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Does Pickleball Require Running? All You Need to Know

Does Pickleball Require Running? All You Need to Know

Pickleball combines three major racquet sports, including tennis, badminton, and ping pong. It has some rules associated with these games but overall is a unique game. It can be learned and played easily on indoor and outdoor courts. Does pickleball require running?

Pickleball is a low-impact game that does not require a lot of running. The court dimension of the pickleball game is smaller than tennis and badminton, and the player is allowed to play within the dimension of their court. Thus the scope of running is limited in a pickleball game.

Pickleball has a court size of only 22 feet by 18 feet and is an easy game. The rules are easy and specific for the game, and anyone can play this game.

There are fewer pickleball courts than other games, so it is usually played on badminton and tennis courts. People often wonder that it also requires much running in this game, but it is not the truth. We will discuss in detail in this article,

Pickleball is similar to sports like ping pong, badminton, and tennis and requires body movement to play the game. It does require some running but is a low-impact game. The main object of pickleball is to score points by lobbing a ball over the net so that opponent cannot return it. A player plays in the non-volley zone when opponents do volley over there and can score a point. The team reaching 11 points with a two-point advantage wins the game.

General Pickleball Rules to Manage Running in the Game:

  • Managing running during the entire game is advisable if you are an old citizen. You cannot hit the ball out of bounds.
  • The player should hit the ball, and it should be served underhand and below the waistline.
  • The ball must bounce once on either side before returning and should be done after the serve. This is called a two-bounce rule, and players must volley the ball after that.
  • A player cannot touch the no-volley zone on a serve during the game.
  • Usually, a pickleball game ends at 11, 15, and 21 points. These are the common endpoints for the game.

Pickleball and Muscles of a Player:

Pickleball is a game that is considered best for full-body workouts and involves the proper movement of muscles. It does require some running which is a perfect leg workout. The muscles of our arms and shoulders get a good workout after playing pickleball.

The paddle's weight and the arm motion swing the shoulder in the best way. A Pickleball game is also a great mental workout when a player tries to stay one step ahead of the opponent. It is crucial to hit the ball well and read and respond to the reaction time.

Some practice at the net with the teammate quickens the hand-eye coordination and improves the reaction time. This practice involves less running in pickleball.

How to Practice Pickleball Alone? The 7 Must Have Drills

Some Precautionary Measures Regarding Running in Pickleball:

Before Play:

Warm-upIf you want to run less in pickleball play, it is recommended to warm up well before playing pickleball. The main purpose of the warm-up is to raise the general body temperature before playing.

When a body temperature is raised, it increases the ability of the body to perform stretching exercises. A player can engage well in the game even running in a less way.

The warm-up period should be of approximately 5 minutes. You can walk at a fast pace or can ride a treadmill.
StretchingIt is recommended to try a stretching program before following a warmup period. It increases flexibility in the body and helps the person to perform well. Stretching also decreases the possibility of injuries.

A player should stretch their Achilles tendon, calf muscles, quadriceps, groin, low back, shoulder, and arms.

Stretching provides flexibility and stamina in the body and a person can easily manage running.
Eye protectionThe ball used in pickleball games is made up of hard polymer and travels at a high speed. It is recommended to use proper eye protection items that are hollow and lightweight.
Proper footwearAlthough there is less running in pickleball games, still it is recommended to wear comfortable court shoes including sneakers or running shoes.

You can purchase proper athletic shoes from any specialty store that can provide you with the input on the type of shoe needed for your sport according to your proper fitting.

Athletic shoes are considered best for court sports that require the players to move forward, backward and side-to-side.

It is recommended to focus on the sole of the shoe that can provide stability on the inside and outside of the foot. Flexibility in the sole of the shoe allows repeated and quick forward movements for fast reaction.  

During Play:

  • During play, running is required to some extent. A player is demanded to run according to the situation for playing a perfect game. It is recommended to never back up on your heels during running and learn to return to the lobs correctly. Turn around and get the ball. You can face serious head injuries if you fall backward.
  • During playing or running, if you face any kind of pain, it is advisable to ice the area of the pain. If you continue the game without having rest, it will aggravate the problem.
  • Athletic ability, age, and physical condition leave a serious impact on the level of your game.
  • It is recommended to replenish the electrolytes during the game. Any racquet-based sport requires running, and make sure to drink water and eat appropriate snacks. You should consume a balanced amount of electrolytes and food to prevent the condition of hydration.

After Play:

A player should cool down after a play and should engage oneself in light stretching or a slow walk. It helps to lower the body temperature and brings the heart rate to a normal pace.

Possible Pickleball Injuries While Attempting Running:

During a pickleball play, possible injuries are seen. Injuries can be due to running or some other factor. Here we will discuss some possible pickleball injuries:

Ankle strainAnkle strain involves a ligament and commonly occurs on uneven terrain or another player’s foot. The pain is felt on the outside of the ankle and might cause immediate swelling.
Achilles tendon strainIt occurs at the back of the ankle and involves a tendon or a muscle group. A sudden change of direction in-game causes such strain.

