Physio Series Part 1: Why do we see so many padel injuries?

While on the surface padel may seem like a sport that doesn’t put a lot of strain on the body, the truth is that many players are forced to stop playing due to injury. Whether it be playing too much padel too quickly, not properly warming up, or using the wrong equipment, there are several reasons why new padel players are finding themselves on the sideline.

Furthermore, there are several injuries specific to padel that are quite common. The very unique lunges and stretches that are required in padel often test your body in ways it is not used to, especially if you’re making the transition from tennis. So what exactly leads to these injuries? And why are padel players so susceptible to injury?

1. Sudden increase in playing amount

One of padel’s biggest draws is how addictive it can be and how quickly you can get into the sport due to the low technical entry barriers. However, while new players can thoroughly enjoy their introduction to the sport, it can come at a cost. Since padel is so addictive, new players can find themselves playing 3-5 times a week right away, whereas previously they had been playing zero. This sudden increase in playing time can come as a shock to the system and is a common cause of injuries in padel, especially in players new to the sport.

While it’s fantastic that new padel players demonstrate such a passion for the game so quickly, it’s important to be mindful of listening to your body when it is tired; rest is key. With any new hobby, those first moments enjoying it can be some of the best. With padel though, it’s crucial not to overdo it and tax your body too much too quickly. The great thing about padel is that if you properly train and don’t overplay, it’s a generally less physically taxing sport like tennis. If you can strengthen the right parts of your body in the beginning, you’ll be well-positioned to enjoy padel in the long term.

2. Multidirectional nature of padel

Padel is an incredibly unique sport due to its court dimensions and the use of glass and the fence to execute shots. Because of this, however, playing padel forces you to make certain movements your body just isn’t used to making. Since the padel court is relatively small compared to something like a tennis court, the game becomes more condensed and the majority of movements you are making are quick and sudden, making injuries likely if you aren’t properly prepared.

Further, this issue isn’t just for players new to racquet sports completely, but also for players making the transition from tennis. The overhead, for example, is a shot that is present in both tennis and padel, but the situations where it is used in each sport are different. In tennis, the player can usually dictate what position they will be in when deciding to utilize an overhead shot. In padel, however, you have multiple overheads, all with different contact points and shot speeds, putting your shoulder into many different positions during the stroke. This tweak in movements can often lead to different types of shoulder injuries. For tennis players, there is also a tendency to play hard and fast as they did in tennis, but padel is an entirely different sport and is not suited to trying to overpower your opponent like in tennis. Not only will this strategy lead to frustration in developing padel skills, but it can also lead to a greater risk of injury.

Overall, padel is unique in the movements it requires your body to make. If you don’t strengthen your body properly, you run the risk of injuring parts of your body that are not used to being as active as they need to be when on the padel court.

3. Skipping the warm up

One of the biggest reasons padel injuries occur is the same reason injuries in countless other sports occur, skipping a proper warm-up. Players skip warm-ups for a variety of reasons. Whether it be not knowing what the proper routine is, not having enough time, or not having proper equipment, players are putting themselves in unnecessary trouble by not preparing their bodies for playing padel. As discussed previously, playing padel forces you to utilize different parts of your body and movements that you aren’t used to. If you are coming from an office job, for example, it’s a big risk to hop into a padel match right away without warming up, as almost none of the movements you will be doing on the padel court will you have done at work during the day.

One of the misconceptions about padel warm-ups is that you need loads of time to prepare for a match when really, you only need a couple of minutes before playing to better protect yourself against the possibility of an injury. Further, oftentimes when playing padel you have to wait for a court to open up to get on and play. These few minutes before beginning to play are actually the perfect time to get in some stretching or to do some exercises to get warm. Warming up is even more crucial in cold conditions where you are susceptible to certain elbow injuries.

Flexibility is also one of the biggest assets you have as a padel player, and just doing some stretches as a warm-up can be a real asset for your padel game as well as great protection against injuries.

4. Choosing the right equipment for you

One of the best ways to avoid injury in padel is by using proper equipment in the form of proper balls and racquets. While the use of proper equipment may not seem like a big factor in causing padel injuries, if you aren’t mindful, it can be.

Using the correct ball is a huge factor in avoiding injuries in padel. Many players overlook how much additional strain an old ball can cause, particularly if it’s wet as it makes balls significantly heavier. By using a heavier ball, you are putting undue stress on your body every time you hit a shot, and that stress adds up to injuries. Among the parts of your body most affected by a heavy ball are your shoulders and elbows. It’s an easy fix, but playing with newer balls that won’t affect your game in a negative way is a great way to prevent injuries in padel.

Another piece of equipment that can cause injuries if not properly selected is your racquet. Padel racquets come in varying levels of weight and softness, and if you don’t select the one best suited to you, it can lead to injury. Similar to using an older ball, if you choose to use a racquet that is too heavy or hard for you, you’ll find yourself overcompensating in other areas of your body to try and play at the level you want. This overcompensation can have negative outcomes and it’s crucial you select a racquet that is the right fit for you.

5. The most common padel injuries

As discussed previously, certain injuries like elbow and shoulder injuries are quite common, but those are not the only ones. Due to the lunging and sliding nature of padel, players can often find themselves picking up calf and lower leg injuries. These injuries can be quite tricky to deal with at times because recovery times can vary quite a bit, it’s important to listen to your body and give yourself enough rest before trying to play again after picking up a lower body again.

Another injury that’s common in padel is the lower back injury that can be caused by the stop-start nature of the sport combined with the amount of lunging required. The lunges required in padel are some of the more unique movements you can make and if made repeatedly, can cause injury. Also, as discussed previously, the different types of overhead shots required in padel can tax your shoulder quite easily. By not being able to control where the ball is on your overhead in padel, it can be easy to pick up a shoulder injury due to the awkward positions you may find yourself in.

Finally, knee injuries are also quite common in padel. One of the struggles with padel is the conditions of courts in an off-peak time of the year. If there is a wet court, for example, combined with the twisting and turning in padel, your knees can be easily injured. Another issue that arises is when sand is found on the court depending on the facility you are at, which can make it easy to slip and twist a knee.


Altogether, padel injuries come about due to a plethora of reasons, and players should be aware of these risks and take proper measures to avoid them. Additionally, common injuries can affect a variety of different body parts, making proper training and preparation crucial in having long-term success with padel. In part 2 of this blog series, we’ll discuss a variety of strategies that can help you better protect yourself from getting injured on the padel court.

Because so many of our members on our training platform told us they suffered from padel injuries, we teamed up with one of the most experienced physios in the market to bring you a physio course specifically for padel. The course is aimed at players who wish to stay injury-free and avoid the most common padel injuries. It consists of in-depth exercises, stretches and techniques to help you stay injury-free and on the court longer.

The course is due to be released in April 2024 and is accessible exclusively for our members. So stay tuned for when we release it!


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