Channel Your Inner Pickleball Champion with These 8 Dynamic Warm Up Tips

If you're one of the 3.1 million Americans gracing the Pickleball court each year it pays to be at your best. Whether it's a social game or one competing for $75,000 in the Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships, there are some simple things you can do to optimize your performance.

One of which is a proper dynamic warm up.

A warm up rich with dynamic movement can propel your athletic performance to far greater heights than most standard static stretches.

The key here is to utilize movements similar to the ones you'll need while playing.


Benefits of a Dynamic Warm Up

A dynamic warm up is preferred to static stretching for a number of reasons:

  • Helps bring blood to the muscles

  • Raises core body temperature

  • Warms up the joints as well as muscles

  • Kick-starts metabolism

  • Engages your brain and nervous system

  • Gently introduces what you're about to do

So let's get those arms and legs pumping with a view to improving performance, recovery and injury prevention.


8 Dynamic Warm Up Ideas For Pickleball

Make sure you start slowly and play around with the speed of these movements. Find something that feels comfortable and works for your body. Consider holding onto your paddle throughout to make things even more specific.


Arm Swings

Those arms are about to flail around for the next few hours, so it's important to get them ready. Do each of these 20 times.

  1. Forward Swings: Start by gently swinging your arms backwards and forwards. Have one swing forward while the other swings back.

  2. Horizontal Swings: Swing both your arms horizontally across in front of you (like you're giving someone a hug), and then back behind to mimic the classic forehand/backhand motion.

  3. Circular Swings: Channel your inner windmill and swing your arms in a full circular motion. To sharpen your brain try alternating directions with one going clockwise and the other anti-clockwise.


Trunk Twists

Trunk rotation is an important part of the unique Pickleball serve as well as many shots you’ll be asked to play.

With your feet shoulder width apart and arms out horizontally, twist from side to side. Make sure you're standing up tall with your shoulders back throughout. Do this 10 times each side.


Reach Overs

Another important movement includes trunk side-flexion. Have one hand on your hip and reach over your head to that side with your other arm. Channel your inner 1980's Aerobics champion and make sure to emphasize the reaching and side bend. Do this 10 times each side.


Hip Swings

Similar to the shoulders, make sure those hip muscles and joints are primed for maximum effort. Do this 20 times per leg while holding on to something for balance.

  1. Forward Swings: Stand on one leg and swing the other backwards and forwards.

  2. Side Swings: Similarly, swing your leg side to side.

  3. Rotational Swings: Lift one knee to hip height and rotate your shin from side to side. It’s a little Michael Jackson-esque but targets deep hip rotation.



Give your legs a gentle introduction to jumping, running, lunging and bounding by mimicking a skipping motion - without the skipping rope.

Try to land on the front half of your feet before letting your heel lightly tap the ground soon after. This will help engage your Achilles and calf muscles. Start with 20 skips on both feet before progressing to a further 20 skips alternating between each foot.


Two Point Lunge

The smaller confines of a Pickleball court require a lot of multi-directional lunging. So it's important to cater to these in any dynamic warm up.

  • Stand with your feet together

  • Step out into a forward lunge - going as low as comfortable

  • Come up and step back again

  • Next, step to the side and perform a side lunge

  • Come back to the middle

  • Repeat 5 times on each leg


Gentle Jog

A good dynamic warm up hits all the main muscles and joints but a great one targets the motor underneath as well.

Jogging from one end of the Pickleball court to the next is a great way to rev your cardiovascular system before take off.

Consider jogging 2 laps forwards, backwards and side-to-side to get things moving.


Deep Breathing

Our final tip is hugely underrated when looking to prime your body for action.

Sets of deep nasal breathing will hyper-oxygenate your body. This increases the amount of fuel you have access to right from the beginning. The more oxygenated you can be the longer it takes to experience the mental and physical fatigue associated with lactic acid. It will also help warm up your diaphragm and other inspiratory muscles.

Try doing 3-5 sets of 10-15 deep nasal breaths with a 3/4 mouth exhale. For the sake of efficiency do these during the other exercises.


If you'd like more information on the best dynamic warm up for you consider giving Laguna Orthopedic Rehabilitation a call on (949) 443-5442. Alternatively find us on all the socials!


Alex Goldenring