If you’ve ever been in a fast-paced badminton rally, you know that your body is constantly moving while you play. You’re lunging, jumping, twisting, and reaching — and if you want to perform your best on the court, taking care of your muscles is crucial.
This means strength training, setting aside recovery days, and yes — using badminton flexibility exercises pre and post game. But why is flexibility so important for badminton players, and how can you start improving yours?
Below, we’ll cover the benefits of badminton flexibility exercises, along with seven of the best options to try today. Let’s jump in!
The Importance of Flexibility in Badminton
So, why exactly are stretches such an important part of a badminton training routine?
Simply put, they can:
- Boost blood flow, oxygenate your muscles, and get your body ready for action
- Help your body cool down and promote a healthy recovery after training
- Support muscle elasticity and flexibility, making it easier for you to move freely on the court
7 Badminton Flexibility Exercises to Try
Once you’re ready to build a badminton flexibility routine, the next step is choosing the right exercises. To help you get started, we’ve put together seven of the best options below.
(Pro tip: Before using these stretches, be sure to get your blood flowing with a few jumping jacks, a brisk walk, or another light form of quick cardio.)
1. Tricep Stretch
Your triceps face a ton of stress when you play badminton — especially when you use smashes and other overhead shots. Luckily, this tricep stretch is the perfect move to protect your upper arms before and after a match.
- Bend your left arm and point your elbow straight in the air. As you do so, try to keep your hand near your left shoulder.
- Use your right hand to pull your left elbow back until you feel tension in the tricep area.
- Hold for 20 to 40 seconds, and repeat with the other side.
2. Forearm Extensor Stretch
Every time you flex your wrist and swing your racket, the muscles in your forearm are hard at work. To strengthen and protect them from strain on the court, here’s one powerful stretch to try:
- Standing up straight, extend your left arm out in front of you with your palm facing down.
- Use your right hand to pull your left hand down and back until you feel a stretch in the forearm. Be sure to keep your left arm extended as you do so.
- Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, and repeat with the other side.
3. Simple Dynamic Neck Stretch
Use this simple yet effective stretch to loosen up your neck muscles before and after you train:
- Stand with straight yet relaxed posture.
- Tilt your head to the left until you feel a stretch in your neck, and then to the right. Repeat for 20 reps.
- Then, move your head forward and backward, feeling a stretch in each direction. Repeat for another 20 reps.
4. Crossover Shoulder Stretch
Since some of the most common badminton moves are overhead shots, it’s essential to include a good shoulder stretch in your routine.
The crossover shoulder stretch is one straightforward option that makes for a great addition to any flexibility regimen. Here’s how you can do it:
- Stand up straight and extend your left arm straight out across your chest.
- Use your right forearm to pull your left arm closer to your body until you feel a stretch in the shoulder.
- Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat with the other side.
5. Standing Quad Stretch
When you play badminton, your quads help you move across the court, lunge, and jump to hit hard-to-reach shots. They’re some of the most active muscles in your body, meaning it’s important not to overlook them as you build your stretch routine.
Try this standing quad stretch to keep your legs flexible and ache-free on the court:
- Stand near a wall, chair, or another object you can use for support.
- Lift your left leg up behind you, and grab your foot with your left hand.
- Pull the foot in toward your body until you feel a stretch, and hold for 30 seconds.
- Repeat with the other side.
6. Seated Hamstring Stretch
If you play badminton or other racket sports, you’re probably no stranger to tight hamstrings. Luckily, there are countless stretches that can help you keep these busy muscles loose and agile.
The next time you hit the court, be sure to give this seated hamstring stretch a try:
- Have a seat in an open, comfortable area.
- Extend your legs out in front of you, and bend your right leg in toward your left. In this position, your right knee should point out to the right, and your foot should be pressed against your left inner thigh.
- Keeping your spine in alignment, reach forward until you feel a stretch in your hamstring.
- Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat with the other leg.
7. Standing Calf Stretch
Stretching your calves before badminton can help activate your muscles, protect your ankles, and decrease stiffness while you play.
To get started, here’s an easy calf stretch to include in your pre and post game routine:
- Find a sturdy wall or another object to use as support.
- Stand about one foot from the wall. Then, step your right foot out behind you.
- Keep your feet flat on the ground, bend your left knee, and lean forward until you feel a stretch in your right calf. Be sure to keep the right leg extended as you do so.
- Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, and repeat with the other side.
The Bottom Line on Badminton Flexibility Exercises
The badminton flexibility exercises above can help with your most active muscles on the court — including your triceps, shoulders, hamstrings, quads, and calves. But beyond the exercises covered here, don’t forget to spend some time stretching your ankles, wrists, and any other areas you want to loosen up.
Use your favorite stretches pre and post badminton match, and take note of how you feel afterward. Your muscles (and your game) will thank you!
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