Next month I will travel to Arizona to get certified in Fascial Stretch Therapy, just in time to share my knowledge with all of you at Huntsman, Nationals VI and in this column. Flexibility is the ability to move muscles and joints during pickleball play without getting injured. Flexibility is achieved by stretching — preferably correctly. Warming up the muscles first is key for the best stretching. The warmup simulates the pickleball movements like forehand, backhand and overhead. Add some jogging in place and moving sideways around the court to warm up the lower body. The two stretches below should be done every day in the afternoon when you are good and warm. The first is Prayer Stretch, which stretches your triceps, neck and back. The second is a hip stretch that also stretches your back. I do these while watching TV. As we age we lose 10 percent of our flexibility every 10 years (move it or lose it). Better get started ASAP.
Hip Stretch: Sit on hip with knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Lean forward. Hold for a count if 20 or longer then change hips. Repeat several times.
Prayer Stretch: Place elbows and forehead on the net as if praying. Pull body away until stretch is felt in neck and shoulders.