7 Warm-Up Exercises For Pickleball: Easy Pre-Game Routine

Warming up for a pickleball game

Warm-up exercises for pickleball are crucial for preparing your mind and body for the physical demands of the pickleball court. They help to increase your heart health, raise your body temperature, and loosen your muscles, reducing the risk of injury and enhancing your overall performance.

This article will discuss the benefits of warm-up exercises and outline essential activities to include in your pre-game routine. Whether you’re a seasoned pickleball player or just starting, incorporating them into your routine can significantly impact your game and reduce the risk of hurting yourself.

Warm-up exercises for pickleball

The Benefits of Warm-Up Exercise for Pickleball

Waking up your muscles pre-game provides numerous benefits for pickleball players, including reducing the risk of injury, improving athletic performance, and increasing flexibility and range of motion.

Injury Prevention

Incorporating a warm-up routine into your pre-game can significantly reduce the risk of hurting yourself. By gradually increasing your heart rate and loosening your muscles, you are less likely to experience sudden strain or pull a muscle during gameplay. Risk reduction is especially important for older players or those with a history of injury. (Read our post on how to avoid back pain while playing pickleball)

Improved Gameplay

They not only help prevent injury but can also improve your overall court play. You can improve your endurance, reaction time, and coordination by increasing blood flow to your muscles, and this can result in a more efficient and effective pickleball game.

Increased Flexibility and Range of Motion

Increase flexibility and range of motion. You can reduce muscle tightness and stiffness by stretching your muscles, allowing you to move more freely and react more quickly during gameplay. Flexibility can be especially beneficial for those who play pickleball regularly and are at risk of developing muscle imbalances.

Man. stretching before pickleball

Should You Stretch Before Playing Pickleball?

As a Pickleball player, you want to perform at your best and avoid unnecessary injuries. Incorporating a warm-up routine into your pre-game plan is so important. Not only does it help improve your performance, but it also prepares your body for the physical demands of the game.

Dynamic stretching is the first key component of a warm-up routine. It helps increase your flexibility and mobility, allowing you to move more freely on the court. Leg swings, arm swings, and leg lifts are great dynamic stretching techniques. These help warm your muscles and joints and improve your heart health.

Dynamic Warm Up

Next, it’s time to focus on core exercises. A strong core is essential for stability and balance on the court. Plank, side plank, and Russian trunk twists are great exercises to target your core. It strengthens your abs, obliques, and back and prepares the body for the active movements and direction changes required on the pickleball court.

Finally, it’s time to get your heart rate up with cardiovascular exercise. Jumping jacks, skipping, and High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) are great options. These help increase your endurance, allowing you to play longer and harder.

Aim to spend 5-10 minutes on each component of your warm-up routine. Trust me, taking the time to warm up properly will pay off in the long run. You’ll notice a full range of improved performance on the court and prevent injuries.

What Are Five Warm-Up Exercises for pickleball?

Whether you’re an avid pickleball player or just getting started, warming up your body before a match is essential; from dynamic stretches to cardio exercises, here are seven exercises you can do to prepare your body and prepare it for the court.

Crossover Step:

Start by standing in a half-squat position with both feet together. Step into a broad crossover step and then return to the starting position. Do this exercise 12 times in each direction as part of your warm-up routine.

Walking Lunges:

Walking lunges are an excellent way to warm up your glutes and activate the muscles in your legs that you’ll need on the court. Take significant strides forward, lower yourself onto one knee, and drop back into the starting position. Ensure your front knee does not extend past your toes, and keep your upper body straight throughout the motion. Make 20 walking lunges per side as part of your routine.


Squats are another great exercise to add to your pickleball warm-up routine. They strengthen all muscle groups in your legs and engage core muscles to maintain balance and form during dynamic movement. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and sit down into a squat like you’re about to sit on a chair, keeping knees over ankles at all times. Do 15 squats as part of your pre-pickleball court routine.

Standing Hamstring Static Stretches:

This stretch helps target all muscle groups in the rear of our leg while also engaging core muscles if done correctly! Start by standing upright with feet hip-width apart, hinge forward from hips until hands touch ground or reach past toes, squeezing glutes throughout the warm-ups. Hold this position for 30 seconds before returning to the start position, repeating the routine three times.

High Knees :

Leg lifts get the blood flowing throughout the entire body while preparing us for quick reaction sprints & lateral movements every day during gameplay! Begin by jogging lightly in one place for 2 minutes before intensifying pace & adding ‘high leg lifts’ where we lift one knee at a time close to hip height or chest level (it should be bent 90°angle). Aim for 30 high knees total, alternating between left & right sides within 2 minutes when completing the warm-up’s high knees section.

Bonus Pickleball Exercises

Arm Circles:

Arm circles target both shoulder & arm mobility that’s needed when we play sports such as pickleball – stand tall with arms extended from sides at 90° angles, then slowly begin rotating them clockwise, making small circles – aim for ten rotations on the right and left arm.

Butterfly Static Stretching:

A great stretch explicitly designed to open & relax muscles near the shoulders alongside other complex stretching techniques designed to help improve postural alignment too! Begin by sitting cross-legged on the ground with palms facing upwards – lean torso forwards aiming towards feet & hold butterfly stretch pose until feeling gentle tension across the chest/shoulder area before releasing slowly.

Looking for more warm-up exercises? Read the ultimate guide to warming up and cool down pre/post game.


In conclusion, incorporating warm-up exercises before playing Pickleball is essential for improving performance and reducing the risk of injury. Dynamic stretching, core exercises, and cardiovascular exercise are all important components of a warm-up routine.

The recommended pre-game routine is to spend 5-10 minutes on each type of exercise. The benefits of a proper warm-up routine include increased flexibility, core stability, and cardiovascular endurance. It is important to make warm-up exercises a regular part of your pickleball routine to reap these benefits and have a successful game.

Read about how many calories we burn playing pickleball.

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