Day 09 - COVID 19-day Pickleball Fitness Challenge with Michelle Esquivel

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Your Instructor:
Michelle Esquivel - @Michelle


Detailed instructional outline by @PickleballPhil

1. What are we doing

Setting aside ANOTHER 19 minutes to complete ANOTHER awesome challenge! We do this in order to grow together as a community and build habits that are going to keep us moving forward towards our ultimate goals! Today Michelle Esquivel has created a really complete challenge for us that consists of footwork, balance, and whole body strengthening (arms). This one only requires two lines about 5 feet apart and the lines are parallel. The lines are approximately 10 feet long.

2. Why it works

Remember your brain is hardwired to function within routine and habits. Try to do your drills at the same time in your routine! As you continue to do your drills at the same time you will start to recognize that your brain starts to like it. Much like previous pros we are really getting into similar reasons of why they work. I love the quick feet workout with some explosiveness on Michelle’s workouts. I also love the jump and balance. It’s crazy how many times I try to split step only to lose my balance.

3. How it relates to pickleball

As is true with all our pros, footwork, strength and upper body strength are all things that we need in order to progress in this sport. I love the combination of jumping and balancing. If we are off balance we are not able to control what our arms are doing.

4. Outline & Demonstration


  1. (3 times-up and back counts as one) Two Up Two Back Side Step, Hop Forward, Step Back
  2. (3 times -up and back counts as one) Balance Side Jumps-Advanced progression jump backward to the start point
  3. (3 times -up and back counts as one) Walking plank with push ups-Beginner 1 push up, intermediate 3-5 push ups, advanced 6-10 push ups

Repeat All Exercises 3 times

Activity Modifications:

(Special thanks to @betterpickleball for providing these alternate exercises for those in need – see (insert post here) illustrating a Walking Plank modification)

  1. Two Up Two Back Side Step ➞ Hop step forward, side-shuffle backward
  2. Balance Side Jumps ➞ Narrow the jump to approximately shoulder width
  3. Walking plank with push ups
    ➞ Intermediate-High Plank on knuckles or a set of dumbbells and extend one leg to the side then repeat with the other leg
    ➞ Beginner-Chest Press for the upper body and an elbow plank for the core

5. Go & Do - Return & Report

Review how this fits in your day, ALWAYS! Sometimes it takes multiple times of your routine to find out what you are willing to do consistently. Now, reply to this post and put your proof you completed the challenge! This is a GREAT video challenge for all of us to do that will help us improve our lives and ultimately work together towards a greater goal!

Reply below to “post your proof” yellow arrow down

What a fun way to work on strength and balance! Just in case you need an alternative for the walking plank I have a recommendation.


fwew @Michelle bringing it strong with this one. Total body for sure my core is screaming from those plank walks! Thanks for sending this over and thanks to my daughter for the Camera work!


Ya Kolby!!! Way to get it done!!! How many push ups did you end up doing each set?


@Michelle great workout, thanks! I have new least favorite drill for the challenge…plank walks/pushups. It was KILLER (but oh so needed)!


Joe and Kolby are killing it!! Way to to guys! I mentioned an oath from a book called “The Way of Kings”. One of the parts of this oath is “Journey before destination.” Guys remember, it’s about the journey of where we are going. It’s rarely about when we get there.

Thanks @Michelle for these challenges. I added some visualization to the one legged jumps. The balance that was required after jumping was so awesome and I will definitely add this to my list of awesome drills for when this is over!


LoL! I’m glad it was a challenge Joe. Things you’re normally uncomfortable with are the things you need to target the most. Great work!!


Crushing it!!! Great work Phil!!! Way to get it done


Those balance drills were good. It took me a bit to get it. I had just recovered from the last time we did push ups. Haha time to be sore again.


Nice to have something different that didn’t make my ankle muscles burn. I don’t think I’ve ever said ankle muscles before…


We are at it again! With @Jmcshinsky


Done. :slightly_smiling_face:


I haven’t done those balance drills since I was playing soccer competitively! I forgot how much more difficult they are than they look! haha


Lol ankle muscles!!! Working out muscles we never knew about! Way to get it done Ryan!

1 Like

I chose to do my 19 day challenge workout early today. Even with my strained QL muscle, I was able to do all three exercises. I had to modify by not jumping as far is all. And I had to do them a little slower just to be sure, so it took me longer than 19 minutes. Thanks for the great workout, Michelle!


Workout complete. A little later than I wanted but done nonetheless. Thank you @Michelle! Your positive attitude is infectious. I needed some positive attitude during plank walkers. :fire:


I went with 5 each cone stop so 30 per set if my math is correct :thinking:


Oh… my… goodness… I am DYING. The first two leg workouts, no sweat, but that plank walk + push-up… THREE TIMES!!’ Anyone else out there all leg with zero arm strength or is it just me? Thanks @Michelle for kicking my butt today!


I workout my upper body plenty and it was tough, you are in good company!