So last week, I reached out to Kerry to ask her about some of her secrets to stretching and here’s what she had to say…and don’t miss the end of the interview where she shares the one stretch that she thinks every pickleball player would benefit from:
So Kerry, how long have you been dedicated to stretching/yoga?
I have always known stretching was important, but it wasn’t until about seven years ago that I truly caught the yoga bug and soon after worked to become a certified yoga instructor.
How do you think Yoga has helped your pickleball game?
First and foremost, it helps me prevent injuries and recover faster. Stretching between and after helps loosen me up and keeps my muscles warm and flexible.
Well, you were probably always flexible, what if I’m too inflexible to stretch?
Trust me, I wasn’t always flexible. We all start from somewhere, but it was my commitment to stretching regularly that made me flexible.
And yes, it’s funny how often I hear, “I know I should stretch, but I’m not flexible enough,” to which I respond, “That’s like saying you have cavities, but you’re not going to go to the dentist.”
EveryBODY can stretch!!!
OK, OK, so nobody is too inflexible to stretch…how should I get started?
If you are going to start stretching, which I really hope to see everybody doing between games, I would suggest starting simply. Commit to one stretch every time you’re between games and then add on as stretching becomes a successful habit.
If I started with ONE stretch, which would you recommend?
That’s easy! It’s the figure-4 stretch and it’s one of Mike’s favorites. It’s great for strengthening the quadriceps, toning the core, stretching the outer hips and glutes, relieving lower back tension, and, if you try the balance version, it’s also great for concentration and focus.
Additionally, it has variations for people of any age and flexibility. Let me take you through the stretch and the variations for everyBODY below: