I received an e-mail from a new pickleball group outside of Atlanta, Georgia expressing concern about how many injuries pickleball causes. This should not be the case, so I decided to address this issue with a few training tips and some words of wisdom.
- Improve your mobility by jogging both forward and backward.
- Without using your hands to pull yourself up or down rise from a chair and sit down in a controlled motion.
- Loosen your torso by twisting from forehand to backhand in cross punches.
- Before you play stretch your chest muscles on both sides by holding onto a pole while turning away from it (photo 1).
- Hold onto the net while rounding and flattening your back (photos 2 and 3).
- From a sitting position extend one leg straight in front of you and lean forward to stretch hamstrings.
- Stretch hip and calf muscles by doing a runner’s stretch (photo 4).
Beginning a new sport requires an honest evaluation of your fitness level. If you have been a couch tomato or potato for some time, you really need to begin playing pickleball slowly and non-competitively until you can do my exercises easily. Do them every day and start a walking program, increasing your distance or time each week. It’s no fun being injured. Pickleball is way too much fun to not be able to play.