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"Padel" Will Be Your New Favorite Way to Exercise This Summer

There's a hot racket sport in town you'll be obsessed with.

Word on the street is there's a hot game in town—and it will be your new favorite way to exercise with friends this summer. If you were eager to hop on the pickleball trend last year, rest assured, you will certainly be excited about another energetic racket sport called "Padel." This popular physical activity brings together the elements of squash and tennis for a fun-filled hobby you'll be obsessed with. We spoke with Ronny Garcia, CPT, Blink Fitness, who shares some of the benefits of playing Padel, along with how to warm up so you're fully prepared to hit the court for a game.

The game of Padel reportedly came to be thanks to Enrique Corcuera, Padel Academy reports. Back in 1969, Corcuera wanted to tailor his Squash court at his Acapulco home to incorporate some aspects of Platform Tennis. This resulted in what Corcuera referred to as "Paddle Corcuera," which is what we know today as Padel.

According to Head, when it comes to Padel, the sport is typically played via doubles on a court that's enclosed by glass walls. When compared to a tennis court, a Padel court is apparently one-third of its size. Padel players use rackets with a holed, elastic surface, along with a "low compression" tennis ball. The ball is allowed to bounce off of any glass wall but can only hit the ground one time before you hit it back to the opposing side. You rack up points when the ball bounces two times on your opponent's side of the court. The scoring system in Padel is quite similar to how points are earned in tennis. One main difference between the two sports is that you use an underarm serve in Padel.

The benefits of Padel.

Padel player taking a shot by the net with racket

When playing Padel, it should come as no surprise that you're bumping up your level of physical activity. Although this sport is a fun time with friends, your body is doing a lot of work! "Playing padel involves running, reflexes, and dynamic movements, so you are getting cardio, agility, endurance, and more when you play," Garcia tells us.

In addition, this racket sport is an excellent hobby to get involved in year-round. (The fun doesn't have to stop during the colder months!) You can play Padel indoors and outdoors, so wherever there's a court, there's a spot waiting for you to get active, no matter the season.

As if Padel couldn't sound more appealing, it's a stellar way to make plans with friends and socialize with other like-minded individuals. "Just like tennis and squash, Padel is played with four people total, so it is also a nice way to meet new people and have a way to get exercise while socializing," Garcia says.

Last but not least, playing a game of Padel will give your hand-eye coordination a solid boost. You need to be quick and agile when hitting the ball, which calls for accurate hand-eye coordination.

How to warm up for Padel.

If we've convinced you to round up your friends and start playing this racket sport, don't forget about warming up before hitting the court. First off, start with some stretching. "It's important to stretch your whole body, as Padel engages most muscles in the body throughout the course of a game," Garcia explains. He recommends doing two to three lower-body stretches, along with two to three upper-body stretches.

Make sure your joints are sufficiently warmed up as well. Exercises like wrist circles, hip rotations, and shoulder rotations can be beneficial, as these muscle groups are used when playing Padel. And lastly, add a bit of cardio to your warm-up routine. Brisk walking, light jogging, and cycling can boost blood flow to help ensure you're all prepped for the game and your muscles are activated.

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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