For the third year in a row, pickleball has been the nation’s fastest -growing sport. Selena Gomez “dinks” on the regular, as does Jenna Bush Hager. Even Michael Phelps has traded swimming paddles for pickleball ones.
And why not? Pickleball can boost your Cardiovascular health, provided you get onto the courts at least three times a week and play with enough intensity — somewhere above 75 percent of your maximum heart rate. It can also help you practice your agility and hand-eye coordination both of which decline with age.
Is pickleball enough?
The same seems to be true for cardiovascular fitness. While pickleball can initially improve it, there probably isn’t enough movement in beginner or intermediate doubles games to meet the guidelines from the Centres for Disease Control & Prevention which recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity, per week.
“I’m a big fan of supplementary hiking for players who aren’t getting enough cardiovascular challenge on the court,” he said. “It can be a great way to build the cardiovascular base fitness needed to play for many hours without gasping for breath in between each point.”
Create a more comprehensive pickleball workout.
A good routine to supplement pickleball, according to Ms. Stewart, should include the following moves, and will take you about 30 to 45 minutes to complete. You can begin with body-weight exercises, but aim to add weight as time goes on. Try for three to four sets of six to 12 repetitions. When you can repeat 10 easily, increase your weight or resistance.
Lower body work
- Squats whether traditional back squats or the more challenging spilt squats ) will strengthen your legs and glutes and train your balance, which helps prevent falls on the court.
- Lunges exercise a range of muscles and address imbalances of strength you may have in your lower body. Use front, reverse, side or curtsy lunges , or all four.
- Dead lifts, whether Romanian or single leg , increase your power.
Upper body work.
- Bent -ovwer rows or single -arm rowswill keep your back strong and improve your ball-hitting motion.
- Chest presses with dumbbells will address imbalances that may develop from using only one arm in pickleball.
- Aim for at least one rotational exercise that will assist in your serving and twisting motions. Also try farmers carries side and front planks, suitcase carries or even ” wood choppers “.
- Balance Moves ,such as single-leg marches or simply standing on one foot at a time for 30 seconds to a minute, can lower your odds of falling. When that becomes easy, try it with your eyes closed.
- Power moves like jump squats, dumbbell snatches, medicine-ball slams, skaters or side shuffles, will ensure you can more easily get to the ball without falling or getting hurt.
For endurance, try 30 to 60 minutes of hiking , walking, riding a bike, running or swimming two times per week. For speed, try some kind of interval training twice a week. After a five- to 10-minute warm-up, alternate 30 second sprints with 30- to 60-second breaks, repeating four to eight times.