Get ready to elevate your pickleball game and unleash your full potential on the courts! Conditioning isn’t just about hard work; it’s about safely turning up the fun factor too! It’s essential because it enhances performance, increases stamina, and reduces the risk of injuries, helping you to excel and enjoy the game to the fullest. Join Instructor Buddy Macuha in these simple exercises to help you stay agile. All these exercises start standing with legs about shoulder-width apart.
Open Close Stance. This first one is a great place to start. It’s so simple and feels amazing. Open your arms out to the sides and then cross one on top in front of yourself, like you’re giving yourself a hug. Open your arms up again, and then cross the other arm on top. Give yourself a nice big hug. Do 8-10 reps to increase mobility. These are great for activating your shoulders, chest, and back.
Reach and Squat. From a neutral position, reach up to the sky, then place your hands on your thighs and squat down comfortably. This is a great warmup for the whole body. One common mistake Buddy says he sees people make is allowing their heels to come up when they’re doing the squat or arching their back. Keep your back straight and your heels on the ground.
Reach with Rotation. With knees slightly bent, one arm reaches up while the other reaches back. You should get a nice rotation in your upper body and turn your head to the side you’re reaching towards. This is a great way to warm up your your shoulders and core muscles for all the twisting with pickleball. Again, keep your heels on the ground, back straight, and breathe. Keep breathing through the stretches.
Side-to-Side Lunges. These are great hip openers for the inner thighs and for the hip joint to warm it up. Pickleball is a lot of lateral movement, Buddy reminds us. This is great when stepping sideways and warms up your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. “A common mistake,” says Buddy, “is people lean too far forward. Keep your hands on your legs as you hinge forward from your hips. Try to keep your chest lifted.
Reverse Lunges. When your left leg is stepping back, your left-hand reaches and helps open your body and stay loose. “Since you’re doing a little side bend, it also warms up your core muscles.”
Knees Ups. This isn’t running in place. You’re pulling one leg up and into your chest to warm your hamstrings and glutes. It’s great for your muscles because it helps improve balance. Go slowly. When warming up your body, moving methodically and slowly is important.
Thanks Buddy! See you on the courts.