Exercises to Improve Your Pickleball Game

Night Train Pickleball coach holding a field training.

To excel in pickleball, it’s crucial to develop the physical attributes required to perform at your best. In this article, we will explore a range of exercises specifically designed to enhance your pickleball game. By incorporating these exercises into your training routine, you can improve your agility, speed, strength, and overall performance on the court. Let’s dive into these exercises and take your pickleball skills to the next level.

  1. Lateral Lunges
    Lateral lunges are an excellent exercise for improving lateral movement, balance, and lower-body strength. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and take a wide step to the right, bending your right knee while keeping your left leg straight. Return to the starting position and repeat on the left side. Perform three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions on each side. Lateral lunges mimic the side-to-side movements required in pickleball, helping you cover the court efficiently and quickly respond to shots.
  2. Agility Ladder Drills
    Agility ladder drills are fantastic for improving footwork, quickness, and coordination. Set up an agility ladder on the ground and perform various drills such as ladder hops, lateral quick steps, and high knees. These drills challenge your footwork and help you react swiftly to changes in direction. Aim to incorporate 10 to 15 minutes of ladder drills into your warm-up routine before pickleball sessions to enhance your agility and responsiveness on the court.
  3. Planks
    Planks are a fundamental core exercise that builds strength and stability in your abdominals, lower back, and shoulders. Start in a push-up position with your forearms on the ground, elbows directly under your shoulders, and feet hip-width apart. Engage your core muscles, keeping your body in a straight line from head to toe. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds, gradually increasing the duration as you progress. Strong core muscles improve balance, allow for better shot control, and help prevent injuries during quick movements on the pickleball court.
  4. Interval Training
    Interval training is a highly effective cardiovascular exercise for improving stamina and endurance on the pickleball court. Alternate between short bursts of high-intensity exercise, such as sprinting or fast-paced cycling, with brief recovery periods. For example, sprint for 30 seconds, followed by 60 seconds of walking or slow jogging. Repeat this cycle for 10 to 15 minutes. Interval training not only boosts your cardiovascular fitness but also simulates the intermittent bursts of intensity experienced during pickleball matches, allowing you to maintain a high level of play throughout the game.
  5. Resistance Band Exercises
    Incorporating resistance band exercises into your training routine can strengthen the muscles involved in pickleball, such as the shoulders, arms, and wrists. Use a resistance band to perform exercises like rows, bicep curls, and external rotations. These exercises target the muscles necessary for paddle swings, volleys, and serves. Perform two to three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions for each exercise. Resistance band exercises improve muscular endurance, power, and stability, enhancing your shot control and reducing the risk of injury.


To enhance your pickleball game, it’s crucial to incorporate exercises that specifically target the skills and physical demands of the sport. By regularly practicing lateral lunges, agility ladder drills, planks, interval training, and resistance band exercises, you can improve your agility, strength, and overall performance on the pickleball court. Commit to your training routine, and watch your pickleball skills soar.

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