Knee pain is a common complaint among athletes. Whether you play tennis or squash, running or cycling, knee pain is something that affects everyone at some point – and that can include during a good game of pickleball.
Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to increase your comfort and prevent knee pain – and we have brought our top tips together in one handy guide.
What Is Pickleball?
Pickleball is an exciting sport that combines elements of tennis and ping pong. It’s played on a court with two paddles (or “paddles”) and a small ball.
The aim of the game is to hit the ball into the opponent’s side of the net using the paddle (see also ‘How Many Hits Is Each Team Permitted To Have On Their Side Of The Net?‘).
Pickleball Tips For Beginners
1. Start Off Slowly
If you’re new to pickleball or exercise in general, it’s important to start off gently. You don’t want to injure yourself before you’ve even got the hang of things!
So, if you haven’t played before, try starting off slowly and focus on having fun, rather than pushing yourself too far, too fast.
2. Warm Up Before Play
When you’re warming up, make sure you stretch properly. Stretching helps keep muscles flexible and reduces the risk of injury. Try stretching your hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, and glutes.
When warming up, there are a few different ways you could go about doing this :
- Do a quick jog around the court, then do 10-15 slow jogs back toward your partner. This will help warm up your legs and get them ready for action.
- Do a couple of sets of jumping jacks. Jumping jacks are great because they work all the major muscle groups in your body – including those used when playing pickleball.
- Do a set of push-ups. Push-ups are another great way to warm up and will have the added advantage of improving your core strength.
3. Use Proper Technique
Making sure that you use the proper technique is very important for keeping your body strong and healthy – this includes making sure that you swing the paddle correctly.
If you find that you’re not hitting the ball as hard as you’d like, you may need to adjust how you hold the paddle.
For example, if you tend to hold the paddle too close to your chest, you might be able to improve your power by holding the paddle further away from your body.
As well as being careful with your technique, it’s also important to ensure that you maintain balance throughout the game.
4. Focus On Having Fun
Finally, remember to enjoy what you’re doing. Pickleball isn’t just about winning; it’s about having fun and enjoying yourself while you’re exercising – and this will also have an amazing boost for your mood!
Why Do Your Knees Hurt After Pickleball?
There are a number of possible reasons that you may be experiencing knee pain when playing, and these include:
These occur when you overdo it, and your body simply doesn’t recover quickly enough. Overuse injuries can happen when you’re training too much, or playing too many games in a short space of time.
They can also occur when you’re playing pickleball without taking sufficient breaks between games.
Poor form can cause minor injuries such as bruising, but it can also lead to more serious problems.
When you play pickleball poorly, you run the risk of injuring your knees. Poor form can result in poor posture, which can put extra strain on your joints.
Injury From Playing Too Hard
Playing pickleball at a high-intensity level can increase the risk of injury.
High-intensity levels mean that you’re putting more force into swinging the paddle, and this can place greater stress on your knees.
It’s best to play pickleball at a moderate pace so that you can stay relaxed and focused.
Not Warming Up Properly
Warming up before you start playing is essential. You should always begin by walking slowly around the court, and gradually build up speed until you reach a comfortable pace.
Once you’ve reached this point, you’ll want to focus on getting your heart rate up (see also ‘Is Pickleball Good For Your Heart?‘).
To do this, try running around the court, or performing some fast jogging or star jumps.
If you feel any discomfort during your warm-up, stop immediately. This could indicate that you’re pushing yourself too hard and that you should take a break instead.
If you experience ongoing pain or discomfort, you should see a medical professional
It may seem unrelated, but a poor diet can increase your risk of sports injuries. Eating plenty of protein and carbohydrates before you exercise can help you to recover faster after each game.
Try eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, and walnuts. These nutrients can help to reduce inflammation and joint stiffness.
Not Staying Hydrated
It is vital that you drink enough water when playing sports, as this helps reduce the risk of dehydration.
The average adult needs approximately 2 liters of fluid every day, but this amount varies depending on your age, weight, and activity level.
Make sure that you drink regularly throughout the day, especially if you’re playing pickleball.
Drinking enough water helps to keep your muscles hydrated, which reduces muscle soreness and improves recovery times.
Athletes who don’t drink enough water often find themselves feeling tired and dehydrated, and they may even suffer from headaches.
Dehydration increases your chances of sustaining an injury, so make sure that you drink enough fluids before, during, and after each game.
What Are The Benefits of Pickleball?
Pickleball is a great way to get fit and keep active. Not only does it provide a good workout, but it’s also a lot of fun! There are several benefits associated with playing pickleball, including:
It’s Easy To Learn
Pickleball is easy to learn, and anyone who has played tennis or ping pong will already know how to play – the main crux of the game involves hitting the ball back toward the other player, returning serves, and trying to win points.
It’s Great For Fitness
Because it’s a low-impact sport, pickleball is ideal for people looking to lose weight and tone their muscles. It’s also a great exercise for older players, as it helps improve agility and coordination.
You Can Play With Anyone
Pickleball is suitable for all ages and abilities, making it a great sport for beginners. It’s also a fantastic team sport, meaning that you can play with friends, family members, or even complete strangers.
As mentioned earlier, pickleball is an excellent way to meet new people. It’s a social game, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to make new friendships.
Pickleball is one of the most entertaining sports out there. You’ll find that once you get started, you won’t want to stop. It’s a great way to spend quality time with loved ones, and it’s also a great way to unwind after a stressful day.
Pickleball is an exciting sport that provides numerous health benefits. However, if you’re not careful, you may end up hurting yourself while trying to master the sport – and your knees can be particularly vulnerable.
Make sure that you follow these tips to avoid picking up any unnecessary injuries.
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