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The Warm Up Before the Warm Up

Stretching Warming Up

Before pickleball players even hit the pickleball court we all need to keep in mind that we need to warm up off the court before we warm up on the court. I have asked our resident fitness expert and trainer, Nadia, to give Smash Pickleball fans insight into why warming up and stretching is so important before we play pickleball.

Author: Nadia - http://fitnessbynadia.com/

We’ve all heard how important warming up and stretching is, and on the flip side we’ve also heard that it really does nothing. I believe warming up and stretching does work, however, there are different types of each, and some work and others don't work as well for your body. Let's get into stretching first. Here are three forms of stretching you may have heard of.

1) We have static stretching where you hold a position for an extended amount of time.

2) There is ballistic stretching, which is exactly as it sounds, quick and crazy. 

3) We also have dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching is not to be confused with ballistic stretching. 

I’m going to focus on dynamic stretching.

We all know that warming up will save us from injury. We know this, but for some reason we just don’t put the time into practicing it. If keeping yourself from injury is important than I suggest you practice dynamic stretching before doing anything exerting. With dynamic stretching you are warming your muscles, letting them get soft and pliable. Think of them as a piece of gum. You take the gum out of the wrapper and if you try to stretch it or bend it, it will break. But if you chew it and get it warm, you can pull and bend it in all directions without it breaking. 

The higher your age and the intensity level of your upcoming activity the more important it is to do dynamic stretching. Age also requires more time to warm up. Soccer player David Beckham was asked how he was able to play with the younger athletes before he retired. He said because of his age (36-37 at the time) he would spend a solid hour warming up before practice started.   

Dynamic stretching involves slow, little movements at first. Start with moving your joints: ankles, knees, hips, shoulders. And do it until you feel like the joint is just starting to get tired.  As you feel your body warming, then move on to bigger, slightly quicker movements. Start focusing on your larger muscles such as your quads (front of thigh), hamstrings (back of thigh), glutes (butt), and shoulders. Some ideas are to lift and slowly extend your leg, but don’t kick; curl your foot toward your butt, move your arms in small circles.

 So keep moving, keep those muscles warm and soft, and especially enjoy pickleball without pulling anything!

This article is brought to you by Nadia at http://fitnessbynadia.com/. If you are interested in having Nadia create a customized stretching routine to prevent injury before you get on the pickleball court contact Nadia at fitnessbynadia@gmail.com. Or if you are looking for a fitness program to get you ready for tournament play or just life an active lifestyle Nadia can coach you virtually. Contact Nadia via email at fitnessbynadia@gmail.com.

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