Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States. People of all ages enjoy this cross between tennis, ping-pong, and badminton. It’s easy to learn, gets your body moving, and works as a great social activity too. As the weather warms up, people are uncovering their pickleball courts and getting ready to play again.
Whether you’re a pickleball newbie or you have your eye on competing in a pickleball tournament this summer, it’s important that you take the proper steps to prepare your body for the sport. Although pickleball is low-impact and can be played either in a relaxed manner or one that’s more fast-paced, injuries can still occur.
Here are some helpful tips you can use to prepare your body for pickleball and keep yourself in the game all summer long.
#1. Stay Hydrated
You may be tempted to cling to your morning cup of coffee or take your favorite soda or energy drink with you to the courts. However, your body needs to stay hydrated. While caffeine may give you that jolt of energy you crave, it also dehydrates you by increasing fluid loss.
Drink water beforehand, and bring a water bottle with you. Depending on how you play, you may get sweaty, in which case, you’d need to drink more water. Not drinking enough water can lead to cramps, which really affects your game.
#2. Eat Healthier
You know how your body can feel sluggish and gross after having too much fast food or too many chips or candies? That’s the last thing that you want when you’re planning on being active! You can better prepare your body for pickleball by supplying it with good-for-you foods, like fruits, vegetables, proteins, and grains.
These not only help you to feel better, but they can also increase your energy. Plus, eating healthy can help your muscles perform better while you play and recover with more ease after you’re done.
#3. Practice With Your Feet
Even if you’re the most relaxed and casual pickleball player out there, you still rely on your feet to get you around the court. If you’re someone who likes to get their heart rate up or you have a competitive streak, you’re likely doing a lot of moving around the court, from side to side and front to back.
You can prepare your body for pickleball by doing exercises that target your feet and ankles. This reduces the risk of an injury like a rolled ankle. It can increase your stability and balance, which can also reduce the risk of falling.
#4. Try Resistance Training
When you think pickleball, you probably think more about cardio than muscle strength. However, it’s a great way to prepare your body for pickleball, due to how much your body can move around during the game. It can help you to play better, as your body is stronger and more resilient. It also helps to prevent injuries from wear and tear or falls.
#5. Use Dynamic Exercises
Dynamic exercises are exercises done in an active manner. They can build up power. In pickleball, some great dynamic exercises that prepare your body for the movements you do in the game include:
- High knees
- Arm circles
- And more!
If you ever want to know what exercises would be best for you, you’ll want to talk to your doctor. Personal trainers can also give specific insight into what exercises would help your body. Everyone is different and everyone’s body has different needs, so talk to a medical professional if you ever have questions about what you should be doing.
#6. Warm Up Before You Play
One of the best ways to prepare your body for pickleball is to warm up before you hit the courts. This doesn’t need to be anything fancy. Even just a few minutes to get your muscles warmed up with the proper exercises and stretches can reduce your risk of injury and help you to play better.
#7. Don’t Push Through The Pain!
So, we’ve talked about how to prepare your body for pickleball, and this is something important in all the preparations, and especially the game itself. Many people have a mindset that they need to push through the pain. They worry that if they try to tell their partner that they need to stop the game because they’re in pain, people will think they’re weak.
This isn’t true! Stopping when you feel pain is an important part of preventing serious injuries. If you try to push through it, you could very likely end up hurting yourself even more.
#8. Cool Down And Stretch After
One way to prepare your body for pickleball next time is to ensure that you cool down properly this time. After a workout is the best time to stretch, since your muscles are warm and less likely to be pulled or torn in a stretch. Stretching has many benefits, from mental clarity to increased flexibility. Taking the time to cool yourself off and stretch after each game helps you stay healthier and happier.
Ensure That Your Pickleball Court Is Safe To Play On
All of the above points are important parts of preparing yourself to play pickleball. However, even if you take great care of your body, if your pickleball court is in disrepair, this increases the risk of injury and can make playing very frustrating.
Fortunately, Utah Court Surfacing is here to help! We provide pickleball court installation, repairs, and resurfacing services. When your pickleball court is in good condition, it both looks better and is much safer to play on. Contact us today to learn more about our court surfacing services.
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