If you want to play your best in badminton, you probably know that a good warm-up stretch routine is essential. The right stretches can fire up your muscles, help your blood flow more efficiently throughout your body, and even help you prevent soreness later on.
But what muscles are most important to warm up before a match, and which stretches can best help you target and activate them?
Below, discover five of the best warm-up stretches for badminton to invigorate your body and boost your performance in your next game.
1. Wrist Flexions and Extensions
Your dominant wrist plays a vital role in controlling your racket and helping you produce agile and precise shots. That’s why a badminton stretch routine should always involve at least one wrist-focused movement.
Two fundamental stretches that can help with this are wrist flexions and wrist extensions.
To do a wrist extension:
- Hold one arm out in front of you with your palm facing upwards.
- Bend your hand backward, pointing your fingers towards the ground until you start to feel a stretch in your wrist.
- For an even greater stretch, you can use your alternate hand to push your fingers back further.
To do a wrist flexion, you’ll need to do the same steps outlined above, but with your hand pointed upwards instead.
2. Cross-Body Shoulder Stretch
Badminton is an intense, full-body workout that keeps your shoulders constantly engaged. The cross-body shoulder stretch can help you loosen your shoulders and back before you hop into your next match.
To do the cross-body shoulder stretch:
- Start by standing up and extending one arm across your chest. Make sure to straighten it out as much as possible.
- Using your other arm, pull your extended arm in closer to your body until you feel a stretch in the shoulder.
- Hold for 20-30 seconds. Then, repeat on the other side.
3. Lying Quad Stretch
Keeping your quads loose and relaxed can boost your badminton performance and even help you prevent achy knees later on.
To do the lying quad stretch:
- Lie face down on a yoga mat or another comfortable surface.
- Lift your left leg up behind you and grab your foot with your left arm.
- Gently pull on your foot until you feel a stretch in your quad.
- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
- Repeat on the other side.
4. Achilles Stretch
Your lower legs and ankles work hard to absorb shock as you run, jump, and chase the shuttle in every game of badminton. That’s why stretching and loosening your lower legs is essential if you want to play your best.
Luckily, including the Achilles stretch in your badminton warm-up routine can help you do just that.
Here’s how to do the Achilles stretch:
- To start, find something to lean onto. This could be a chair or a nearby wall.
- Step towards the wall or chair with your left leg while keeping your right leg one step behind you.
- Make sure to plant your right heel firmly on the floor.
- Bend your left leg and lean forward (using the wall or chair for balance) until you feel a stretch in your lower right leg.
- Hold for 20-30 seconds.
- Repeat with the other side.
5. Child’s Pose
Along with being a staple yoga pose, Child’s Pose is one of the best warm-up stretches for badminton that you can do. This powerful pose can loosen and energize your back, shoulders, and even your hips before your next game.
To do Child’s Pose:
- Find a comfortable place to kneel on the ground.
- Push your hips back and extend your arms out in front of you.
- Reach forward until you feel a stretch in your hips, back, and shoulders.
To give your arms and shoulders an extra stretch in Child’s Pose:
- Take your left arm and extend it underneath you towards your right side. With your palm facing up, reach past the right side of your body until you feel the back of your shoulder muscles stretching.
- Hold for ten seconds.
- Uncross your arm and bring it back to your left side.
- Still holding Child’s Pose, reach your left arm out to the left with your palm facing downwards and hold for another ten seconds. You should feel this stretch in your bicep.
- Bring your left arm back to your side.
- Repeat with your right arm.
Remember to Try These Warm-Up Badminton Stretches Before Your Next Match
The badminton warm-up stretches in this post can help you activate your muscles and rev your body up before each and every game. On top of that, they could even reduce soreness and prevent injury later on.
So, give these stretches a try the next time you’re preparing for a match — you might be surprised to see the difference they can make.