BEST BADMINTON STRETCHES | 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.
These stretches and warm-ups can help you avoid injuries while playing badminton which is generally a common occurrence.
Just like any other sport, itâs 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 and warm-up exercises 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 manoeuvres that require using your wrists. So before you start playing, be sure to warm up and stretch out your wrists.
This exercise acts as 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 outwardly.
Reason for doing this –Â
- This warm-up for badminton helps you bring flexibility to your wrist. The warm-up makes it easy for you to move your wrist for the game.
- It helps you increase wrist mobility and improve blood flow to the most active muscles of your body that youâd use during the game.
- Especially if you are going for a badminton session after a sedentary job and a lot of thinking, it helps you loosen up the wrists, which were tight otherwise.
- Forward and backward
- Hand bending
- Wrist rolls with hands clasped
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 youâve got a hold of your elbow, gently pull it towards the front and release it once you canât 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 the excess strain.
Benefits of a rotator cuff warm-up/stretch
- Improve flexibility and range of motion for shoulder, chest and upper back muscles.
- Avoid chances of getting a tennis elbow.
- Adequate shoulder flexibility will help you reach out for the shuttle without jumping too much.
Variations of Rotator cuff elbow stretch/warm-up
- The one described above is called the elbow above rotator cuff stretch.
- You can also do an elbow-out rotator cuff stretch – In this, you do not need to take your hand above your head but instead stand with your hand behind the middle of your back and your elbow pointing out. Reach over with your other hand and gently pull your elbow forward.
3) Forward Lunges
Most of you have probably heard of a forward lunge. But for those who havenât, itâs 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.
- A badminton warm-up with forward lunges helps you activate your entire lower section.
- Forward lunges increase your core stabilisation. A warm-up with forward lunges can engage stabilisers of your back and core.
- Forward lunges help you improve your stretch and jump when you are jumping towards the shuttle.
- Forward lunges activate your lower body muscles to help you avoid injuries in the hamstring, knee pad and ankle ligaments.
A badminton warm-up always requires forward lunges. These lunges can be done in many different forms.
- Walking lunges – Do you lunge as if you are walking? After the first lunge, try taking a step like you are walking, move your body weight forward on the front foot and try as if you are walking.
- Reverse Lunges – Same as lunges with a backward movement.
- Lateral Lunges – This is a unilateral lunge done from side to side, extending one leg and moving your body weight towards the other side.
4) Alphabetical Ankle
The alphabetical ankle combines both warm-up and stretch into one movement. Itâs imperative that you stretch your ankle out before every game and be very cautious when you play.
For this stretch, lift one leg until your knee aligns with your hip. Now slowly trace the alphabet by rotating your ankle in various directions. This will force your ankle to stretch in various ways and improve mobility.
Benefits of Warm up with alphabetical ankle
- The ankles are a very important part that helps you with a jump.
- These ankle movements improve the flexibility of your ligaments and help you land safely after a jump
- This exercise could be done using the 3 variations shown in the image above. This badminton warm-up is extremely effective for people whose game is dependent on running and jumping.
5) Toe Touches
This exercise is great for stretching your hamstrings, which are greatly impacted 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 doesnât matter if your knees are bent; just ensure your back is straight.
Once youâve touched your toes, try straightening out your left leg as much as possible without bending your back. Donât worry about letting go of your toes because you should feel an intense stretch along with your hamstrings anyway.
Bonus: Some other warm-up exercises specific to badminton
- Running – Running before a badminton game will help you warm your body up and get you ready for the run on the court. It increases your muscles’ flexibility and strengthens your heart for a great pump.
- Four corners footwork – This helps you set up for running back and forth. It helps you practice going forward and backward. It improves your impulse reactions and moves you in the right direction
- Overhead clears – Overhead clears are a great cardio exercise; they help you extend your arm, wrist, and more flexibility.Â
- Wall Defence – A wall defense warm-up routine will help you improve your impulse, and standing on your toes will help you improve the flexibility of your hamstring.
Do you know whatâs 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 youâre more likely to get injured if you stretch without warming up.
So warm up by jogging around the court or skipping in place for a while before stretching. This will ensure that you make the most of your practice session.
Also read: 5 Surprising Health Benefits Of Playing Golf