WOW! That’s all I have to say to the response we received to Kerry’s last post on her number one stretch for more pain-free pickleball! If you haven’t looked at it yet, definitely check it out after reading the rest of this article.

So after seeing the fantastic response to last week’s post, I decided we should go back to Kerry and see what she had in her bag of awesome yogi tricks…

Q: Now that I’m benefitting from the figure-4 stretch, what should I add to my routine?

First off, it’s great to hear that there was such a wonderful response to the figure-4 stretch. Now that you’re enjoying the benefits of stretching, let’s work on those very heavily used shoulders! It’s actually something I’ve noticed Laurie smartly working on between games. For the yogis out there, we’ll be doing modified Cow Face Pose.

Q: Why focus on the shoulders?

Well, we tend to be a hunched over culture—doing many activities that tighten shoulders. However, when we play pickleball we want a full range of motion in our shoulders. A full range of motion helps with serves, dinks, overhead smashes, and drives.

Q: I’m sure there are lots of shoulder stretches, why this one?

This pose is great because it’s almost like two poses in one working your shoulders in two different directions at the same time.  It’s great for general stiffness in the shoulders and upper back. And it improves inner and outer rotation of your arms.

Q: When should one do this pose?

Before, during and/or after your pickleball games.  You can also do these stretches when you are home after sitting on the computer, driving in the car, texting, or whenever you find yourself hunching your shoulders during the day.

Q: What if you can’t do the pose correctly?

As always, listen to your body, if this pose doesn’t work for you I’ve listed different versions of the pose to try out.

Standing Shoulder Stretchs

Below I’ve listed out variations that increase in intensity. Start with the first option and work your way down the list as the stretches become too easy.

Click on each picture if you would like to see the pose better.

As with all stretches, here are my first rules of stretching:

  • Always listen to your body.
  • Move into the stretch slowly.
  • You will feel tension (the stretch), but you should NEVER feel pain. STOP if you feel any sharp pain.
  • Use props (pickleball paddles or straps) to help you make the stretch work for you.
  • Stretching is not a competition, remember that you’re between games ; )

Warmup Shoulder Stretch

  • Stand tall with your feet hip width apart

  • Interlace your fingers behind your back

  • Pull your hands down and away from your butt

  • Broaden and open the chest

  • If your flexibility allows, bring the palms of the hands together

  • Hold for 5-8 breaths

     

    Overhead Bent Elbows

    • Stand tall with your feet about hip width apart

    • Keep your chin parallel with the floor

    • Keep your hips over your ankles

    • Raise your arms straight over head

    • Bend the elbows over your head

    • Reach for opposite elbows

    • Hold for 5-8 breaths

    • Raise the arms overhead again

    • Reach for opposite elbows again

    • Hold for 5-8 breaths

    • Release arms back down

    Single Arm to Back

    • Stand tall with your feet about hip width apart

    • Keep your chin parallel with the floor

    • Keep your hips over your ankles

    • Raise your arms straight over head

    • Bend the elbows over your head

    • Touch your right fingertips to the middle of your shoulder blades

    • Lift the bent elbows up toward the ceiling

    • Hold for 5-8 breaths

    • Raise the arms overhead again

    • Touch your left fingertips to the middle of your shoulder blades

    • Lift the bent elbows up toward the ceiling

    • Hold for 5-8 breaths

    • Release the arms back down

    Standing Cow Face Arms

    • Hold your paddle in your right hand
    • Stand tall with your feet about hip width apart
    • Keep your chin parallel with the floor
    • Raise your arms straight over head
    • Bend the right elbow so the paddle touches the middle of your back
    • Point the right elbow up toward the ceiling
    • Lower the left arm straight down by your left hip
    • Bend the left elbow down toward the floor
    • Reach for the paddle with your left hand
    • Your right elbow is high and your left elbow is low
    • Stand tall with your hips over your ankles
    • Hold for 5-8 breaths
    • Release the arms and paddle down
    • Repeat on the other side holding your paddle in your left hand

    If you want to learn more about Kerry and/or to see when and where she teaches, check out her personal blog here. Be sure to read her recent post about yoga for pickleball players.

    Pin It on Pinterest

    Share This