Pickleball is the new sport for all ages. The growing popularity of the sport has brought a fun and competitive game that can be played anywhere. Pickleball requires agility, strength and flexibility for approaching and execution of each point. Due to the heightened competition of the sport, the risk of injury and overuse increases.
Racquet sports such as ping pong, tennis, or pickleball require repetitive motions with one arm. This repetitive motion is what leads into an overuse injury as the muscles, tendons or ligaments are being stressed in the same position with force. Without the proper balance of strength and mobility, any player is likely to injure the body.
Common injuries associated with pickleball include:
- Elbow sprains
- Wrist fractures due to falls
- Shoulder sprains or tears
- Ankle sprains
- Knee ligament sprains or tears
Elbow and shoulder injuries are likely to occur due to repetitive stress and force from while swinging and serving with the same arm. It is unavoidable while playing such a dynamic sport but can cause damage to the ligaments and muscles around the area. The potential of ankle and knee injuries
Here are five full body strengthening exercises that will help to stabilize the shoulders, strengthen the lower legs and improve balance to play at a higher level:
- No monies
- With a resistance band in both hands. Keep the band straight while standing with your shoulder blades squeezed together. Bend your elbows so that they are at 90 degrees and squeeze your elbows in to your sides. Keeping your elbows at your sides, rotate your arms outwards, bringing your hands apart.
- Y’s (Swords)
- Holding a long resistance band in both hands, with both hands at one hip. Stand tall with shoulder blades squeezed together. With your palms facing down, keep one hand at your side while the other arm pulls across the body and overhead. This motion simulates a sword going overhead or “Y” single arm. Slowly bring the arm back to the starting position with your elbow straight. Do not shrug the shoulders.
- Squat Rows
- Sitting squat position of around 90 deg knee bend, hold a resistance band in both hands with elbows straight. Keeping the back straight and chest upright, pull the resistance band to your sides by bending the elbows. Maintain the squat position throughout the set.
- Lunge pallof press
- Standing in a half depth lunge position. With a resistance band anchored, hold the band with both hands while standing at the side of where the band in anchored. Starting with the band at your chest, push the band with both hands in front of you then back at your chest. After a set, alternate legs in your lunge position.
- Lateral band walking
- Place a resistance around your ankles. While keeping the band taut, stand in a mini squat position and take big steps out to the side. Then back to the other direction.
These exercises are great for general strengthening and stability that will benefit your performance during pickleball. Enjoy the game! If there are any injuries or dysfunction while playing, call to book an appointment at Aligned Orthopedic.