Pickleball Warm Up Exercises – Top 6 Exercises to Loosen Up

Do you want to know our top Pickleball warm up exercises?

One of the main benefits of doing Pickleball warm up exercises it increases your muscle temperature which dramatically increases your muscle contractions.  Think about all the movement you do on the court.  Every kind of racquet sport involves a lot of sudden movement, explosive starts and quick stops. You want to ensure that you are warm and comfortable before playing sport and running around the court.

This is one of the primary reasons why indulging in good warm up exercises is crucial.

Pickleball warm up exercises are designed to loosen your muscles and make it more comfortable for your body to move around.  This gives you more than just flexibility, it also ensures enhanced performance and reduces the risks of injury or strain on your muscles.

If you are struggling to find highly effective warm up exercises, we discuss some of the best (and easiest) ones here.  Most exercises and stretches should be done for about a minute.



Warm up exercises for Pickleball that are simple and easy for all ages

Always consult your health practitioner before starting any exercises and if you experience pain then stop immediately.  This website has general information only for Pickleball players – we are not medically trained and this article is purely our opinion and what we do to warm up.

Are you a more mature aged person and want to find out more about the health benefits of playing Pickleball?

Shoulders Shrugs

When you are playing pickleball, it goes without saying that your hands, shoulders and upper arm are going to experience the most force of movement.  So, your first warm up exercise should be shoulder shrugs. It enhances the flexibility of the muscles around the shoulder and upper arm and strengthens as well.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Start by standing straight, knees soft and keeping your feet planted evenly on the ground.
  • Keep your arms at your side and bend your knees slightly.
  • Make sure you keep your chip up, facing straight ahead with the neck kept straight.
  • As you inhale, bring your shoulders towards your ears as much as your muscle flexibility permits.
  • Gradually, lower and relax your shoulders back to the initial position.

It should be an up and over style movement.

Besides relaxing and comforting your muscles, shoulder shrugs put your posture in correct alignment.

Arm Stretches

Another important warm up exercise for Pickleball is arm stretches.

Your arms take the primary source of shock to your body through the pickleball paddle so you need to ensure that you won’t end up injuring your arm in the process of playing the game.

There are a variety of arm stretches that make up a part of the pre-game workout and warm up before a pickleball match.

Some of the most common and effective arms stretches include the following:

  • The deltoid stretch focuses and stretches the deltoid muscle that is on the top of your shoulder.  This stretch is done by putting one straight arm across the front of your body and holding it there with your other hand or arm.
  • Another arm stretching exercise is for your triceps. The tricep muscle is at the back of your upper arm (behind the bicep).  You are able to stretch this muscle by bending your arm so your hand touches your shoulder and then moving your elbow up so it is level with the crown of your head.  Hold your elbow in place with your other hand.
  • You can stretch your biceps and forearms but straightening your arms in front of you, palms up and with the other hand gently pull your fingers towards the ground.  You should feel a slight stretch from your wrists to your shoulders.

Arm Circles

Arm circles are a more dynamic warm up than stretching.  Make 3 -4 large circular motions with your whole arm – one at a time…

  • On the side of your body – front to back
  • Across the front of your body – side to side
  • Above your head – like you are twirling a lasso
  • Across the rear of your body – side to side
  • Lean over and let your arm hang down and then do circles

These circles will assist in releasing your shoulders and elbows.

Hamstring stretches

Tight hamstrings can result in cramps through to major injuries to your muscles while you are playing pickleball.  The standing hamstring stretch works magically in aiding flexibility and reducing the strain on your muscles to ensure comfortable play during a tournament.

For this, you need to…

  • Stand up in a straight position and posture.
  • Place your right leg in front of you, while bending your left knee ever so slightly.
  • Leaning forward, place your hands on the bent right leg. Make sure your back is straight during the process.
  • Stay in that position for 30 – 40 seconds and then do a few more sets in succession.

Besides standing hamstring stretch, you also have seated and lying hamstring stretch with very similar postures but sitting on the ground.

Side to side hops for Pickleball warm up exercises

If you want to work all your muscles in your body and get your blood pumping before playing pickleball, side to side hops are a good way to start.  It is quite a fun warm up and is a form of light cardio exercise.

However, keep in mind that this kind of warm up is quite tough on your knees if you have had injuries or are of a more mature age.

Typically, a set of 10-20 hops on either side is considered optimal.  Also, when you are hopping side to side, using your paddle as the distance is a good idea.

Ideally, you want it to be a comfortable jump and not too high.

Soft and simple hits to start

Once you have done a bit of stretching and light cardio, another easy warm up idea is to start with simple and soft hits of the pickleball across the court.

Make sure that the initial soft hits are treated as just warm up.  You don’t want to start with heavy hitting right off the bat.

When it comes to warm up, you need to treat it as such. Instead of going overboard, you need to take it lightly and keep the competition for the game.

Once you feel like you are warmed up enough, it is easier for you to switch your mindset to professional player mode and play against an opponent with equal vigor.


Pickleball warm up exercises before a match are a real necessity.

It is recommended to do some form of warm up to avoid risks of injuries and other complications.  When you indulge in a well-planned workout, it becomes easier for you to move around the court.

Also, these are just a handful of quick warm-up exercises that we have discussed. There is a range of additional Pickleball warm up exercises that you can opt for depending on what kind of muscles you are wanting to target.