It is common in people over the age of 40 years and hits the back of the leg.
Heel bruiseThis kind of injury causes pain at the bottom of the heel with every step. It is an overuse injury and occurs over a period of time.
Knee strainThis kind of injury occurs due to twisting or rotation of the knee. It is a common medial collateral sprain and pain is on the inside of the knee.
Groin or quad strainIt is generally caused by overextending or trying an attempt to reach the ball. When the tear occurs, a sign of indentation occurs.
Wrist fractureThis kind of fracture occurs when a player attempts to go backward for the ball or to fall and land on an extended arm. You can extend your arm to land to prevent this kind of injury.


Ice therapyIt is often confused that ice is used only for sprains and heat is best for strains but the truth is not so. Ice can be used immediately for injuries.

For all kinds of injuries, ice is good for compression and elevation. A player can apply ice for a minimum of 15 minutes and can then replace the ice.
HeatYou should never apply heat immediately to an injury especially strains or sprains. It is advisable to apply heat after 24-72 hours.
Professional careFor any sort of serious injury, you should contact the doctor, especially for fractures, head injuries, eye injuries, three-degree strains and sprains.

Also Read:

How to Play Pickleball with 6 Players?
How Does a Pickleball Game Start? All You Need to Know

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Does pickleball require a lot of running in-game?

Pickleball does not require a lot of running in-game because the court is small compared to tennis. Pickleball can be played in half or even a third of a tennis court. This is a fast-spreading game and can be played by people of all age groups.

How much does a person run in a pickleball?

It has been observed that a pickleball player runs about 4000-5000 steps in a single hour of play. But if you are a professional player and are practicing the game with pickleball drills, then it will require a lot of running.

Is fitness necessary to learn and play the pickleball game?

The rules of the pickleball game are fairly simple, and anyone can learn how to play the pickleball game. Pickleball can be learned by a multi-sport athlete and a person having zero athletic experience. Just a paddle and a ball are required to start the game.

Is pickleball okay for people who cannot play tennis?

You do not require an old tennis court to play pickleball. If you are not a tennis player, you can still play the pickleball game. Pickleball can be learned and played on any court surface.

Is pickleball a louder game than tennis?

Pickleball is a louder game than tennis. The pickleball paddle and ball used in-game produce a loud popping sound. The sound is still loud if produced by a shot played with less effort.

Can a person lose weight by playing a pickleball game?

Pickleball is a game that positively contributes to losing weight. It helps keep the body active, which is good for weight management. Players can run and enjoy the game. Running in this game helps to burn fat that contributes to obesity.

Is pickleball considered a good workout?

Pickleball is a good aerobic workout and puts less stress and strain on muscles and joints. Endorphins are released with exercise that helps elevate self-esteem and combat depression.

Does the return of serve land in the kitchen of pickleball?

It is advisable that the server must not land in the non-volley zone (kitchen) even if it hits the net beforehand. It is considered an automatic fault, and if it does, a person loses a point or a serve. If it hits one of the kitchen lines, it is also a fault.

Is pickleball an easier game than tennis?

 Pickleball is a much easier game than tennis and is easy on the player’s joints. It does not require much running due to easy rules and less area of the court. Moreover, it does not put extra strain and stress on joints and knees, so it is an easy game for the knees.

Is pickleball a hard game to learn?

 Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing games and is easy to learn. It has a combination of games like tennis, ping pong, and badminton. This game has simple rules and is easy for beginners. Anyone can learn them quickly, and it is a competitive game for experienced players.

Is a pickleball game played with a racket or a paddle?

Pickleball is a game played with a paddle. The paddle has a flat shape from the front and resembles a racquet but is not like a racquet. A paddle used in pickleball sport is made up of wood or some other composite materials and is perfect for hitting a perforated polymer ball.

Which game burns more calories: pickleball or tennis?

Tennis is a fast-paced game and requires more running than pickleball. It is estimated that a person with having 150-pound weight can burn about 414 calories in a mid-level single tennis game.

Pickleball is a slow-paced game, so it does not require much running. Calories are burned too by playing this game but still, tennis is a more fast-paced and hard game.

Why do players complain that their ankles hurt after playing pickleball?

Players with common injuries like sprains, meniscal or ligament tears often complain that their ankle hurts after playing pickleball. A slight activity and movement in the body can cause injuries to the lower legs and result in ankle sprains or tendon strains.

Is pickleball considered good cardio?

Pickleball is a great sport and is considered good cardio for the body. It involves the exercise of major muscle groups, providing a cardio workout. Pickleball increases dexterity, mobility, agility, and balance and involves bursts of fast movement.