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How to Add Yoga to Your Pickleball Fitness Routine

How to Add Yoga to Your Pickleball Fitness Routine

  • Pickleball mastery goes beyond just drills and cardio. While those are important, peak performance requires a well-rounded approach. Yoga offers the perfect solution for pickleball players seeking to elevate their game. It strengthens the body, enhances flexibility, improves balance and stability, and even calms the mind – all crucial for pickleball dominance.

Namaste, pickleball friend!

It’s crucial to keep your body – and mind – in tip-top shape to reach your fullest potential on the pickleball court. It’s easy to focus on intense drills and cardio workouts to improve your game. Sometimes, though, it’s necessary to slow down, take a deep breath, and take the time to truly stretch those muscles. 

Enter yoga – the ultimate answer for any pickleball player who wants to step up their game, fine-tune their body, and clear their mind.  

Adding a yoga practice to your routine can help improve your strength, flexibility, balance, endurance, and stability on the court, according to an article from Shape. The best part? All you need is a yoga mat to get started! Here’s what to know about adding yoga to your fitness regimen and a few poses to incorporate into your practice right away. 

How Can Yoga Help With Cross Training and Recovery?

Superstar athletes like LeBron James and Tom Brady practice yoga regularly. That’s pretty good company! 

In 2016, the International Journal of Yoga studied yoga’s impact in-depth. Their study found that regular yoga practice increased flexibility and balance in a group of male college athletes. 

Flexibility and balance are a huge part of pickleball. Focusing on improving these aspects of your game will help you on the court just as much as practicing your serve or your dinks.

It will also help with recovery. Pickleball players tend to heavily utilize their shoulders, wrists, forearms, hamstrings, calves, and lower back. Yoga targets these areas and can help you maintain your flexibility in each area of your body, according to a blog post from Yoga with Sara. 

Five Yoga Poses to Try Today

Once you’re ready to add yoga to your routine, it’s time to start learning some poses and start your practice. Here are a few poses that you can do at home. 

Downward Facing Dog

This tried-and-true strength-building pose is a great entry-level way to start your yoga practice. 

Start on your hands and knees, then press through your hands and come up to your toes. 

Take a deep breath and exhale as you lift your hips and push them back into a deep stretch. 

Push the backs of your feet down to the mat. 

Take a few deep breaths and relax, feeling the stretch in the back of your body.


Reclined Pigeon Pose

This pose looks a lot like the Figure 4 stretch you’ve done in other fitness classes!

It’s a simple pose. Start by lying on your back and bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor, about the same width apart as your hips. 

Pick up your right leg and cross your ankle over your left thigh, keeping your foot flexed. 

Lace your fingers behind your left thigh and lift your left leg off the mat with your foot flexed. Take a few deep breaths, then repeat on the other side. 


Tree Pose

If you’d like to improve your balance, try the tree pose! 

Start by standing with your feet flat on the floor, then shift to your right foot. Lift your left foot and bend your left knee. Place your foot as high as you can on your inner right thigh. 

Press your foot into your thigh and focus on something in front of you, like a mark on the wall or an object in the distance. 

Take several deep breaths, then switch sides.


Cat-Cow Stretch

If your lower back is hurting, it’s time to implement the Cat Cow pose. This pose is perfect for your warm-up or cool-down routine. 

Get on your hands and knees and press your toes into the floor. Keep your spine straight and look straight ahead. 

As you inhale, shift your pelvis back and drop your belly so that you have an arch in your back. Look at the ceiling or the sky.

As you exhale, round your back, focusing on drawing your navel to your spine. Look at the floor.

Repeat for several breaths. 


Cow Face Pose

It’s time to loosen up those shoulders! This easy post will help you open up your body and ease your aches and pains. 

Sit up straight with your knees bent, and let your knees fall in opposite directions. 

Reach your left arm up and over your head so your palm reaches the middle of your back. Bend 

your right arm and reach behind your back to grip your left palm. 

Take several deep breaths and feel the stretch in your arms and navel. Then, switch positions so that your right arm is over your shoulder and your left arm is stretching up to meet your right palm. 

Are You Ready to Add Yoga to Your Routine?

It takes just a few minutes to move through these poses and begin to feel the benefits of yoga. 

By adding a yoga routine to your exercise schedule, you can improve your flexibility, balance, and, best of all, your pickleball game! Which pose will you try first? 

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