An essential part of every padel match is the warm-up phase. You should arrive at the venue around 30 minutes before your match and warm up before you enter the court to play.
The five minute warm up we see during World Padel Tour matches can be misleading. The players aren’t actually warming up during those 5 minutes. They are not even sizing out their opponents. The only purpose is to get used to the bounce of the court and the general atmosphere of the venue. The actual warm up for these professional players would have started around an hour before the match in another court.
Injury prevention is as important to the pros as it is to amateurs, and that means that we all need to warm up properly before our matches.
Warming up serves two primary purposes:
- Lets us perform at our max right from the start of the match.
- Helps prevent injuries due to muscles and joints not being warmed up.
A mistake that many players do is to stretch before a match. This doesn’t help and can even hamper your performance. Here I am referring to static stretching specifically. When you perform static stretching, it goes against what you will be doing in the match itself. You are stretching specific muscles, while in the match those muscles need to be contracting.
What we want to be doing is warming up those muscles and move them through the movements we will be doing in the match. Once the match is over, our muscles will be all tightened up, and that is the correct time to perform static stretching to return the muscles to their natural relaxed state.
The pre-match warm up doesn’t need to be done in a padel court, so there aren’t really any excuses.
You should maintain your activity intensity at around 10-20% of the match intensity.
I usually do around 20 minutes of warm up in summer and 30 minutes in winter, because Barcelona can be quite chilly in winter, and it takes more time to warm up the body.
Here’s a typical warm up routine that I follow:
- Jogging for 5 minutes.
- Different kinds of movements that mimic the ones used in padel, for another 5 minutes. Typical movements would be lateral runs, backward runs, crossovers, knee ups, butt kicks etc.
- One minute of short sprints, change of directions and virtual padel shots.
- Five minutes of dynamic stretching.
- Five minutes of rallying in the court or outside volleying with my partner.
As mentioned earlier, remember to do some static stretching after the match. This will keep your muscles in good shape and aid recovery.
Here’s a static stretching cheat sheet for padel:
What are your favorite tips for warming up and cooling down for padel?