If you’ve ever had an injury after an intense badminton rally, you know how inconvenient (and sometimes devastating) it can be. Not only do injuries hurt, but they can keep you out of the action for weeks or even months. And when all you want to do is get back to playing, the healing process can take a toll on your life and happiness.
But here’s the good news: If you want to learn how to prevent badminton injuries, a few simple steps can help.
In this post, discover seven tips that can help you minimize your chances of getting injured on the court.
1. Don’t Underestimate Warm-Ups and Cool-Downs
When you jump into intense exercise too quickly, you can increase your risk of spraining or pulling muscles. Fortunately, you can combat this by simply doing a few warm-up exercises before your badminton training. A warm-up can:
- Boost your blood flow
- Increase your muscle temperature
- Decrease muscle tension
- Loosen up your joints
Beyond that, you can also benefit from gradually cooling down your muscles at the end of each training session. A cooldown doesn’t have to be complicated, either. A few active stretches or light walking is often all you need to help your body, blood pressure, and heart rate calm down to normal levels.
2. Prioritize Recovery Days
Recovery days are key, even when you don’t feel injured — but they’re especially important when you notice any unusual pain or soreness. That’s because some of the most common badminton injuries are associated with overuse. These include:
- Sprains and strains
- Shin splints
- Ankle injuries
With this in mind, try adding one or two dedicated recovery days to your week. A good rest day can give your body the time it needs to patch up early or minor injuries before they escalate into something harder to tackle.
3. Include Strength Training in Your Routine
Strength training supports your joints, increases bone density, and builds muscle — and in turn, it can help you prevent a wide range of badminton injuries. In fact, research has shown that strength training can lead to a 66% decrease in sports injuries, and it can reduce the rate of overuse injuries by almost 50%.
So, make strength training a regular part of your routine! If you aren’t sure where to start, here are some of the best exercises to try out.
4. Focus on Proper Form and Technique
Just like when you’re lifting weights, form and technique are vital for preventing injuries in badminton. Some simple ways to improve your form include:
- Working with a coach or skilled partner who can give you tips on your shot technique and footwork.
- Filming yourself while you play. Viewing yourself from a third-person perspective can bring valuable insight as to where you can improve. You can also compare this footage to online tutorials from pro players and coaches.
5. Wear Supportive Shoes
Ankle injuries make up a significant portion of all racket sports injuries — and with all of badminton’s running, jumping, and twisting, most players can expect these busy joints to take a ton of damage.
Luckily, you can protect your ankles by investing in a pair of supportive badminton shoes. There are plenty of options to grab online — but it can also be helpful to try on a few pairs at your local sports store before making any final purchase decisions.
6. Use Other Recovery and Prevention Tools as Needed
If your knees, shoulders, elbows, etc., are starting to feel the impact of your badminton training, certain products can help you prevent things from getting worse.
For example, you could:
- Use a knee strap when you start to feel symptoms of jumper’s knee.
- Try kinesiology tape to support muscles, bones, and joints such as the elbows, hamstrings, or shins.
- Pick up an ankle support brace for additional ankle protection.
- Grab a reusable cold pack to reduce inflammation and swelling in minor injuries.
7. Choose the Proper Racket Weight
If you haven’t developed enough arm strength yet, using too heavy of a racket can put unnecessary stress on your tendons and ligaments. So, if you’re a beginner, try to start with a medium or lightweight racket instead. And as you get stronger, you can gradually move up in weight if you want to.
In addition, it’s best to use a lighter racket while you’re recovering from an arm, wrist, or rotator cuff injury — even if you’re a more experienced player.
How to Prevent Badminton Injuries: The Takeaway
Badminton injuries are always a possibility, but they don’t have to be common for you. To reduce your chances of getting hurt on the court, you can boost your physical fitness through strength training and prioritizing recovery days. Not only do these habits lower your risk of badminton injury, but they can also make you a better player overall.
And if you feel an injury coming on, you can:
- Use supportive tools like ankle braces, knee braces, or kinesiology tape
- Reach for a lighter racket
- Revisit your form and technique
- Dial back your training intensity or take a break altogether
By using all of these tips, you can feel your best, avoid injuries, and minimize the time you have to spend healing off the court. You’ve got this. Good luck!
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