything like yours, there’s a line up to pay for your spot to play. I was arriving up to 30 minutes early just to secure my spot. While waiting for pickleball to begin I would observe the different types of paddles and it was also the perfect time to loosen up my body. 

An engaging and dynamic warm-up is a great way to prepare the body for hours of pickleball. Personally, what I want to achieve is to get my blood flowing and my body prepared for the series of movements pickleball requires. Finally, and arguably most important, I would like to avoid cramping and injury mid or post-game.

My routine includes:

  • light jogging or jogging on the spot
  • neck rotations
  • shoulder, wrist and ankle circles
  • lunges
  • torso and hip rotations

After that I’ll continue the warm-up by moving on the court with small movements such as dinking and soft volleys that eventually lead into stronger shots like overhead serves, and drives.

Why did I focus on just recreational play? It’s prevalent in our situation right now and in the near future. Those who enter tournaments should most certainly be performing a warm-up prior to competition. In my observation, recreational play is where the warm-up can fly under the radar. It’s quite easy to just jump on a court and begin playing right away, but for your safety I highly recommend incorporating a warm-up into your routine. 


Share your warm-up routine by commenting below! 

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