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In this article, we're going to look at some warm-ups that can be done before a tournament or a practice game, and we're fortunate to have Alex Hamner and Jennifer Lucore give a little insight into their pre-game strategy. These two ladies are icons of women’s doubles pickleball with multiple championship titles under their belts. Be sure to watch the video in its entirety to see the exercises in action. Plus there is a brief insight into the warm-up of top veteran pickleball player Bob Youngren at the end of the video that you don’t want to miss!
Jennifer: We start with a 5-minute jog off site. It's just a normal jog, but we add in a side-step and cross-step as well. Alex has got a little bunny hop she likes to throw in there, and I have a got a butt-kicking jog I like to do where you literally jog while hitting your behind with your feet.
Alex: It doesn't just help warm us up and get our blood moving, but it helps us connect as a team. We can catch up a little bit if we haven't seen each other, and also, we can get ready by talking strategy about who our opponents are going to be.
Jennifer: We also like to do a few wrist stretches. We use our paddle to help stretch out our wrists and hands. The reason I personally like to do this stretch is because, for work, I use a computer a lot which can make my wrists tight. So, when warming up, we want to keep our hands happy.
Alex: Next we move to the court and start with the dink. We hit the ball back and forth, straight across from each other in the center of the court. And from there, still dinking, we both move right, putting us at opposite ends of the court. We go back and forth doing that for a while.
Jennifer: We want to get a feel of the ball and also get our legs moving and working that kitchen line. And once we're comfortable with that, we go to volleys, and we do the same thing.
Alex: We often ask ourselves at this point, "How's it feeling?" Sometimes it might be, "You know, I've missed a few forehand dinks in a row. I need to do a few more." Or Jen might say, "Hit my backhand volley." And so, we just see how it feels and go from there.
Jennifer: And then it's a wrap, and it's game time!