7 Must-Do Pickleball Warm Up Exercises (2024)pen_spark

warm up exercises for pickleball

We all know that pickleball has been gaining popularity at a rapid pace. And now recent reports are showing that the amount of injuries is increasing as well. Some of this could be attributed to people rushing to get on the courts and trying to maximize court time without properly warming up.

Warming up is the key to maximizing your full potential on the court, as well as preventing injuries! With a proper warm up, not only do you prevent injuries, but you’ll also enhance your performance and mental focus.

In this blog post, we discuss essential warm up exercises for pickleball and dynamic stretching techniques tailored to maximize your pickleball prowess.

Short Summary

  • Warm up before playing pickleball to reduce the risk of injury, improve performance & prepare mentally.
  • Focus on dynamic stretching exercises and light cardio warm-ups for best results.
  • Customize your own routine with upper body strengthening drills, agility & balance exercises!

I am not a medical professional or a certified personal trainer. The warm-up exercises and routines provided are for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical or professional advice. Please consult with a qualified healthcare professional before attempting any new exercise program, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions or injuries.

What Are Warm Up Exercises For Pickleball?

Dynamic vs. Static Stretching

When it comes to warming up for pickleball, a warm up with dynamic stretching is the way to go. Unlike static stretches, which involve holding a stretch for an extended period, dynamic stretching incorporates constant movement, making it perfect for priming your muscles for the game.

Static stretching, on the other hand, is more suitable for post-game cool-downs, as it doesn’t adequately warm up your muscles and may hinder your performance on the court.

Incorporating dynamic stretching exercises like lateral lunges, leg swings, and step-through lunges into your warm-up routine can significantly improve your flexibility, power output, and efficiency.

By focusing on dynamic stretching, you’ll give yourself the proper stretch to help prevent injuries so you can keep playing this game we love!

Cardio Warm-Up: Light Jogging and Skipping

Cardio exercises are a fantastic way to kickstart your warm-up routine for pickleball.

Light jogging and skipping help elevate your heart rate, increase blood flow, and enhance oxygen circulation throughout your body. Engaging in these cardio exercises prepares your heart, lungs, and muscles for the more intense physical demands of pickleball.

Mix it up by jogging backward and forward, speeding up, and slowing down to get your body warm and ready to go. To further increase your knee and hip flexibility, incorporate butt kickers and high knees into your cardio warm-up routine.

Lower Body Exercises

A strong lower body is essential for pickleball performance.

Focus on exercises like lateral lunges, leg swings, and step-through lunges to warm up and strengthen the muscles in your legs and hips. These exercises will help you move more efficiently on the court, making quick pivots and explosive movements with ease.

By incorporating these exercises into your routine, you can improve your pickleball performance, become a better player, and help prevent injuries.

Lateral Lunges

Lateral lunges are a fantastic exercise to improve your side-to-side movements and hip flexibility, which are crucial for pickleball. This exercise also helps to enhance balance, stability, and strength while toning the inner and outer thighs.

lateral lunge to warm up for pickleball
Lateral Lunge

To perform lateral lunges, start by standing with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides. Then, step your right foot out to the side and lower your body into a lunge, keeping your left leg straight. Push off your right foot to return to the starting position and repeat on the other side for a total body workout.

Leg Swings

Leg swings are a dynamic stretching exercise that can help to warm up your hips, hamstrings, and improve your balance in pickleball. By incorporating leg swings into your warm-up routine, you’ll increase your flexibility and reduce the risk of injury on the court.

To perform leg swings, stand with your feet hip-width apart and swing one leg forward and backward, keeping your back straight and your core engaged for maximum benefit. Then switch legs and repeat for an effective workout.

Step Through Lunges

Step-through lunges are another excellent dynamic stretching exercise to incorporate into your warm-up routine. This exercise activates your core, quads, and glutes while loosening your hip flexors, setting you up for success in pickleball.

To master step-through lunges, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Take a big step forward with one foot and lower your body until your back knee is close to the ground. Then, push off your front foot to return to the starting position. Don’t forget to repeat on the other side for a balanced workout.

Upper Body Exercises

Just as important as a strong lower body, your upper body plays a crucial role in your pickleball performance. Incorporate exercises like arm circles, trunk twists, and shoulder rolls into your warm-up routine to ensure your upper body is ready for action.

These exercises will help you develop strength and stability in your upper body, allowing you to perform active movements more efficiently.

Arm Circles

Arm circles are an essential warm-up exercise for pickleball players, as they help to warm up the shoulders and spine, improving mobility and flexibility. Enhancing shoulder mobility is vital for staying safe and injury-free on the court.

To perform arm circles, stand with your feet hip-width apart and extend your arms out to the sides. Start making small circles with your arms, gradually increasing the size of the circles. After a few seconds, reverse the direction of the circles. This exercise can be done with or without light weights for added resistance.

Torso Twists

This movement engages your core muscles while increasing flexibility in your spine, which is essential for successful pickleball movements.

