Playing any sport will require you to warm-up beforehand. This is vital to avoid obtaining an injury, but each sport has a specific set of badminton warm-up stretches that will target the areas of the body that will be working the hardest.
Although you may be eager to get out onto the badminton court and start playing, it is important to take the time to properly stretch first. In this article, we are going to be looking at some handy stretches that you can do before each game to keep you limber and protected.
Why Are Badminton Stretches Important?
The primary reason that badminton stretches are important is that doing them will get your body prepared for the intense activity that is about to go through.
The muscles might be compared to a stick of chewing gum – when you take it out of the packet, it might be easily torn since it has not been stretched out. In contrast, once you chew the gum and warm it up, it becomes far more stretchy and will not break as easily.
If you head onto the badminton court having not warmed up your muscles, they will be more susceptible to injury.
Also, because badminton is such a versatile sport and will require you to use various aspects of your physical health, it is important to prepare yourself for these too. The most important things that you should focus on are improving your mobility, warming up the muscles, getting the heart rate going and preparing yourself in a psychological capacity. The latter is particularly important if you are playing a crucial competitive match.
This article will be focusing on the stretches that you need to do before you start your match, but as we have mentioned it is also important to do a small amount of cardio and psychological warm-up too, so be sure to make time for this before the game.
You should spend at least ten minutes warming up before your game and include a variety of stretches, spending around ten or twenty seconds in each one.
There are two main types of stretches for a badminton-focused warm-up:
Static stretches are performed as a single movement and often focus on certain parts of the body.
Dynamic stretches are done with movement, and you will move between two stretches. You might imagine this in a similar way to someone performing a yoga routine. Doing these will also help with your mobility and flexibility.
Muscles To Aim For
Doing a general stretch routine would work well, but when you are playing specific sports, it can be beneficial to target particular muscle groups that you will use most. For badminton players, these are as follows:
- Lower back
There are specific stretches that you can do to target each one of these areas, so let’s take a look at these in a little more detail.
1. Glutes And Hips
To perform this stretch, you will need to be on the ground. Whilst sitting on the floor, place one leg in front of you with your knee bent at a 90º angle, place the other leg behind you. Now lean forward over your front leg, and you should feel a stretch in the glutes and the hips.
This is important because, when playing badminton, you will do many lunges, and if the hips and glutes are not kept loose enough, this can cause pain and stiffness over time.
2. Lower Back
The lower back must be correctly warmed-up before entering into a game of badminton because it will help with rotation during the game and will prevent injuries.
To successfully stretch the lower back, you will need to lie on your back, on the ground. Bring one knee up towards your chest and drape it across your body. If you find that the knee won’t go very far, you can use your opposite hand to gently push it down.
Keeping your hamstrings healthy is important for badminton players as this will aid in your movement around the court.
Stretching them is simple and requires you to lie on your back whilst lifting on leg up at a 90º angle. You will then wrap your hands around the leg and gently pull it towards you.
If you do not correctly warm-up the quads, this can result in problems with the knees, including significant pain which could see you out of action for a good period of time.
To stretch the quads, you will need to lie on your front and reach your hands behind you back and grab for your foot. Bend at the knee and raise the foot to meet the hand and then gently push the foot down with your hand to feel the stretch.
The shoulders undergo an incredible amount of strain on the badminton court, and this is largely in relation to the constant movement when swinging the racket.
The best way to stretch them is by getting into a child’s pose (on the knees, folded over with the arms overhead) and lean to one side and then the other. You might also move one of the arms out to the side and lean into it to stretch the shoulder further.
Finally, take one arm and thread it under the other whilst placing your head on its side and leaning into the stretch.
Loosening the calf muscles will mean that your movement around the court is drastically improved and this can be done by getting into the downward dog position.
Once in the position, bend the knees alternately in a walking motion, and you will feel the calves beginning to loosen.
Playing badminton is incredibly entertaining and rewarding but equally challenging. It is important that to remain your best and avoid injury; you perform a series of stretches before heading onto the court.
Doing this will also improve your performance on the court and stop your body from becoming stiff and sore.