Badminton, just like any other physical sport, is extremely strenuous on the body. In badminton, nearly every part of your body is completely engaged at all times. You require your core and lower body to move around, and your arms, shoulders, and neck to aim and swing the racket.
Small wonder that injuries in badminton are a common occurrence!
And just like any other sport, it’s important to stretch properly before you play badminton to limit the strain on your muscles and avoid injury. How do you do that?
Here are 5 stretches every badminton player should perform before a game. These will help loosen up your muscles and reduce the chances of you suffering from an injury.
1) Wrist Rolls
Badminton involves numerous maneuvers that require the use of your wrists. So before you start playing, be sure to warm up and stretch out your wrists.
This exercise acts as both a warm up and a stretch for your wrists. Stick your arms out in front of you and ball up your fists. Now slowly make circles with your fists by rotating your wrists in the outward direction.
Rotate 10 times, then switch up the exercise by rotating your wrists the other way.
2) Rotator Cuff Stretch
For this exercise, put your arm behind your back and place the back of your palm near the centre of your back. Now reach over your chest with the other hand and grab your elbow.
Once you’ve got a hold of your elbow, gently pull it towards the front and release it once it can’t stretch anymore. Repeat this motion at least 10 times before you switch hands.
This exercise is important as the swing often puts a lot of stress on your shoulders and rotator cuffs. This stretch will help you deal with this excess strain.
3) Forward Lunges
Most of you have probably heard of a forward lunge. But for those who haven’t, it’s a stretch that targets your hip flexor muscles, which form a part of your core. By including this stretch in your warm-up routine, you will improve your mobility for the game and reduce the risk of an injury.
Simply place one leg in front of the other, a little more than shoulder width apart. Now bend your front leg and lean forward till most of your weight is on it. Keep your back leg and your back straight, and stick your chest out as much as possible. You should feel a nice stretch near your groin.
4) Alphabetical Ankle
The alphabetical ankle combines both warm up and stretch into one movement. It’s imperative that you stretch your ankle out before every game, and be very cautious when you play.
For this stretch, lift one leg up until your knee is in line with your hip. Now slowly trace the alphabet by rotating your ankle in various directions. This will force your ankle to stretch in a variety of ways and improve mobility.
5) Toe Touches
This exercise is great for stretching for your hamstrings, which are subjected to a whole lot of impact during a badminton game.
All you have to do is bend forward towards the ground while keeping your back straight, and try to touch your toes. It doesn’t matter if your knees are bent; just make sure that your back is straight.
Once you’ve touched your toes, try straightening out your left leg as much as possible without bending your back. Don’t worry about letting go of your toes, because you should feel an intense stretch along your hamstrings anyway.
You know what’s more important than stretching properly? Warming up.
While cold stretches can help improve flexibility, they limit muscle performance by making your muscles loose and weak. So you’re more likely to get injured if you stretch without warming up.
So warm up by jogging around the court or skipping in place for awhile before stretching. This will ensure that you make the most of your practice session.
Also read: 5 Surprising Health Benefits Of Playing Golf
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