No one likes to stretch, nor do they think they need to stretch. Why inflict pain on yourself on a daily basis? Here’s a quick story. While playing pickleball one of our players grabbed his hamstring and went down on the court. He has got great legs and he works out at the gym, but he’s all quads, no hamstrings. In addition, he never stretches. Therefore, the balance of his muscles is off so the weaker muscles lock down. When is the best time to stretch? Rule of thumb: muscle fibers stretch better after they are warm, not cold. So, warm up by side stepping around the court then vigorously marching in place. Once the muscles are toasty do these three stretches:
Stretch #1 quad stretch: if you cannot reach your ankle or deep bend your knee then don’t hold on.
Stretch #2 hamstring stretch: can be done seated.
Stretch #3: hip stretch: can be done seated.
Any stretching is better than no stretching, but I highly recommend an easy stretch program done on a daily basis because life, along with pickleball, causes muscle tightening. Stretching can be your best friend, not your worst enemy.