To perform torso twists, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms extended out to the sides. Keeping your lower body stable, twist your upper body to the left, then to the right. Repeat this movement for several repetitions, focusing on maintaining a strong core and smooth, controlled movements.

Shoulder Rolls

Shoulder rolls are a simple yet effective warm-up exercise that helps open up your shoulders and improve your upper body mobility for pickleball. Enhanced mobility in the shoulder joint is essential for protecting pickleball players from potential injuries.

To perform shoulder rolls, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides. Take a deep breath and, as you exhale, roll your shoulders up, back, and down in a circular motion. Repeat this motion 10 times to experience the full benefits.

Agility and Balance Drills

Incorporating agility and balance drills into your warm-up routine is essential for improving your performance in a pickleball match. Exercises like side shuffles and two-point lunges can help you stay agile and balanced on the court, allowing for quick pivots and explosive movements.

These drills can help you develop the strength and coordination needed to move quickly and efficiently on the court.

Side Shuffles

Side shuffles are a fantastic exercise for strengthening your hip flexors and increasing your flexibility, preparing your body for the lateral movements required in pickleball. This agility exercise also strengthens the glutes, hips, thighs, and calves, making you more agile and coordinated on the court.

To perform side shuffles, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms bent at the elbows. Energetically step to the side with your right foot, and bring your left foot to meet it. Repeat this same motion on the other side to really feel the benefits.

Pickleball Line Step Overs

“Pickleball line step overs” is a warm-up exercise to enhance footwork and agility.

To perform, stand next to a straight line on the court, then quickly step over it with one foot followed by the other, maintaining a steady rhythm. Repeat in both directions for an effective warm-up.

Ankle and Wrist Mobility

Rotating your ankles and wrists in both directions is a simple but effective way to prevent injuries and improve mobility for pickleball. As a pickleball player, having strong ankle and wrist mobility can significantly increase your power output and reduce your risk of injury.

Spend a few minutes during your warm-up routine moving your ankles and wrists in circular motions, both clockwise and counterclockwise. This quick and easy exercise can make a big difference in your overall performance and injury prevention.

The Importance of Warming Up for Pickleball

Imagine stepping onto the pickleball court and feeling fully prepared, energized, and ready to dominate. That’s the power of a well-executed warm up routine.

Warming up before playing pickleball is crucial for injury prevention, improved performance, and mental preparation. By increasing your heart rate and body temperature, you’re activating your nervous system and enhancing the elasticity of your muscles and joints for better athletic performance.

To reap the benefits of warming up, focus on exercises targeting the muscles and movements essential to play pickleball. Jogging, stationary cycling, jumping jacks, or running in place can help get your body ready for an active workout. Additionally, don’t forget to warm up your torso with exercises like torso twists and the sumo stretch.

A nice healthy prematch snack is always a great idea too!

Customizing Your Warm-Up Routine

Your warm-up routine should be tailored to your individual needs and preferences, ensuring optimal preparation for pickleball performance. Remember that the warm-up exercises mentioned in this blog post are just a starting point – feel free to mix and match exercises, adjust the intensity, or add new ones to create a warm-up routine that works best for you.

By customizing your warm-up routine, you’ll not only be better prepared for peak performance, but also more likely to enjoy the process.

After all, a warm-up routine that you enjoy is one that you’re more likely to stick with, consistently setting yourself up for success on the pickleball court.


In conclusion, a well-executed warm-up routine is essential for maximizing your performance and preventing injuries in pickleball. By incorporating dynamic stretching exercises, cardio warm-ups, lower and upper body exercises, agility and balance drills, and focusing on ankle and wrist mobility, you’ll be well-prepared for the challenges of the pickleball court.

Remember to customize your warm-up routine to your individual needs and preferences, and you’re sure to see improvements in your game. Now go out there and dominate the court!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good warm-up for pickleball?

Prepare for a winning game of pickleball with these 5 best warmups – dynamic stretching, jogging, skipping, lunges, and lateral shuffles.

Get ready to perform at your best!

What are 5 exercises we can use to warm up?

Jump rope, do dynamic stretching, do a light jog, perform lunges and squats, and swing your arms side to side to warm up before exercise.

Let’s get moving!

How long to warm up before pickleball?

Take at least 5 minutes before your pickleball match to get warmed up and play better. A short warmup routine is an easy way to prevent injuries and maximize your performance.

Make it a part of your pre-game routine and enjoy the improved results!

What is the importance of warming up before playing pickleball?

Warming up before playing pickleball is essential for avoiding injuries, enhancing performance, and getting your mind ready for the game.

It helps to stretch the muscles you will be using, warm up your joints, and get your heart rate up. Doing a few dynamic stretches and some light cardio can help you get ready for the game.

What’s the difference between dynamic and static stretching?

Dynamic stretching involves active movement and is best for warming up, while static stretching is done in a stationary position and is best for after your pickleball game to help your body cool down.

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