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Serve, Stretch, Smash: How Yoga Can Ace Your Pickleball Game and Help Prevent Injuries

pickleball and yoga

Pickleball has been experiencing a surge in popularity recently, captivating enthusiasts with its blend of fun and fitness. This fast-paced sport, a cross between tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, has become a favorite among players of all ages due to its accessibility and social appeal. However, along with its rise in popularity comes the risk of common injuries such as fractured bones from lack of balance, torn Achilles tendons, and rotator cuff tears.

While pickleball offers a fantastic way to stay active and engage in friendly competition, it's crucial to understand the importance of injury prevention and proper warm-up techniques before stepping onto the court. Fractured bones resulting from falls due to lack of balance, torn Achilles tendons from sudden movements, and rotator cuff tears from repetitive motions are some of the most reported injuries among pickleball players.

To mitigate the risk of these injuries and ensure a safe and enjoyable playing experience, incorporating a comprehensive warm-up and stretching routine is essential. Warming up the body before engaging in any physical activity helps increase blood flow to the muscles, improve flexibility, and reduce the likelihood of strains and tears.

Incorporating yoga poses and stretches into your pre-pickleball routine can be particularly beneficial, as they focus on enhancing balance, strengthening the Achilles tendon, and stabilizing the rotator cuff.

Here are some yoga poses and stretches that can help you warm up effectively before a game of pickleball:

1. Tree Pose (Vrikshasana): Enhance your focus, stability, and balance with this standing pose, preparing you for quick movements on the pickleball court.

tree pose

2. Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): Stretch your calves, hamstrings, and shoulders, providing relief to the Achilles tendon and preparing your upper body for the demands of pickleball.

downward-facing dog

3. Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II): Strengthen your legs, open your hips, and improve stability with this pose, essential for preventing injuries on the court.

warrior 2

4. Venus Lock: Interlace your fingers behind your back and gently lift your arms to stretch the shoulders and rotator cuff muscles, reducing the risk of strains and tears during play.

venus lock

5. Arm Circles: extend your arms out to the sides, forming a T. Create mini circles with the hands, bringing gentle mobility into the shoulders. Then move to medium sized circles and finally big full circles; getting into full range of motion and creating warmth in the shoulder muscles.

6. Take a Few Laps: Majority of sports injuries come from jumping into any physical actively with “cold” muscles. Something as simple as taking a couple laps at a speed walk around the tennis courts a can work wonders for quickly warming up the body.

pickleball court

By integrating these yoga poses and stretches into your warm-up routine, you can enhance your performance, decrease the likelihood of common injuries, and promote overall well-being. Remember, taking the time to properly warm up and stretch before engaging in pickleball not only improves your game but also ensures that you can continue enjoying this exciting sport for years to come.

**By using any videos, recommendations and/or website you represent that you understand that physical exercise involves strenuous physical movement, and that such activity carries the risk of injury whether physical or mental. You understand that it is your responsibility to judge your physical and mental capabilities for such activities. It is your responsibility to ensure that by participating in classes and activities from Intentions Studio and Paul Roberts, you will not exceed your limits while performing such activity, and you will select the appropriate level of lessons for your skills and abilities, as well as for any mental or physical conditions and/or limitations you have. You acknowledge that you have been cleared for exercise by your doctor should you have any injuries, illnesses, disabilities or otherwise.


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