For the third year in a row, pickleball is the sport that has grown the most in popularity in the United States. Selena Gomez likes to give “light shocks” like Jenna Bush Hager. Even Michael Phelps started adopting pickleball paddles from swimming paddles.
And why not? Pickleball can improve your cardiovascular health, provided you take the court at least three times a week and play at a high enough intensity above 75 percent of your maximum heart rate. It can also help you improve your agility and hand-eye coordination, which tend to decline with age.
However, despite all of its benefits, pickleball doesn’t build much muscle. And depending on the intensity at which it is played, it may not provide the recommended dose of weekly cardiovascular exercise.
“When you look at Serena Williams and see how strong she is, it’s easy to think it’s because of tennis,” said Jasmine Marcus, a physical therapist and strength coach in Ithaca, New York. “But he’s strong because of the strength work he does off the court.”
Is pickleball enough?
According to experts, if you were fairly sedentary before starting pickleball, you can build up some strength and fitness by training several times a week. But you may reach a limit after about eight weeks.
“Playing will get your arms and legs a little stronger, but you’ll get to a point quickly,” Marcus said. “You need to constantly challenge your body with more resistance.”
The same seems to be true for cardiovascular fitness. Although pickleball can improve this initially, beginner or intermediate doubles matches may not provide enough movement to meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. Recommend activity.
“Maybe playing the pros adds cardiovascular endurance, but I’m not sure how much general activity I get,” said Sarah Bowen Shea, a business owner and podcast host in Portland, Oregon, who has been playing for six years. Plays pickleball for eight hours. per week. “On the court, you move very fast and stop and then you have to wait between one game and the next.”
Because of this, Shia continues to incorporate running and swimming into her exercise cycle along with strength training. It’s a smart approach, explained Scott Fliegelman, one of the top professional pickleball players in the over-50 division and owner of Boulder Pickleball in Boulder, Colorado.
“I’m a big proponent of supplemental walking for players who don’t get enough cardio on the court,” he said. “This can be a great way to improve the baseline cardiovascular fitness needed to play for many hours without panting between each point.”
Create a more comprehensive workout for pickleball.
Rebecca Stewart, a personal trainer and coach in St. Paul, Minnesota, said that for more complete conditioning, players should supplement pickleball with strength training at least twice a week. Another option is to do some strength work on the court between matches.
“You should set a goal to progressively load your muscles,” he said. The twice-weekly strength regimen can be the same on both days, but mix up the exercises you choose each day to challenge your body.
According to Stewart, a good routine to complement pickleball should include the following moves and take about 30 to 45 minutes. You can start with bodyweight exercises, but increase the weight over time. Aim for three to four sets of six to twelve repetitions. Increase weight or resistance when you can repeat 10 easily.
exercises for lower body
– Squats (either traditional back squats or, more challenging, open squats) will strengthen your legs and glutes and improve balance, which helps prevent falls on the court.
– Lunges exercise a variety of muscles and counteract any strength imbalances in your lower body. Perform forward, backward, side or curtsy lunges, or all four.
– Deadlifts, whether Romanian or single-leg, increase your strength.
exercises for upper body
– Bent over or one-arm rows will keep your back strong and improve your ball-striking speed.
– Dumbbell chest press exercises will help correct the imbalance that can develop when using only one arm in pickleball.
exercises for torso
– Try to do at least one rotation exercise that will help your serving and turning movements. Also try the farmer’s walk, side and front plank, suitcase carry, or “chopping wood.”
If you still have time, add some moves to avoid injuries.
-Balancing activities, such as walking on one leg or standing on one leg for 30 seconds to a minute at a time, can reduce your chances of falling. When it becomes easy for you, try doing these with your eyes closed.
– Strength movements, such as jump squats, dumbbell snatches, medicine ball kicks, skaters or side steps, will allow you to reach the ball more easily without falling or injuring yourself.
Depending on how much and at what intensity you practice pickleball, you may be able to meet cardiovascular exercise recommendations. Stewart said if you find that a single match tires you out, you need to develop stamina outside of pickleball. If you can’t speed up to respond to the shot, you probably need more speed.
For stamina, try 30 to 60 minutes of hiking, walking, cycling, running or swimming twice a week. For speed, try some type of interval training twice a week. After a five to ten minute warm-up, alternate short 30-second sprints with 30 to 60 seconds of rest and repeat four to eight times.
The intensity and duration of pickleball practice is very individual, so supplement based on your level of play, the frequency of your practice, and how you feel. But with the right training, you will feel better on and off the court.
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(Tags to translate) disease prevention (T) strength training (T) pickleball (T) Selena Gomez (T) Michael Phelps (T) Serena Williams