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5-Minute Pickleball Warm Ups for Competition Day

by Guest Author on

Let’s start with some visualization. You are at a tournament, you have been sitting for hour and half, it’s so cold you can’t feel your hands, and you just ate a decent meal for the first time all day – Now you get called to your court. What do you do to get ready?!

Some will perform a couple quick feet movements, some will jog a lap or two, and others will immediately start hitting. I am here to tell you that you will benefit greatly from doing a comprehensive warm for just 5 minutes!

Noobs and Veterans

Whether you have been traveling the country to play tournaments or you are looking to just get into tournament play, everybody needs to warm up! I never let my athlete, Catherine Parenteau, go into a match without a warm up. We tend to start the day with a longer warm up and throughout the day the warm ups get shorter and shorter.

A solid 5 minutes of movement can be imperative to your performance during the match and without a sufficient warm up, it’s very easy to give away a couple points in the beginning of the game that you typically wouldn’t.

Over the course of the next few posts I am going to give you a different warm up each blog that you can do in 5 minutes that will get you prepped and ready to play your match. You can use these during recreational play or in a tournament.

All warm up exercises that are dynamic in nature or take moving will be done from sideline to sideline. So, jog/backpedal means start at one sideline, jog to the other, and backpedal back. Okay, our first warm up we have the “No Equipment” warm up!

This one is great if you don’t want to use equipment or don’t have access to any equipment. All you need is your bodyweight here! Take a look at this warm up in full speed HERE!

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Warm Up - 1: No Equipment

Jog/Backpedal

High Knees/Butt Kicks

Hamstring Scoop/Quad Pull

Lateral Lunge w.Twist/Leg Cradle

Shuffle/Shuffle

Carioca/Carioca

Shuffle to Sprint x2ea

Once again, this warm up should be completed in 5 minutes! Within this warm up you are able to move the body, increase the heart rate, increase blood flow, stretch the lower body, plus prep the central nervous system (CNS) with speed work.

I like to incorporate some kind of speed or power work at the end to ensure that you are moving at or faster than game speed before the first call. We don’t want the first fast movement done when the game is beginning. You need to prepped and ready come that first call of 0-0-2.

What’s in a Warm Up?

So what’s needed in a warm up? There are some boxes that should be checked off when prepping for competition.

Kind of what I specified above, you need to: Increase blood flow to the muscles, increase in heart rate (which will vary per fitness level), some form of stretching (typically not static stretching so that you can increase your heart rate at the same time), and some type of CNS primer.

These elements in combination together make a comprehensive warm, but only hitting some of these can make it a pretty subpar experience.

The priming of the CNS can be an overlooked aspect but your central nervous system is your fight or flight system and pickleball is a reactionary sport. You really want your nervous system to be ready to go when the first serve is up.

Don’t ever miss the CNS prep!

Sprints, jumps, and throws are very important to help you be at your best! If you could only choose one aspect of the warm up to do, this would be it!

Next Time: Banded Activation

All of these aspects of the warm up complete the entire picture of preparing an athlete for the demands of the sport and this is only one example!

This is a more basic example, next week we will we discuss how to utilize bands with in the warm up! Stay tuned! We have three parts to this, giving you a new example each week!


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