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Opinion

'I Don't Have Time to Warm Up' is Never an Acceptable Phrase Before Playing Pickleball

by Guest Author on

"I don't have time to warm up," "My first game is my warm-up," or even the classic, "I'll warm up while I'm dinking.” I hear these statements all the time.

Let me challenge your thinking and expose these pickleball excuses for what they are.

“I don’t have time to warm-up”

Look, I get it, life can be hectic, we all have busy lives, but think about it this way. A well-executed dynamic warm-up takes only a few minutes, but can save you weeks of not playing and nursing a twisted ankle or pulled muscle.

Priorities, my friend! Protecting your body and minimizing the risk of injury should be at the top of our list.

“My first game is my warm-up”

Sadly, I hear this all the time. Are you willing to step onto the court, cold as ice, (maybe after a few high knees) and expect your body to perform at its best right off the bat?

That’s like playing Russian roulette with your muscles. Will I pull one or not?!

When you skip a proper warm-up, your body and muscles are stiff as a board. Instead of making a rookie mistake, take the few minutes to do a dynamic warm-up so you can start your games strong, agile and confident!

“I’ll warm-up while I’m dinking”

Ah, multitasking at its finest. While I admire your enthusiasm for squeezing in some warm-up during dinking, let's face it: social dinking at the kitchen just doesn’t prepare your body for the demands of the game, even a social game.

In fact, a social game can lead to more injuries because, mentally, you are not in the zone (mind-muscle connection).

You’re more relaxed...then, all of a sudden, BAM! you take off sprinting to intercept a ball. Potential hamstring pull or sprained ankle.

Acceleration and deceleration can be devastating to cold muscles and joints. No more excuses!

Like I said in the last article, there are undeniable benefits of a pre-game dynamic warm-up:

  • increases your body temperature
  • improves circulation
  • lubricates your joints
  • prepares your body for play

Translation: it will be easier to move around the court, no stiff joints or muscles to slow you down.

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A dynamic warm-up also primes the neural pathways between your brain and muscles to improve coordination and reaction time. 

Translation: allows you to react lightning fast in a volley battle or cross-court smash. Now you’r in the zone to move better, play better!

So let's put those excuses to rest and prioritize your warm-up routine. Don’t be part of the estimated 4 million going to be spent on injuries this year, which will keep you off the court and on the couch.

Warming up isn't just for the pros or the overly cautious, it’s for anyone who wants to up their level of play and reduce their risk of injury.

Article courtesy of therealpickleballPT.


The Dink issued a wager to its newsletter audience that at least 60% of them don’t warm up before a rec or competitive game.

We were happy to be very wrong about that. Our survey results show that 73% of you do, in fact, know the importance of a dynamic warm up. Be like them.


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