Pickleball has become America’s fastest growing sport – probably because it has physical and social benefits and can be played at any age or skill level. But injuries sometimes happen, particularly in people over age 60.
About 60% of pickleball injuries are sprains, strains and fractures. If you’ve joined the pickleball craze or are interested in trying it, CentraState sports medicine physician Dhimant Balar, MD, offers these 5 tips to help keep you on the court.
1. Warm up first. Begin by stretching various muscle groups – from your feet to your neck and shoulders. Get some movement in before your game, such as a jog around the court.
2. Engage your core. Don’t rely solely on your arms when swinging the paddle – use the muscles in your legs and core, too. If you’re a first timer, take a pickleball lesson to learn proper form.
3. Listen to your body. Start slowly and pay attention to signs that you’re overdoing it. Take breaks when you need them.
4. Cool down. When you’re done, spend a few minutes walking and stretching to minimize next-day soreness.
5. Use the right gear. Pickleball (or tennis) shoes are designed to help you move around more safely with less slipping. When shopping for a paddle, try a sporting goods store that can help you select the right weight and grip size for you.
Check with your doctor before starting any exercise routine.
Need a physician? Visit centrastate.com/physicianfinder or call 866-CENTRA7 (866-236-8727).