The Ultimate Guide to the Muscles Worked in Pickleball

what muscles does pickleball work

Are you looking for an enjoyable and effective way to work out your muscles? If so, have you ever thought of playing pickleball? Pickleball is an exciting sport that has taken the world by storm in recent years. It’s similar to tennis but with a smaller court and a slower ball.

Plus, it’s great fun! But that’s not all, pickleball also provides excellent physical benefits, working out a variety of muscles throughout your body. In this article, we’ll explore the muscles worked in pickleball, and why it’s such a great way to get in shape.

What Muscle Does Pickle Ball Work?


To start, let’s look at the most obvious muscles involved in pickleball: the arm muscles. Serving, rallying, and hitting the ball all require good upper body strength. The muscles in your shoulders, back, chest, and arms will all get a good workout.

When you hit the ball, you’re engaging your biceps, triceps, and forearm muscles, which can help tone and strengthen them. Additionally, by holding the paddle, you’re improving grip strength, which can come in handy for everyday tasks.


Another body part that benefits from playing pickleball is your legs. You’ll be moving around a lot, from side to side and back and forth, making quick, explosive movements. This requires good leg strength and endurance. Your quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes will all get a great workout during a pickleball game.


One muscle group that people might not think of when it comes to pickleball is the abs. However, when you’re twisting and turning, trying to get into the right position to hit the ball, your core muscles come into play. You’ll be using your obliques, rectus abdominis, and lower back muscles to maintain your balance and stability. A strong core is essential for good posture, balance, and reducing the risk of injury.

Heart and Lungs

Your heart and lungs will also benefit from playing pickleball. The sport requires short bursts of intense activity, followed by brief rests. This type of exercise is known as high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which has been shown to be highly effective at improving cardiovascular fitness. By engaging in regular pickleball games, you can boost your endurance, reduce the risk of heart disease, and lower your resting heart rate.

Finally, let’s consider the mental benefits of playing pickleball. The sport requires a lot of strategy and quick decision making, which can help improve your cognitive function and concentration. You’ll also get a dopamine release from the thrill of competition and socializing with others, giving you an all-around boost in mood and overall wellbeing.

Tips to Avoid Injury In Pickleball

Pickleball is a fast-paced and physically demanding sport, so it’s not uncommon for players to incur injuries. Here are some tips to help you get rid of an injury in pickleball:

  1. Rest: Take some time off from playing pickleball to give your body time to recover.
  2. Ice: Apply ice to the affected area for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day. This will help reduce pain and swelling.
  3. Compression: Use a compression bandage or wrap to help reduce swelling.
  4. Elevation: Elevate the injured area above the heart to reduce swelling.
  5. Stretching: Once the pain has subsided, gently stretch the affected area to regain mobility and prevent further injury.
  6. Strengthening exercises: Incorporate exercises that strengthen the muscles around the affected area to prevent future injuries.
  7. Seek medical attention: If your injury persists, seek medical attention from a healthcare professional who can provide you with a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Remember, it’s important to take care of your body to prevent injuries in the first place. Warm up properly before playing, wear appropriate gear and footwear, and stay hydrated during games.


Pickleball is an excellent way to boost your physical and mental health. The game works out a variety of muscles, including the arms, legs, abs, and core, providing a full-body workout all while having fun! Plus, the high-intensity intervals make it an excellent cardiovascular exercise. Give pickleball a try and see all the benefits for yourself!

About the author

John's love for pickleball began when his wife bought him a set for Christmas one year. He quickly became obsessed with the game, and now plays several times a week.

John loves nothing more than spending an afternoon on the court with friends, whacking balls back and forth.

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