Importance of Exercising in Sports
As a student, most of us hated the PE classes and the warm-ups before playing the sports. But it turns out that not everything we hate is ‘actually’ bad.
There are so many benefits of exercising for athletes that it would take thousands of words to write about them. So we have made a list of some of the most important aspects of exercising for athletes.
Fewer Chances of Injury
Having a career in sports is very risky as you are always on the verge of getting injured. People who play football, cricket, and high-intensity sports are more likely to have severe injuries.
On the other hand, pickleball is not a highly intense sport but still, there are odds of getting injured. Studies have found that by performing warm-up exercises, one can prevent an ankle sprain and other common pickleball injuries.
Mobility is another important aspect to have while playing any form of sports. In terms of sports, mobility doesn’t just mean moving from point A to point B. But it means being able to move freely without getting too tired.
A person with good mobility is also known to be more flexible. So to have more mobility, it is important to do both warm-up and cool-down exercises.
Lack of mobility in athletes may cause severe injuries and fatigue. Another severe condition called disc slip may occur due to less mobility.
Other than improved mobility and fewer chances of injury, exercise has very positive impacts on human health.
Cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and many other fatal diseases can be prevented if a person stays fit. Also, exercise has a very positive effect on mental health.
Some researchers have shown that hormones that elevate mood are released while exercising. Indirectly, an elevated mood can make you feel motivated to succeed in the game.
Read more: “Benefit of pickleball you might not know”
Exercises To Strengthen Your Body for Playing Pickleballs
Now we know the importance of exercise for playing pickleball. So let’s discuss the workout you should do to strengthen your body.
1. Warm Ups
The ‘most’ important exercises out of all are warm-up exercises. Warm-ups are performed before starting the match as they prepare your body for the actual game.
Some of the benefits of playing pickleball after doing warm-up exercises are;
- Low chances of injury
Studies show that doing warm-up exercises before playing sports will reduce the risks of getting injured.
- More blood flow
Warm-up exercise will increase the heartbeat and blood flow. This means more oxygenated blood will reach the muscles.
Here are some exercises to do dynamic warmups;
Planks are beneficial for players as they target abdominal muscles as well as the muscles of arms and legs. To perform a plank go to the position of push-ups in such a way that the shoulders should be aligned with the hands.
Then slowly extend the arm. Now move the elbows and align them with your shoulder. Hold this position for a few seconds (or even more).
Almost every person knows about this exercise. Well, the main reason for this is that we all have tried to do push-ups with our friends. Push-ups engage a lot of muscles such as the triceps and shoulder muscles.
Usually, warm-up exercises take 10-15 minutes. However, if you have more time than that, include jogging in your routine. Jogging or running increases the heart rate, which means there’s an increase in the blood flow.
You might find this interesting: “Warm up exercises for pickleball“
2. Strength Training
Strength training is mostly done to increase resistance and strengthen the body. Most strength workouts involve the use of weight to strengthen the muscles. This weight can be body weight or external weight such as dumbbells.
Here are some exercises for building strength;
Every gym bro flexes themselves lifting the heavy weight. Well, it turns out they aren’t just flexing. They are strengthening their muscles to successfully play pickleball.
Bodyweight exercises include push-ups, pull-ups, lunges, planks, squats, etc. These exercises are good for building strength, endurance, and balance, which are the best qualities for playing pickleball.
3. Balance Exercise
Pickleball is a game that is highly dependent on movements so having proper balance is essential to succeed. Having the ability to shift the balance between different parts of the body can help you make quick decisions while playing this game.
Balance exercises work on strengthening the lower back, legs, and core muscles. The main perk of balance exercises is that they can be done at home without any equipment. For example, standing on one leg with a straight posture or doing sit-ups on a chair without moving your hand.
Here are some of the types of balance exercises at home;
Although yoga is a separate type of exercise, most yoga positions require you to balance your body.
For example, the tree pose requires a person to stand on one leg. The other foot is placed on the calf for this pose and the hands are lifted upwards in the prayer position.
Other yoga positions such as bridge pose, high lunge, chair pose, ardha chandrasana, etc. are good for improving the balance of your body.
Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art that requires a bit of practice. But once you get a hang of it, you can slowly gain control over the balance of your body.
For instance, one pose of Tai Chi is shifted to a new pose slowly and without any pause. This also means that the body is practicing the transfer of balance from one part of the body to another.
4. Mobility Workout
By doing mobility pickleball exercises, you would be able to move all of your joints freely. For instance, people with high mobility can move their legs in four directions which helps them to secure more scores in games like pickleball.
Some of the common areas targeted by mobility exercises are;
As mentioned earlier, the most common sports injury is the ankle sprain. To get more mobility in the ankles, perform ankle mobility exercises.
Ankle mobility can also be improved by running, jogging, or even walking briskly for a few minutes.
Due to bad posture and lack of neck mobility, you may have pain in the shoulders, neck, and head. To prevent this, perform neck mobility exercises such as neck half circles.
To do neck half circles, sit in a comfortable position and then slowly start doing circles with the head. While doing this exercise, neck muscles must feel a stretch, but the process shouldn’t be uncomfortable.
Shoulder mobility is also damaged by bad posture. So do some mobility exercises that are specialized for shoulders to improve the posture and overall mobility of shoulder joints.
Shoulder pass-through is a mobility exercise that can be performed at home. This exercise is done by slowly lifting a rod or broomstick behind your head.
Many people run away from leg exercises. No doubt, they hurt a lot but they are crucial for an athlete to increase the mobility of legs and hip joints.
5. Cool down Exercises
There are two exercises you should never leave on the day of a match; warm up and cool down. Cool-downs bring the heartbeat to its normal pace, so they are the exact opposite of warm-ups.
Usually, stretching drills are performed after the gameplay. These are some of the benefits of cool-down exercises after playing pickleball.
- Less Muscle Soreness
Stretching prevents muscle soreness after an intense game of pickleball.
- Increase Flexibility
Stretching right after the gameplay improves the flexibility of the body.
Static exercises are performed by holding a pose for a few seconds. Here are some of the static to cool down your body after a match of pickleball.
The cat-cow pose is a very famous pose among sports enthusiasts. To perform this, place your knees and hands on the floor. Then inhale while moving your belly towards the floor. Exhale by lifting the spine upwards.
Overhead Triceps Stretch
This stretch is best for the muscles of the arms and shoulders as they are mostly used in playing pickleball. Tension, weakness, soreness, and pain in the muscles of the forearm is one the reason that could lead to a pickleball elbow
Lift one arm, then bend its elbow. Slightly stretch the top of the elbow with the other hand. Hold this pose for a few seconds. Repeat the steps with the second arm.
Lunge with Spinal Twist
After going to the lunge position, place one hand on the ground and raise the other hand in the air. Hold the position for a few seconds. Then switch the sides and restart the process.
All in all, exercising properly and staying fit are the key to skyrocketing your pickleball career. To become stronger, strength exercises are used.
To have a mobile and flexible body, you should consider balance and mobility exercises. Lastly, perform warm-up and cool-down in your next pickleball and you’ll love the feeling of not having sore muscles and fatigue afterward.