What Is All The Racquet About?Published May 26, 2021
Introduction Of Badminton As Sport
As expressed in previous blogs, badminton can be more than backyard fun at a family barbecue or company picnic. Badminton is a seriously competitive sport, with the rules refined and defined in 19th century India.
When playing badminton, players should not touch the net with their body or with their racquet at any time during the game. The ‘birdie,’ or shuttlecock, needs to be kept in the air in a back and forth rally. The ‘birdie’ should never land outside of the boundary lines of the court. Winning two of three games wins a badminton match.
Whew! — we won’t pull any punches that Badminton players ‘sweat’ for every point they achieve as they serve the shuttlecock birdie. The shuttlecock feathers do ‘fly’ when hit by the badminton racquet, with speeds registered at as much as 200 mph! When the opponent fails to keep the rally going, a point is gained. There is lots of fast thinking, running, and jumping in the fastest racquet sport, badminton, with a three-game match that usually lasts forty to fifty minutes.
Warm-Ups And Warm-Downs
It is advisable to get your heart pumped up slowly with any strenuous sport, allowing blood to flow more freely. Some warm-up exercises players choose to include are jogging or walking briskly around the court’s perimeter, doing jumping jacks, or skipping rope for two to three minutes before the start of a game.
Badminton warm-ups also include exercises to strengthen the legs:
- Knee To Wall: In this simple exercise, push on the wall with the hands; bend the knees forward as far as is comfortable past feet. This exercise will increase mobility in calves and Achilles — to ease jumping for that birdie heading for you!
- Adductor Exercise: Strengthen the legs with this workout in which you lie on your back and move your left leg across the body, then alternately bring your right leg across the body.
- Glute Strengthening: In this exercise, the player will lie on their side and lift legs in line with the body. Squeeze the gluteus and gluteus Maximus muscles each time you lift the leg to strengthen the buttocks and thighs.
Another helpful warm-up is that of stretching and strengthening the arm and forearm before the official match using the badminton racquet:
- Wall Drill: This warm-up helps players understand how much power to hit the shuttlecock ‘birdie’ to control the direction that the ‘birdie’ comes back at the player. The objective of the drill is to keep the wall rally going twenty to fifty times without stopping.
- Swing Drill: The swing drill does not need the use of the shuttlecock. It is the practice of learning how to swing the racquet. The racquet strokes or swings should include observing the action of the feet. Racquet strokes include tossing and smash action movement, as well as the lifting swings of the racquet.
Warm downs are as crucial as warm-ups as they allow the heart to come back slowly to its natural resting state. Specific warm down exercises include:
- Standing Stretches: Standing straight by ‘sucking in’ the abdomen and tailbone. Bend at the waist, keeping back straight as possible. Slowly lower head and arms as if wanting to touch the floor. Next, stand straight; bend slowly to the right at the waist while lifting and rolling the left arm over the head. Stand straight and raise both arms over the head.
Repeat, but bend at the waist to the left and lift and roll the right arm over the head. Stretch the shoulders by bringing arms outward in a circular motion, then clasp hands behind the back, then pull towards the floor. Do it slowly and with someone who knows how to do it! Do each of these standing stretches for 1 or 2 minutes each.
- Sitting Stretches: To limber up the lower back, sit on the floor with legs slightly open. Keep back straight. Bend head forward to the wall in front of you. Repeat with legs together, but feet flexed. Also, repeat with one leg straight and the other in ‘V’ shape, bending forward with back straight, not curled up.
- Hydrate: It is always essential after excessive perspiring to slowly sip cool water to replenish the fluids lost.
Choosing A Racquet
If you haven’t already, make sure you check out our list of Best Badminton Rackets of 2020.
How well you swing the racquet in the professional badminton game may have everything to do with the racquet type you choose. There are head-heavy, head-light, and even-balance racquets.
Head heavy racquets are used for more power, a lighter head racquet for more speed. What is chosen depends on the type of game played, singles or doubles. The even balance racquets, as the name applies, provides a mix of power and speed.
Next to consider is the shaft of the racquet — which comes flexible, medium, and stiff. The type of shaft chosen is concerning the speed of the swing of your wrist and arm.
A ‘U’ and number after the ‘U ‘ define racquet weight. The smaller the racquet number after the ‘U,’ the heavier the racquet.
The final consideration of the badminton racquet is the ‘G’ number. The number after the ‘G’ indicates the handle’s size, again with the smaller number indicating a larger handle or grip size.
Be Picky About The String
If serious about competitive badminton, you will want to consider the crisscrossing mesh of strings that pound the birdie in rallies back and forth over the net! More string tension does not equate to more power! A general rule of thumb in how much the string tension should be:
- 20-23 pounds for casual play.
- 24-25 pounds for regular club play.
- 26 pounds and above use for advanced competitions.
The shuttlecock type will determine the string tension to choose and whether the game will be won or lost! Lower the string tension by 1 to 2 pounds with plastic shuttlecocks and, if not, a power player. If you are advanced in swing power and know the racquet’s ‘sweet spot,’ use higher tension.