11 Best Warm Up Exercises That Every Pickleball Player Should Know

When you are about to participate in any kind of sport, you will have been told the importance of warming up before you begin.

Thus, before you start a torment, game or competition, you must ensure that you have done all your warm-ups exercises. 

11 Best Warm Up Exercises That Every Pickleball Player Should Know

As pickleball is a very active game, warm up exercises are vital. The main reason why you should be completing these exercises is they loosen your muscles and raise your body’s temperature.

This allows you to move with much more ease while on the court and prevents any injuries from occurring. 

In this article, we have collected the 11 best warm up exercises that every pickleball player (see also: 5 Common Pickleball Backhand Mistakes That Players Make)should know. 

1. Wrist Extensions

Your wrists do a lot of work during a pickleball game, as they are supporting the paddle and taking a lot of impact from each swing.

It is vital that you warm your wrists up, so they are ready to move quickly and react accordingly during the game. 

In addition to this, wrist extension helps to ensure that you prevent injuries such as golfers or tennis elbow. All you need to do is gently rotate and extend your wrists in different directions to warm them up.

Repeat this process on both wrists a couple of times. Although, be careful not to pull or push too hard on your wrist. 

2. Hamstring Stretches

While playing pickleball, tight hamstrings can cause everything from cramping to serious muscular injury.

To increase flexibility and lessen the stress on your muscles, so you can play comfortably during a competition, try the standing hamstring stretch.


  • While standing, ensure you have a straight posture.
  • Put your right leg out in front of you and gently bend your left knee.
  • Put your hands on the extended, straight right leg while leaning forward. Also make sure that you keep your back straight at all times. 
  • Stay in this position for 30 to 40 seconds and then swap legs. Repeat this stretch a couple of times on each leg.

3. Multi-Directional Lunges

Pickleball demands both acceleration and deceleration because it is a multidirectional sport. Lunges in many directions (forward, backward, or curtsy) are a fantastic exercise to add to your repertoire to lower your risk of injury.

These will not only aid with your strength improvement, but this exercise works on your balance. 


  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, your back straight, and shoulders back.
  • Slowly bend both knees until your back knee almost touches the floor by taking a step forward.
  • Return to standing and complete the action again, but this time your opposite leg should almost touch the floor. 

Above we have mentioned a traditional forward lunge, but you should try out curtsy, and backward lunges. A backward lunge is pushing your weight backwards instead of forwards.

Then a curtsy lunge involves you crossing your one leg behind the other as you lower yourself down. 

4. Shoulder Shrugs

It should be obvious that your shoulder, hands, and upper arm will move with the most force when you’re playing pickleball. Thus, shoulder shrugs should be an essential exercise when it comes to warming up.

It develops and improves your flexibility in your upper arm muscles and shoulders.


  • Beginning with standing straight, keeping your knees relaxed, and placing both of your feet firmly on the ground. Knees should be slightly bent while keeping your arms by your sides.
  • Be sure to maintain a straight neck, and a forward facing posture. 
  • Pull your shoulders as close to your ears as you can while you inhale.
  • Relax and lower your shoulders back to their original posture gradually as you exhale. 
  • Then repeat several times.

5. Side To Side Hops

Side to side hops are an excellent place to start if you want to engage every muscle in your body and increase your heart rate before playing pickleball. It is a mild kind of cardiac workout and a lot of fun to complete.

Bear in mind that if you have experienced injuries or are of a more advanced age, this type of warm-up is particularly difficult on your knees.

A set of 10–20 hops on either side is typically regarded as ideal. Also, it is a good idea to use your pickleball paddle as the distance when you are hopping from side to side.

6. Light Jogging

Run gently around the pickleball court. Your body’s oxygen circulation will improve, and your temperature will rise gradually as a result.

Also, it will reawaken the muscles and joints in your legs, so you can get ready for a pickleball game. You should complete this for a couple of minutes. 

7. Arm Stretches

The pickleball paddle transfers the majority of the impact to your body via your arms. Therefore, you need to take precautions to avoid hurting your arms when playing.

You can try a variety of arm stretches. The following are a couple of the most popular and efficient arm stretches:

  • Place a straight arm in front and across your body and hold there with your other  hand to do the deltoid stretch.
  • When performing triceps stretches, bend your arm until your hand hits your shoulder and lift your elbow till it is level with the top of your head. Use the other hand to secure your elbow.
  • By extending your arms out in front of you, with your palms down, and slowly pulling your fingers toward the ground with the other hand, you may stretch your biceps and forearms. Your wrists should gradually expand toward your shoulders.

8. Simple Soft Hits

Start with easy and gentle pickleball hits across the court after some stretching and light cardio has been completed. 

Ensure that the soft hits are viewed as nothing more than warm-up. You shouldn’t launch into a strong hitting immediately.  You must approach warm-up in the appropriate manner. Take it easy, rather than going overboard.

It is simpler for you to shift into a professional player mindset and compete against an opponent with a comparable intensity once you feel you have sufficiently warmed up.

9. Thread The Needle Arms

A gentle twisting action like that used when threading the needle is great for lengthening the spine and opening up the shoulders.


  • Kneel on your hands and knees.
  • Take your right arm and stretch as far beneath your left arm as you can.
  • Then swap arms and take your left arm and stretch as far under your right arm as you can. 
  • Complete three stretches on each side. 

10. High Knees

To get your legs moving, you should complete a couple sets of high knees. This is a really simple warm up and yet it gets your body moving and raises your body temperature.

Since you will be doing lots of movements while playing, it is important to ensure your legs are properly warmed up.

This exercise can be completed by lifting each knee up towards your chest. You could add a twist to this exercise, by having the opposite elbow touch the opposite leg you bring up. This will then get your core involved as well. 

11. Arm Circles

Arm circles are one of the basic forms of warm up exercises that every child is taught to complete in school. Yet, there is a reason that everyone is taught how to do this exercise.

This is because it is really effective at warming up your arms and upper body. 


  • Bring either one or both arms out to your side and create circles with your entire arm.
  • Begin with a small circle and then start to make them bigger as you move your arm.
  • In the end, you want to be creating the biggest circles possible with your arms. 

With this exercise, you can either do one arm at a time or both arms at the same time. It is important that you do that action both forwards and backwards multiple times to really warm up all the muscles in that area.

Another tip to be mindful of is that you should stand away from anyone or anything that may get in your way. This way you can complete the exercise freely and easily. 

Final Thoughts

Pickleball is a very active and sometimes strenuous activity. This means you must ensure that you warm up properly before you start a game. By warming up, you will prevent and reduce any chances of injuries forming as you play. 

It is vital that you pay attention to warming up and loosening your arms and legs. All the exercises we have mentioned, will get you properly warmed up before your next match. 

We hope this article has been helpful, and now you know the 11 best warm up exercises that every pickleball player (see also: 53 Funny Pickleball Sayings That Every Player Should Know)should know. 

Michael Walter
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