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Pickleball Shoulder Mobility

These are 3 pickleball shoulder mobility & warm up exercises I use on a daily basis in my physical therapy clinic.

  1. Shoulder Pass Through
  2. Shoulder Rotation
  3. Scapular Retration with Trunk Rotation

1. Shoulder Pass Through

To perform this exercise you will use a lightweight dowel, broom stick, or dog leash strap.

While pulling the dowel wide you will start with your elbows in full extension and pass the bar over your head. If you are able to bring the bar down to your lower lumbar or sacrum you will return the bar overhead to the starting position.

2. Shoulder Rotation

Using the same dowel or broom stick you will allow the bar to hang in parallel with your vertical forearm. Levering the stick on the outside of your elbow you will generate an external rotation force through the shoulder joint.

This shoulder mobility exercise may be performed with the point of your elbow in front of your body, or out to the side of your body.

Man Demonstrating Pickleball Shoulder Mobility Exercise

3. Scapular Retration with Trunk Rotation

Placing the dowel across your upper back (and below your neck) you will keep both hands on the stick in a position wider than your shoulders with your palms facing forward.

Keeping the stick across your upper back you will turn your whole body clockwise then counter clockwise pointing the ends of the stick directly in front of you. 

This rotation is helpful for most joints in your body from your ankles, knees, hips, spine, shoulders and neck.

pickleball shoulder mobility with trunk rotation

What is the different between pickleball shoulder mobility vs flexibility?


Flexibility is often described as passive stretching of a muscle and related structures. 

Pickleball players often talk about their flexibility programs. They are always stretching their shoulders, hips, and backs.

While improving your flexibility is helpful, it doesn’t contribute to improved performance on the pickleball court as much as improving mobility.


Mobility is often related to active, controled motion of the joint and related structures.

The game of pickleball requires players to be mobile. A dink won’t require a pickleball player to move through a full range of motion, but it will require that player to control the motion.

Speed, quickness, and agility require great mobility in the hips, knees, and ankles along with strength and power.

I recommend focusing time off the courts on improving a pickleball players mobility over flexibility.