Dr. Alan M. Reznik, MD notes the following about why a five-minute warmup before competing in sports like pickleball is important:
“If the game is intense, then cooling off may mean drinking fluids, moving to a cooler place and walking
off the muscle soreness (lactic acid build up) in the muscles. Cooling down after your workout allows for a gradual recovery of pre-exercise heart rate and blood pressure,” says Reznik, author of The Knee and Shoulder Handbook: The Keys to a Pain-Free, Active Life.
The warmup includes:
First start with a brisk walk around the court until warmed, then:
- Neck stretches – Gently tilt your head side to side and hold for 15-20 seconds. Then, slowly roll your head in a circular motion, both clockwise and counterclockwise.
- Shoulder stretches – : Extend one arm at a time across your chest and use your other arm to gently pull it closer to your body and hold for 15-20 seconds. Rolling your shoulders in a circular motion will also help warm up your joints.
- Arm and wrist stretches – Extend one arm straight in front of you, palm facing up, and use your other hand to gently pull your fingers back towards your body. For wrist stretches, extend one arm straight in front of you, palm facing down, and use your other hand to gently pull your fingers towards the ground.
- Leg (quad) stretches – Perform standing quad stretches by standing straight, bending one knee, and bringing your foot towards your glutes and hold for 15-20 seconds before you switch sides.
- Calf stretches – Lean against a wall, placing one foot forward with a slight bend in the knee, and pressing the heel of the back foot into the ground, hold for 15-20 seconds and then switch legs.
- Core stretches – Stand with your feet hip-width apart, raise your arms overhead, and lean gently to one side, feeling a stretch along your side for 15-20 seconds.