As we begin a new year, the world of sports is witnessing a surge in popularity for Padel, the exciting racquet sport that combines elements of tennis and squash.
Played on a rectangular court surrounded by walls, usually made of glass or mesh, Padel involves doubles matches where the ball must be hit over the net after bouncing once on each side.
The game encourages volleys and use of walls, adding a strategic element to the gameplay. Points are scored similarly to tennis, with matches typically played in sets.
The popularity of Padel is increasing rapidly and for good reason. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or someone seeking a new and accessible physical activity, Padel is perfect for those wanting a refreshing change in their recreational activities.
Speaking with Abigail Roberts, Sports nutritionist at Bulk.com, she discusses why Padel is the ideal sport to introduce into your fitness regime this year.
Here are some compelling reasons why Padel is the sport to embrace in 2024:
- Accessible for all ages and skill levels: Padel is known for its simplicity, making it a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Whether you are a seasoned athlete or a complete beginner, Padel provides a level playing field for everyone.
- Minimal equipment requirements: Unlike some sports that require extensive gear, Padel has minimal equipment requirements. A racquet, a can of balls and a pair of non-marking sports shoes are all you need to get started.
- Indoor and outdoor options: Padel can be played both indoors and outdoors, providing flexibility and adaptability to different climates and preferences. The versatility makes it a year-round sport that can be enjoyed in various settings.
- Fitness and wellbeing: Padel offer an excellent cardiovascular workout, helping players improve their fitness levels while enjoying the game. The dynamic nature of the sport enhances agility, reflexes and overall physical well-being.
- Growing community: The Padel community is rapidly expanding, with clubs and facilities popping up worldwide. Joining the Padel community means becoming part of a global movement that values sportsmanship, inclusivity, and a passion for the game.
As well as some notable health benefits associated with playing Padel:
- Cardiovascular fitness: Padel is an excellent cardiovascular workout. The fast-paced nature of the game, involving constant movement and quick bursts of energy, helps improve heart health, enhance circulation, and boost overall cardiovascular fitness.
- Improved reflexes and coordination: The enclosed court design of Padel combined with the need for quick reactions to the ball, enhances the player’s reflexes and coordination. These skills not only benefit gameplay but also contribute to overall agility in daily activities.
- Weight management: Padel is a calorie-burning activity that aids in weight management. Engaging in regular sessions helps burn calories, making it an effective and enjoyable way to maintain or achieve a healthy weight.
- Muscle strength and endurance: The sport involves a combination of running, jumping, and hitting, which engages various muscle groups. Regular pay contributes to increased muscle strength, particularly in the legs, arms and core, promoting overall muscular endurance.
- Social and mental health benefits: Padel is a social sport, often played in doubles, fostering connections and camaraderie among players. The positive social interactions can have significant mental health benefits, promoting a sense of belonging and community.
Abigail Roberts, Sports nutritionist at Bulk.com comments: “As the world becomes increasingly health-conscious, this sport is making waves for not only its entertainment value but also its numerous health benefits. Padel is emerging as the go-to choice for individuals looking to enhance their physical fitness and overall well-being in 2024.
From improving cardiovascular health to enhancing reflexes and fostering a sense of community, playing Padel offers a holistic approach to health and wellbeing.
Embracing Padel in 2024 is not just a choice for fun but a conscious decision to invest in your physical and mental health.
Many local sports centres will have a Padel or squash court as well as racquets available to rent for a session but they are also available to purchase for under £30 for those ready to commit.”
The rules of Padel are relatively straightforward:
- Court dimensions: Padel is played on a court with dimensions of 20 metres in length 10 metres in width, surround by glass or mesh walls.
- Scoring: Padel follows the same scoring as tennis. Points are counted in sets of 15, and a game is won by the first team to reach 40 points with a lead of at least 2 points.
- Serve: The game starts with an underhand serve diagonally to the opponent’s service box. The server must stand behind the baseline and hit the ball underarm.
- Ball in play: After the serve, the ball must bounce once on each side of the net before players can start volleying.
- Volleying: Padel encourages volleying, and player can hit the ball off the walls as part of the game strategy.
- Double bounce rule: After the serve, both must allow the ball to bounce once before volleys are allowed. This double bounce rule ensures fairness in play.
- Out of bounds: If the ball goes out of bounds or hits the wire mesh ceiling, it results in a point for the opposing team.
- Rotation: Players must rotate positions after each point, maintaining the serving order.