Pickleball is a fairly gentle sport, especially compared to higher impact games like tennis that necessitate covering a larger court. But injuries and accidents can happen during any activity, and no one wants to get waylaid by an injury right when their health is on the rise.
To ensure your body has adequate opportunity to heal and stay primed for your next game, here are some ideas to improve your recovery time:
Foam rollers are used for self myofascial release (SMR), which means they help eliminate trigger points or 'knots' in the fascia (connective tissue). This allows for effective self massage that can relieve tension in a matter of minutes. With consistent use you can be on the way to working out tight areas that have been bothering you for years, and even if you don't have chronic pain, it's recommended that all active individuals use a foam roller to recover faster and keep muscles relaxed.
If you can tolerate tenderness and feel confident controlling the level of pressure, it's best to purchase a harder roller with nubs to work the tissue on a deeper level. Rolling can feel very intense, but the impressive relief it provides is worth the temporary discomfort.
Rebounding is similar to jumping on a trampoline but is typically done on a smaller-sized apparatus. The exercise consists of either low bounces where your feet don't leave the ground or full jumps. While it's a simple motion, it can result in big benefits such as better lymphatic drainage, improved bone mass, better endurance and balance.
Rebounding was popularly studied in the 1980s when NASA was attempting to find a better way for astronauts to recover bone and muscle mass after being in space, so it's been thoroughly vetted as an effective way to stay in top condition.
Resistance bands can be used for workouts on their own, but they're also a useful tool for recovery since they don't put as much pressure on the joints as heavy weights. In addition to improving stability and strength, they can also allow you to reach deeper stretches than wouldn't be achievable solo.
Look up routines on Youtube to see how you can alter basic stretches with bands to better engage your muscles and sink deeper into each position.
In the same category as foam rollers for SMR, percussion massagers take a slightly different approach to releasing adhesions by rapidly pulsing against them. This can be uncomfortable, but with proper use it shouldn't be outright painful. When you come to an area that feels tight, you simply move the massager around the muscle to release tension.
Percussion massagers help your body ease away soreness from repeated movements (or inactivity) and reduce the risk of injury during play since you'll feel more relaxed and flexible.
Your body can do a lot on its own, but sometimes a little support can make the difference between having a peaceful evening and dealing with fatigue, cramps, muscle soreness and other stressful problems. Depending on your needs, a supplement can help alleviate these issues so you can continue playing without negative side effects.
A common problem for pickleball players and athletes in general is cramping, especially in the legs. We recommend taking a look at Jigsaw Health's MagSoothe if you deal with this issue. Their magnesium uses a highly bioavailable form of magnesium and formulates their supplement in such a way that it's more easily transported throughout the body.
Do you use any particular tools, tricks or wisdom to get better rest and prepare for your next game? Let us know in the comments.