The first thing you should do before starting to play a match is a badminton warm up. This doesn’t apply only to badminton.
These exercises should be an internal part of your pre-performance routine in any sport.
Badminton Warm Up
There practically isn’t a difference between a professional and a beginner’s warm up. First of all, you need to get your heart rate up. This can be easily done by some jogging or other light activity whose main objective is to warm up your body, to send the first message that something is going to happen.
Feel free to jog around the court and once it seems boring you can do some jumping jacks or a few rounds on a skipping rope. This part is entirely up to you, do an activity you are currently in the mood for.
Approximately 2-3 minutes should be enough to get your heart working.
The basic idea of warm up is to ease joints and increase blood flow into muscles. But a warm up doesn’t only have this function, it can also serve as a way to prepare yourself mentally for the match. You can approach it as some kind of meditation and get into the right mindset which is necessary to be successful in a match.
In addition, as mentioned before it has also a preventive capacity. Thanks to warm ups and stretching you can avoid hamstring injuries, dislocated shoulders and an excessive wear of joints which comes hand in hand with regular sports performance.
The before mentioned stretching should follow afterward. Remember that stretching is fully effective only once your body is all warmed up. The main goal here is to prevent injuries so you can play your favorite sport for as long as you like. The stretching should take more or less 10 minutes, with about 10-20 seconds in each position.
Don’t forget to stretch your entire body, so change sides when an exercise is designed to treat only one part of your body. There are two main types of stretching – static and dynamic.
In badminton you should focus on the muscles you use the most: neck, shoulder, legs and of course hands and arms. For these you can use the back and front/side to side neck stretch, the overhead shoulder stretch, the posterior shoulder stretch, the side stretch, the side lounge stretches, the forward lunge stretches, the quadriceps stretch, the wrist flexion and the wrist extension.
However, you can also use any other stretch you feel comfortable and have experience with that targets these muscle groups. These have been examples of static stretches which can be used for a badminton warm up.
Dynamic stretching, on the other hand, is basically a stretching that happens in motion. You engage in stretching positions and move between every repetition or add a motion to a static stretch such as for example a lunge with a twist.
This emphasizes also other muscles you use during the activity and warms them up. It can also be beneficial for the overall flexibility and movability. While moving you are also working on balance, and therefore, preparing for the performance in advance, which is a great plus because if you start playing without any stretching at all, it may take some time for your body to get used to the sudden change.
This can result in a delay of optimal performance.
The best advice in terms of stretching is probably to combine both approaches and have a little bit of static as well as dynamic stretching, so you prevent any kind of injury. Keep in mind that it really plays a crucial role if you want to play any kind of sport on a long-term basis.
Pre Game Warm Up
Next up, take your racket, your sparring partner, or maybe your future opponent, and have some friendly strokes, shots, and strikes to get into the badminton mood. Do some light exchanges, play with the birdie or even try out some new shots or tactics.
Do a mini forehand/backhand session and also make sure to practice some offensive and defensive shots. You can use this time to find your center starting point to which you will be returning after each interaction to have the best starting position on your side of the court.
Badminton Cool Down
Once you have finished playing and enjoyed the game, you should start with the cool down exercises which are equally important for your body and fitness. They often consist of easy exercises whose aim is to get your body slowly down to the calm state, in which you were before the game.
Given the energy output, you can either have a slow walk, little jog or engage in lighter stretching. The goal here is to relax and decrease your heart rate to its original state. Moreover, a short session after your sports performance can also have a positive and preventive effect on injury occurrence.
So, get your skills and gear ready, but remember that before getting into the match, the heart rate should be at an increased level to optimize your performance. Use some warm up exercises and a few minutes of stretching, which are important from a fitness point of view. Follow these with a little badminton warm up and enjoy the game afterward. Be sure to include some cool down activities as well, to prevent injuries and a sudden change of body state.