Although Pickleball is a fairly gentle sport on your body, injuries can still happen. Knowing how to maintain your body and find relief after Pickleball helps to keep you on your game and prevent accidents and sore muscles. Here are seven ways you can help your body heal post-match and get primed for next time.
1. Use foam rollers
Foam rolling is a common recovery method for athletes in a variety of sports. They are used for self-myofascial release (SMR). This means that they help eliminate trigger points or “knots” in the fascia (connective tissue) and allows for effective self-massage that relieves tension in minutes.
Even if you don’t have chronic pain, using a foam roller can allow you to recover faster and keep your muscles relaxed. Rolling often feels intense, but the temporary discomfort is worth the ultimate relief. Once you feel comfortable with this practice, try out a harder roller with nubs (if tolerable), as this will allow you to work your tissue on a deeper level. Just make sure you practice controlling the level of pressure as it will be tender.
2. Invest in massage equipment
Massage equipment help to release adhesions in your body by rapidly pulsing against them. Some examples of equipment you can purchase include the Z-Smart Massage Gun Plus, Zarifa Neck & Shoulder Massager, or the Z-Smart Massage Chair Plus.
Locate the tight areas on your body and move the massage gun to these areas to release tension. If you are feeling soreness and tension all over, hop into your massage chair! Massage equipment can help to ease your body’s soreness and reduce the risk of injury during play because you will be more relaxed and flexible.
If you find that you are fatigued, cramping, sore, or having other problems after a pickleball match, your body may just need some support. A supplement can help you alleviate these issues and continue to play without negative side effects. For example, if you have trouble with cramping muscles, look into a supplement with magnesium that can help resolve this issue. Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any supplement.
4. Try resistance bands
You have likely seen resistance bands used as a workout tool. However, they can also be used as a tool for recovery because they do not put pressure on your joints, they improve stability and strength, and reach deeper stretches than you could reach alone. YouTube has some great videos instructing you how to use these bands to engage your muscles right at home.
5. Implement rebounding in your recovery
In the 1980s, NASA studied rebounding as a way for astronauts to recover bone and muscle mass after being in space. Today, it is thought of as a vetted way to effectively stay in top condition. What exactly is rebounding, though? Rebounding is similar to jumping on a small trampoline with low bounces where your feet don not leave the ground or have full jumps. The benefits of this recovery method include lymphatic drainage, improved bone mass, and better endurance and balance.
6. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Pickleball is an outdoor sport that is played when the sun is shining, and the temperature is high. As a result, you’ll need to keep your fluid intake up to ensure you avoid dehydration. Furthermore, water helps to flush toxins out of your body, transport nutrients into the cells, and regulate your body temperature and pH balance. It can also help with muscle soreness and tension.
Strive to drink half your weight in ounces every single day. You can also drink something with electrolytes to replenish some of the salts you will lose on the court. You’ve got this!
7. Exercise in a variety of ways
One of the best ways that you can protect vulnerable areas of your body (back, knees, shoulders, etc.) during pickleball matches is by performing regular exercise off the court. You will want to focus on a few areas of your body for best results:
- Strengthen your legs - quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles
- Keep your upper body strong to reduce shoulder injury
- Exercise your core muscles to reduce strain on your lower back while you are playing
Pickleball is quickly becoming one of the most popular recreational sports in the U.S. It combines tennis, badminton, and ping pong, and it is great exercise without being so high-impact. That said, injuries can occur, so all players must take care of their bodies and know how to find relief after those hard matches.