7 Best Exercises for Pickleball Players

Dec 11, 2023

Have you ever wondered what the best exercises for pickleball players are? Or what training is going to give you the best results?

Understanding the game and knowing what will boost performance plus keep you injury-free is critical. So today is your lucky day, we have done the hard work for you. We have studied and played the game and from our extensive experience as career sports fitness trainers we have formulated the ideal way to train for pickleball.

In this blog, I want to share with you a purpose-built training system that we developed specifically for pickleball players. For kids through to pickleball prosOut of this training system, I want to share 7 key areas every player should be aware of, plus give you some Specific Exercises to work in those areas.

When you look at the game of pickleball and the physical demands placed on our bodies, it blows me away how diverse and specific training ideally should be. To play well you need to be fit, strong, flexible, have power, and good stamina, but that seems general right?

We recently thought about how the ideal player should; Look, Feel, and Perform, and we pushed a bit deeper. We asked ourselves "What are the ideal physical characteristics of a pickleball player".

Once we picked apart all the needed physical attributes, we worked out there were 7 areas players needed to focus on.

If a player can not only be physically adequate in these 7 threads but also excel in them, they will become the best physical version of themselves. This in our opinion will have a dramatic impact on your performance and longevity in the game!

So, you might be asking what are these threads and what are some examples of them? Well, don’t worry I am going to share that with you right now!

The Pickleball 7 Threads

1 - Bilateral strength 
Coordination (hand/eye, lower body)
3 - Force absorption 
4 - Force expression 
5 - Multi-directional speed 
6 - High aerobic capacity 
7 - Full body flexibility   

We find these 7 threads so important we created a pickleball-specific program that incorporates them all – Pickleball Workout.

So, without even realizing it, when you follow the program you are following a system that has been researched, practiced, and has succeeded with its results!  You don’t need to know all the jargon and science behind your workouts, you leave that to us, and you just focus on getting fitter, stronger, more powerful, and winning more! We have you covered!

Here is some brief information on our 7 threads and most importantly some video examples of each thread.




7 Best Exercises for Pickleball Players 

We consider this thread the most important thread of the lot. Strength is king. Strength training is where we build the platform that everything else relies on. Completing Bilateral strength exercises allows players to build total-body strength that can be used as a base for power development, endurance, and force absorption. The stronger the player the more robust they are!


Your coordination is responsible for getting the paddle to the ball, how quickly you can move your body and get to the ball is the difference between hitting your shot where you want it to go or missing the shot. Coordination is extremely trainable and by following a few simple drills consistently you will see and feel big gains in how quickly you react and get the paddle to the ball. This is a highly undertrained area for pickleball players and one that we highly recommend you spend time improving. We dedicated a whole section to coordination in our pickleball program CHECK IT OUT.


The majority of players focus their training on power and acceleration. But we know through over 30 years of experience training players from various racket sports that having the ability to absorb force (stop, brake, slow down quickly) correctly is just as important if not more important than force expression (power, acceleration). When your body is physically equipped to absorb force you will be in a better position to move and hit shots from. There will also be a lot less wear and tear on your joints. If you are not doing work in this area you are opening the door for injuries, particularly – Knees, ankles, and lower back.


Every player wants more power, right? The more of it the better. This thread works on pickleball-specific movements and muscle groups that impact power output which impacts acceleration, lower body push-off, and arm speed. If you are not training the right way, you won’t get the gains.


There are no set movement patterns on the court, we go where the ball goes. Nothing is planned, we need to physically react to each shot that comes back. If you cannot keep up with the play, you lose. If you are too slow around the court it makes it hard to play well. Having good multi-directional speed is often the difference between being in control and being on the defensive.


This thread is often overlooked by many players these days. Gone are the days of running on the treadmill for 1 hour, we now take a more specific approach. We focus this thread on pickleball -specific variables that relate to players lasting longer on the court, having better concentration, and more consistent energy levels. We have worked out what players need and how to build them up to achieve it.

This thread is aimed at mobilizing joints and lengthening muscles throughout the body. Player's bodies can hold a lot of tension due to the stop-start nature of the game, we are also absorbing a lot of loads and also breaking down muscle tissue through the dynamic processes that occur for hours on end. What is important to do is manage the level of flexibility and mobility and keep them within healthy ranges. This is vital to prevent injuries and boost performance by being physically prepared.

Ok, so there you have it. Our 7 threads, their benefits, and examples of what they are. We truly hope you take this information on board and incorporate some of this into your pickleball training structure. Remember you can take the guesswork out of your training by following our pickleball-specific program, designed for you!

Take care!