Are you a pickleball or tennis fanatic or just an occasional racket swinger?
Perhaps you’re just interested in discovering what pickleball enthusiasts find so invigorating about the sport. Or maybe you have already joined the bandwagon and feel sore or, worse, injured, to your dismay.
- An estimated 19,000 pickleball injuries in 2017
- 90 percent of those injuries affecting people 50 and older
Table Of Contents
- Why you need to straighten out before you play
- Lets get ready to play
Why you need to straighten out before you play
Without basic anatomical functionality, successful athletic performance doesn’t stand a chance. You can’t build strength and agility on misaligned joints and weak muscles. The mechanics needed to swing a racket, then run back, forth, and laterally, demand that hip, shoulder, and ankle joints be aligned.
Before heading out to hit the courts, ensure your body is aligned, stretched, and functioning optimally. The worst thing you can do is pick up a tennis or pickleball racket, and run around with dysfunctional anatomy, as that is undoubtedly a recipe for injury.
The sad and serious truth is that people do it all the time, especially older people who think they will get back in shape by participating in one of these sports. Unfortunately, injury and painful conditions compound their existing foundational dysfunctions and misalignments.
Injuries and detrimental conditions have included plantar fasciitis, shoulder/rotator cuff injuries, back strain, hip pain, Achilles' strains and tears, Meniscus tears, tendon ruptures, aggravation of arthritic knees, wrist strains, ankle sprains, wrist fractures, lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow — now pickleball elbow) pulled and strained muscles of the hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors,and calf muscles, and groin strains.
Without anatomical preparedness, you may add to the injured statistics, and we don’t want that to happen.
So, before you jump into your sneakers, grab your racket, and hit the court, again, or for the first time, several crucial preparatory steps are vital to your safety and the maintenance of your well-being.
The first step is understanding the anatomical demands for both sports. Pickleball, like tennis, requires the use of the core, quadriceps, hip, calf, rotator cuff, arm, hand, back, and feet muscles to generate movement, power, and skilled precision. All body parts are required to navigate the sports' movement patterns and total engagement. Required in tennis and pickleball is the ability to move and stretch easily. Muscle strength, joint alignment, and agility are the basics upon which the game-playing fundamental skills develop. These requirements for healthy and fun game playing don’t happen on the court; instead, they are acquired during your daily preparatory exercise routines.
Let’s get you ready to play with the best of them!
The next step: get yourself into a positive mindset and schedule daily body “tune-ups” with exercises that ensure anatomical alignment and stability for your future athletic self!
These exercises are a part of a series of Posture Alignment Programs that can benefit anybody at any skill level in all aspects of life.
Take a few minutes each day to align and strengthen your body; your body will thank you.
Here’s to a winning future in all games, but most importantly, here’s to a happy and healthy life!
Remember you’re working towards:
The following exercises from our Posture Programs will assist in your preparation for tennis and racketball’s anatomical requirements.
Watch the exercise videos below
Standing Arm Circles
- Start standing with your feet pointed straight ahead, fist distance apart.
- Bend fingers into the pad of your hands and point your thumb straight out.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together backward and bring your arms out to your sides at shoulder level.
- Palms facing down, circle up and forward 6-inch circles in diameter.
- Next, rotate thumbs backward, palms facing upward, circle up and back circles 6 inches in diameter.
- Remember to keep your feet straight and your shoulder blades squeezed together
- Relax the stomach
On Back Foot Circles and Points
- Lie on your back, legs up 90 degrees onto a chair
- Hand out to your side 45 degrees, palms up
- Perform clockwise circles with each foot, counterclockwise, and finish with point flexes (gas on, gas off)
- Relax stomach and upper body
- Switch to the other side