Strength training in badminton has become increasingly important to meet the fitness demands of the sport. With increasing competition and advances in technology, players work hard on their fitness off-court. You must have seen elite badminton players working out in the gym or any other facility through their social media handles. But why do they train extensively off the court when they have to play on the court?
Think of it like this, right from your head, neck, shoulders, hands, core, and legs, are used while playing badminton. The muscles in these body parts help to execute different movements (eg, jumping, running, etc) while playing badminton. So, it’s important for them to strengthen all body muscles. This helps them sustain their energy on the court.
Before we understand how muscle strengthening helps in badminton, let’s discuss the different muscles used in our body while playing badminton.
Here, we have divided the muscle groups into four categories namely, upper body, middle, back, and lower body. The muscles on the racket side of your body are usually more dominant considering their continuous use. For instance, if you are a right-handed player, your right hand will tend to have more strength than your left hand.
Muscles used in Badminton
Upper body muscles
When you play badminton, you use your upper body muscles like the forearm, biceps, shoulders, and triceps to hit the shuttle. All these muscles don’t work alone, it’s a combination of all the powers together that help you play. Many ignore the importance of the wrist. The wrist flexors and extensors are tiny muscles but play a major role in helping you change your grip time and again.
According to several research papers, core strength helps to fit in a proper balance between the upper and lower body muscles. They help to improve muscle coordination and as a result help to improve performance. A strong core is important for lunging, and attacking shots and helps to minimize the risk of injury. Having a weak core can lead to poor posture and lower back pain which can increase stress and cause injury. For instance, while taking an overhead shot, you strongly stretch your obliques to help you hit it properly and likewise, when you hit a smash, you stretch your core muscles to the max. The different core muscles used while playing badminton are the rectus abdominus, obliques, and spinal erectors.
Bending forward and backward is a continuous movement while playing badminton. This can exhaust your back muscles if not properly strengthened. The primary back muscle used while playing badminton are the trapezius. The back muscles work together to allow you to bend, twist and extend your back.
Lower body muscles
Badminton requires continuous movement and therefore you need strong legs to help you move smoothly across the court. You perform uncountable lunges, squats, and jumps for which you need your lower body muscles to help you reach the shuttle. Therefore, it’s important to develop the strength of your leg muscles. The primary lower body muscle groups used while playing badminton are the calf muscles, hamstrings and quadraceps.. The gluteals, adductors and abductors are the hip muscles used.
Importance of Strength training in badminton
Strength training helps to increase the longevity of the player’s career by avoiding injuries. Since your muscles and tendons get used to the added pressure and continuous impact, they are able to cope up with the added pressure during a match, due to muscle memory which reduces the chances of injury. An injury forces a player to take off time from the court which can affect its performance. Like its said, prevention is better than cure, similarly, its better to prevent yourself from injuries by working on your strength.
Badminton is an explosively quick game, the reflexes required are insanely fast, for both the upper body and lower body. You propel yourself backward, forward, and sideways at high speeds and then abruptly stop, changing direction within a mere fraction of a second. Extreme core strength is required to perform these actions. The reason why elite players are seen moving smoothly across the court is because of intensive strength training, agility, flexibility, shadow drills, and more.
Strength in badminton shots
When it comes to hitting, while you are moving so quickly requires strength in your core, shoulder, arms, and entire upper torso. Therefore, a mix of body weight and moderate weight training is required to improve your performance in the sport.
If you have observed, all elite badminton players share one commonality i.e they all are extremely lean and fit. An average badminton game lasts more than 30min and to sustain that activity on the court, the players go through tremendous training off court. Overall, strength training helps to improve strength, speed,and muscle endurance.
Depending on your requirement, start strength training in your routine. It cannot be the same for everyone. For instance, if you want to increase your strength then lift higher weights but if endurance is the area of improvement, then lift lighter weights with higher repetitions.
For most players, the playing hand tends to have greater strength than the nonplaying hand. Therefore, strength training helps to balance the strength equally on both sides without compromising only one side of your body.
Don’t forget to talk to your coach or trainer before you start with the training.
Let us know, if strength training helped to bring any positive changes to your game. We would love to hear your reactions.