Before doing any low or high-impact physical activity, it’s vital to do an initial warm-up first. This helps prepare your body, improve blood flow, elevate temperature, and lessen physical risks of injury.
This applies to all physical activities, including padel.
It doesn’t have to be a 30-minute padel-specific warm-up either; a good five minutes will do if you’re doing it correctly, with the proper exercises, technique, time length, and muscle focus.
This is probably the largest hurdle getting over when it comes to a warm up. Try to make it count rather than counting the minutes.
In this article we’ll show you how to warm up “padel-style”, including the why, length, focus, as well as give you the actual exercises you should be doing before your padel game.
Good luck, and let us know how you feel about our suggestions in the comment section!
Why is it important to warm up before Padel?
A padel warm-up is essential to execute before a padel game starts to make sure your body is in mint condition and prepared before going into maximum effort during a game.
To do a warm-up properly and to get all the intended benefits, it would be best to work with what your body can handle and what specific physical activity is needed for the padel activity you’re about to undertake.
Here are the things that make warming up important:
1) It can help reduce stress on joints, muscles, and prevent injuries
Another study described that 421 runners who did warm-up exercises before running tallied a much lower injury rate than those who didn’t. It might sound obvious – but unfortunately a proper warm up is not that common before a padel game at the recreational level.
These show how warming up prepares the joints and muscles to adhere better to the demands of physical activity and to not result in unnecessary tearing.
2) Raising body temperature
As you warm up, you raise your body temperature, which causes muscles to be adequately oxygenated. It also initiates the activation of the nervous system.
Similar research in sports medicine points out that as your warm-up heat the body, the increase in temperature has favorable results when contracting the muscles and joints during the actual court game.
It eases the physique enough so that your muscle reaction time decreases during games, which means fewer injury and harm.
3) Condition the cardiovascular by increasing blood flow
Warming up before you play padel will condition your cardiovascular system and increase blood flow because of the higher body temperatures.
In an article released by The University of Rochester Medical Center, increased blood flowing through your veins and active tissues leads to more efficient waste management for your kidneys which in turn results to:
- Lesser muscle soreness
- Improved recovery time
- Better tissue health
More importantly, it prepares the heart for sport-related physical activity by gradually raising the heart rate to lessen the impact of “sport stress”.
Exercises to warm up before a padel game
We want you to experience the best exercises for warming up to par with your padel routine.
Here are the warm-up exercises you should follow before you show off your forehand and backhand in padel. Let’s dive right in!
Exercise 1: Bouncing or skipping
Bouncing or skipping is a light cardio workout you can use to start your warm-up routine. This exercise mimics what you will do in court as you try to hit or save your padel balls.
You can use a jumping rope and swing the rope while having small jumps for about a minute. This will warm your whole system, improve your balance, and strengthen your shoulder and wrist bones.
However, you can always switch to bouncing or rebounding if you don’t have a jumping rope.
Just imagine having a jumping rope and hopping similarly to that rhythm. This reinforces firepower to your core and legs, which you will need in the game.
Jogging can also lead to the same effects.
You only need to do this for 60 seconds.
Put the focus on your form. Make sure to maintain shoulder-width space for your feet, engage your core, relax your shoulder blades, chest out, and touch down every bounce or skip lightly on your toes.
Exercise 2: Arm swings
While maintaining your feet on a shoulder-width apart position, lift your arms horizontally, and swing in circular movements.
You can also opt for arm swings, where your arms cross in front of you and back in a 90-degree position.
This warm-up exercise helps stretch your arms, chest, and shoulders, preparing you to swing efficiently in a padel game.
Arm swings can be done for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Concentrate on your form and breathing. Standing upright with an engaged core, partnered with proper breathing, provides the muscles with oxygen.
Exercise 3: Knee-to-chest
Another exercise that involves standing is the knee-to-chest stretching exercise. In this stretching, you must gradually lift high knees to the chest and hold it up with both hands.
