What Muscles Does Pickleball Work?

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If you’re looking for a fun and engaging way to get some exercise, pickleball might just be the perfect game for you. This fast-paced sport combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong, and it’s suitable for players of all ages and skill levels. One of the best things about pickleball is that it works a variety of muscle groups throughout your body. In this article, we’ll explore what muscles pickleball works, how it targets them, and why it’s an excellent choice for staying active and healthy.

The Main Muscle Groups Worked in Pickleball

Pickleball is a full-body workout that targets a variety of muscle groups. Here are the main muscles worked in pickleball and how the game targets them:

1. Shoulders and Rotator Cuff Muscles

According to [PickleballHop], the rotational nature of pickleball works the muscles around the shoulder girdle, including the rotator cuff muscles. When you hit the ball in pickleball, you use a throwing motion that engages your shoulders and upper back. This repetitive motion can help strengthen and tone these muscles over time.

2. Triceps

Like tennis, pickleball requires players to use their triceps to extend their arms and hit the ball. According to [PickyPaddle], the triceps are one of the main muscle groups worked in pickleball. This muscle group is responsible for extending the arm and providing power and speed to your shots.

3. Core

The core muscles are engaged to maintain balance and stability during pickleball movements. According to [ABCofPickleball], playing pickleball regularly can help strengthen and tone these muscles, improve hand-eye coordination, and provide a fun way to stay active and healthy. The core muscles include the rectus abdominis, obliques, and lower back muscles. These muscles work together to provide stability and support during twisting and rotating motions, which are common in pickleball.

4. Biceps

In addition to working the triceps, pickleball also targets the biceps. When you hit the ball with a forehand or backhand stroke, you engage your biceps to flex your arm and bring the paddle forward. This constant movement can help strengthen and tone these muscles over time.

5. Glutes and Quads

According to [PickleballDrive], pickleball especially works out your core, glutes, quads, biceps, triceps, shoulders, and forearm muscles. The glutes and quads are engaged when you’re running, jumping, and changing directions on the court. These muscles are responsible for providing power and stability during these movements.

6. Forearms

In addition to the biceps, pickleball also targets the forearm muscles. When you grip the paddle and hit the ball, you engage the muscles in your forearm to control the movement of the paddle. This repetitive motion can help strengthen and tone these muscles over time.

7. Back

The muscles in your back are also engaged during pickleball. When you’re hitting the ball, you use a twisting motion that engages the muscles in your back. This can help improve your posture and prevent back pain over time.

8. Hips

The hips are another muscle group that is worked during pickleball. When you’re running and changing directions on the court, you engage the muscles in your hips to provide stability and support. This can help improve your overall balance and coordination.

The Benefits of Playing Pickleball

Now that we’ve looked at the muscles that pickleball works, let’s explore some of the benefits of playing this fun and challenging game.

1. Cardiovascular Health

Pickleball is a great way to get your heart rate up and improve your cardiovascular health. The fast-paced nature of the game provides an excellent aerobic workout that can help you burn calories and improve your overall fitness.

2. Muscle Strength and Endurance

As we’ve seen, pickleball works a variety of muscle groups throughout your body. Regular play can help strengthen and tone these muscles, improve your overall strength and endurance, and even help prevent injury.

3. Social Interaction

Pickleball is a great way to meet new people and make friends. It’s a social game that encourages interaction and communication between players, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking to stay active and engaged with others.

4. Mental Health

In addition to the physical benefits, pickleball can also have positive effects on your mental health. The game requires focus and concentration, which can help improve your cognitive function and reduce stress and anxiety.

Tips for Beginners

If you’re new to pickleball, here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Take lessons: If possible, consider taking lessons from a qualified instructor to learn the proper techniques and strategies for playing pickleball.
  • Start slow: Don’t try to do too much too soon. Start with short games and gradually increase the length and intensity of your play.
  • Focus on technique: Proper technique is essential for success in pickleball. Focus on developing good footwork, strokes, and volleys to improve your game.
  • Play with others: Playing with more experienced players can help you improve your skills and learn new strategies.
  • Have fun: Above all, remember that pickleball is a game and should be enjoyable. Don’t take it too seriously and have fun while playing.


Pickleball is a fun and engaging way to get some exercise and stay active. It works a variety of muscle groups throughout your body and provides numerous physical and mental health benefits. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a beginner, pickleball is a game that anyone can enjoy. So grab your paddle, hit the court, and start working those muscles!

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