Pilates for Pickleball

Are You Tired of Getting Hurt When Playing Pickleball?Help Avoid Injury
While Playing Pickleball

With the popularity of Pickleball, I am working with many players that are recovering from an injury and/or want to perform and recover more efficiently. I’ve put together this pickleball injury prevention video showing you some simple, easy to do pilates style exercises that will help you build up your core and some strength and can help you in avoiding injury on the court while playing.



Shannon Willits and I am the owner of the Club Pilates

About Shannon Willits, Master Pilates Educator and Functional Golf & Racquet Specialist

I’m a movement geek and have been working with bodies since the late 1990’s. My teaching style is educational and I believe that when my students understand the science and the WHY behind a movement they are more engaged and tend to continue their Pilates programs for the long haul.

I have personally experienced the benefits of the combination of functional, core-based movement and Pilates. With a very active lifestyle, I created the programs 3D Pilates in Motion and Restore to overcome my own overuse injuries. It is through my personal experience that I share with our members, instructors and teacher training students the secret to longevity and the skills to live an active, healthy and pain free life.

I’m a functional golf specialist. I work with golfers, tennis players, and pickle ball players through precise 3D movement which provides athletic enhancement, precision performance and most importantly athletic longevity.

My Pilates Perspective on Pickleball

Pilates is a mindful movement system of exercises focused on alignment and breath, designed to strengthen and lengthen the entire body with all of the movements originating from the core.

What is your method for training pickleball players through pilates and what specific goals do you aim for when training a pickleball ball player?

One of my favorite workshops to teach is Pilates for Pickleball, which is based on my 3-D Pilates in Motion program. Pilates for Pickleball includes three parts, Prehab aka Functional Standing Warmup, Performance and Recovery. Ultimately my goal for every player is to prevent injury, improve performance and empower them with self-care techniques for recovery.

What pilates pre and post exercises can a pickleball player do for optimum performance and recovery?

One of the most effective preparation strategies pre-play is to perform a Functional Standing Warm Up. (See video below)

Performance training should include strength, mobility/flexibility. Movements should start slow, then moderately paced and then at game pace. In my program, 3-D Pilates for Pickleball, I use the Pilates Springboard Wall and Stability Chair and Reformer to achieve optimal Pickleball readiness.

Recovery focuses on self-myofascial release and elongating movements.

What are the most common injuries have you seen from your clients who play pickleball?

I see lots of ankle sprains, knee and hip issues, low back and spinal issues. I also see shoulder, elbow and wrist issues, but consider those a symptom of players core being disassociated from the lower body and spine. The thoracic spine tends to be a big issue as well but again is often the victim of disassociation from the lower trunk and pelvis.

One of the biggest problems that I see is injuries from falling. I tend to work with Pickleball players from the “ground up” by getting the feet and hips activated and ready for play.

If you were to give one piece of advice for a beginning pickleball player what would it be?

Do a Functional Standing Warm up that actually prepares the body for Pickleball to improve performance and prevent injuries.

This video is a 12-step warmup set of on-the-court exercises I have put together to help you get fully prepared to play at your best while out on the pickleball court.

Functional movements stimulate the “proprioceptors.” Non-functional movement is similar to finding your way in the dark. Functional movement is similar to finding your way in the light. The difference can be summed up in one word: electricity. Electricity, when the light is “switched on” the proprioceptors are stimulated for the intended task, Pickleball in this case. All movements stimulate the neural sensors in the body’s tissues. But the challenge is to utilize movements that facilitate the proper neural information rather than isolated, non-functional exercises that inhibit normal muscular responses and the proprioceptors for the intended task are “switched off.”

The more Proprioceptors are switched “on” authentic to the intended task, the safer and better prepared players are. Stretching and ground work are fine but better to be done as recovery.

My Special Offer

Download both my Pickleball Injury Prevention video and my introductory 12 Warm-Up Pickleball Exercises video FOR FREE! I know you will find these videos will help you improve your game, enjoy it more, and most importantly, help you avoid getting seriously hurt while out on the courts.
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Pilates for Pickleball — Shannon Willits, Master Pilates Educator

Pilates for Pickleball — Shannon Willits, Master Pilates Educator

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