You can alternate stretching your left and right knees every 10 seconds, with three repetitions for each knee. This will prepare your knees, hips, legs, and back and add to your flexibility.
You need approximately 1 minute, with 10 seconds for each knee lift.
Make sure you keep your starting shape throughout. This means engaging your core and maintaining a vertical body position.
Exercise 4: Inchworms for dynamic stretching
Doing the inchworm stretches your whole physique effectively.
Here’s how to do it:
- Standing straight in a shoulder-width feet gap
- Slowly bowing the upper body down with bended knees
- Crawling until you reach a push-up position
- Do it in reverse
You can repeat this routine for 1 minute.
Be mindful of your pacing. Do it in compressed movements to stretch your whole physique.
Exercise 5: Mini padel tennis game
A great warm-up to incorporate is a mini padel game before the actual match to get a sound footing, swings, and ball reaction time. There are few different options here as this warm-up stems from tennis (playing mini-tennis is a great warm-up in tennis).
Padel players can do this in pairs. Preferably with the opponent on your side of the court.
- You can hit the ball with lesser force and aim to maintain the ball in the air (e.g. as seen in the volley warm up of the above video).
- You can try to play normal padel but within the service lines as a half court game. This is also a great way of playing padel with kids.
- You can play full length but on your half of the court, similar to above but with full length. This is especially good for core movement as you’ll use the wall.
Have mini rallies with another padel player for 2-5 minutes.
Focus on your hand-eye coordination. Also, be mindful of your physical movement and position in the court.
A typical warm-up to follow before padel
We know how boring it can be to warm-up, especially if you have a recreational yet competitive game.
With that in mind, we’ve summarized a comprehensive warm-up routine to keep you going in no time:
- Start with a more general warming-up exercise by doing one minute of bouncing, skipping, or short-distance jogging.
- Integrate arm and shoulder swings and knee-to-chest exercises for one minute each.
- Combine a minute of slow and steady inchworms and lateral flexion movements to stretch, and cross-stepping for agility.
- Include a minute of gradual stretching (e.g. wrist and hip circles) for the following joints: ball-and-socket joints for the hips and shoulders, pivot joints for the wrists and elbow, and so on.
- Play mini padel tennis for an on-court warm-up with another padel player, starting from the service line.
Guide source: translated version from Fisiohogar.
Why you should stretch before a padel game
It would be best if you stretched before a game for the following reasons:
- You’ll condition your body to increase flexibility, up your heart rate, extend muscles, and ease muscle stiffness
- You’ll put enough heat in your body, regulating the flow of blood and oxygen, which will lessen muscular shock and stress
- You’ll prepare your muscles to reduce reaction time, increase contraction time, and decrease injuries in the duration of the play
After going through our effective warm-up and stretching exercises above, you’ll have the best opportunity for winning your next padel game.
Make sure to do all these warm-ups properly, and never forget to pair them with a cool-down after the match to let your body relax.
We know how much you’ve been itching to hit some padel balls, so get on with these padel warm-ups, and good luck with your first point!
Frequently Asked Questions – How to warm up for Padel
Warming up for padel tennis includes general warm-ups in jogging, skipping, bouncing, padel-specific movements, and stretching.
It’s important to warm up because it will help condition your muscles, increasing blood & oxygen flow, upping temperature, and preventing the risk of injuries.
Do dynamic stretching, including lateral flexion and muscle and joint movements, is the key to efficiently activating and stretching your muscles.
The best warming-up exercise before a match is doing a mini padel tennis game. It activates your whole physique, preparing you best for the physical demands of the sport.
Inchworms, knee-to-chest, and swinging arms are some stretching exercises you can do before playing padel.
Lucas Sánchez is the founder of SimplePadel. Born and raised in Spain, Lucas has been living in the US and UK for the last 20 years and currently calls Miami his home. While he’s never played professionally, the dream is still alive.
Lucas loves nothing more than playing (and talking) about padel, and he considers himself lucky to have a wife and family that share his love for the game.