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Increase your pickleball cardio fitness with this aerobic workout


By Connor Derrickson

on Dec 19, 2023

Pickleball performance coach Connor Derrickson shares an aerobic training exercise

A common misconception about pickleball is that because the court is small, you don’t need to have good cardio. But that just isn’t true. 

Pickleball at high levels requires aerobic stamina, particularly for singles matches. And if you want to compete, you have to be able to withstand back-to-back matches on tournament weekends. 

To fully understand the aerobic system, let’s consider this analogy. Think of the aerobic system as a tank of water. Every time you do a sprint or lunge, you let out a little bit of that water. 

The bigger your aerobic system is, the bigger your tank is. The bigger the tank, the longer you can participate in a game. 

In this Selkirk TV Original, join professional pickleball performance coach Connor Derrickson as he shares several exercises to increase your cardiovascular fitness for pickleball. 

How to boost your aerobic fitness

Running, biking, swimming, and rowing are all great aerobic exercises to mix into your workout routines. However, these workouts keep your heart rate at a steady state. 

To mimic the nature of pickleball, it’s important to participate in interval training in which you give a lot of effort for a short period, followed by a short rest period. 

Try these exercises in an interval format, performing the work for 20 seconds and resting for 20 seconds. Complete the exercises in a circuit and repeat the circuit five to eight times:

Move 1: Medicine ball slams

Grab a medium-weight medicine ball and raise it over your head. With force, slam the ball to the ground in front of you. Catch the ball, lift it over your head, and slam it again. 

Move 2: Lateral shuffles

If you’re on a pickleball court, head to the sideline at the kitchen line. Shuffle to the middle line, change direction, and shuffle to the sideline. If you’re at home, shuffle five steps to the right and then five steps to the left. 

Move 3: Kettlebell swings

Hold a medium-weight kettlebell in both hands. Hinge at the hips to bring the kettlebell in between your legs. Stand up straight and raise the kettlebell to chest height, keeping your arms extended. 

Download the Selkirk TV app HERE to watch the complete episode and many other Selkirk TV original shows, podcasts, lesson series from the pros, and much more.
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