A cross between tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the U.S.
D.C.’s Department of Parks and Recreation alone has created 49 outdoor pickleball courts in the last four years!
It’s an addictive game beloved by all age groups. And one thing we love about pickleball is that it’s often an incredibly social game, which is perfect after a few years of indoor isolation.
If pickleball is your new obsession, cross-training is an effective way to improve your game on the court and reduce the risk of injury. And no matter what sport you love, Pilates is a fun, effective cross-training exercise perfect for amateurs and pro athletes alike.
Take a cue from pro athletes and cross-train with Pilates.
Pickleball, like tennis, is a high-impact sport that tends to develop one side of your body over the other. And like any other sport, players benefit the most from cross-training a few days a week to move the body in different ways.
Pro athletes ranging from Serena Williams to Peyton Manning use Pilates to augment their workout and level up their game.
When we do the same movements over and over again, our bodies get used to them. It can be difficult to move past plateaus. Cross-training prevents that plateau to help continuously improve your fitness.
It’s all about the core
Common injuries in pickleball include issues related to the back, hamstrings, and shoulders. In order to prevent injuries that would keep them off the court, many pickleball players turn to Pilates.
Pilates is a full-body conditioning exercise built around the concept of balance and alignment. Many of the movements in reformer Pilates focus on core strength, which is a key component to eliminate back pain and provide a crucial foundation of control that can take your game to the next level.
When your core is strong, your back and shoulders don’t take the brunt of your movement. You have better control, which leads to a better, more consistent game.
Pilates’ focus on posture can also reduce lower back strain, and improved shoulder stability can alleviate common shoulder, wrist, and elbow pains.
Balance and flexibility improve your performance on the court.
Pickleball players’ propensity to emphasize movement on their dominant side can lead to an increased risk for stress injuries, while also hindering the body’s overall balance.
Pilates builds balance and flexibility by developing the entire body and muscle system. Many of our clients experience a number of benefits from regular Pilates, including:
- Improved hip mobility
- Better control and awareness of the body
- Increased range of motion
- Improved flexibility
- Less lower back pain
- Less muscle tension
- Better results at game time
Our favorite Pilates moves for pickleball players
At RTR Pilates, we help clients increase self-awareness and focus on creating a stable body. A stable body is the result of multiple factors: coordination, posture, endurance, and muscle tone. Many of the exercises we do in the studio have a direct correlation to your performance on the court!
“My main consideration when planning a Pilates class routine is the clients; I try to create a routine that is balanced and accessible to everyone.” – RTR Pilates instructor Monika
We love bridging exercises to strengthen the core, and standing leg splits to improve balance. Rotational exercises to help improve your swing, and our rotator cuff exercises will build strength in the rotator cuff.
Take your pickleball game to the next level with Pilates!
Whether you’re a casual or competitive player, regular exercise of any type is critical to your long-term health and well-being. So no matter what sport you love, the most important thing is that you can keep doing what you love!
Pilates gives your body the tools it needs to support a long-term active lifestyle. So stop by one of our five studio locations and see the results for yourself.
Ready to give Pilates a try? Get your first month of unlimited classes for just $129.