If you’re like many badminton players, you might regularly skip your warm-up before you hit the court. But what you might not realize is just how much this can affect your game — from limiting your mobility to slowing down your footwork and even leading to weaker shots.
The good news? By adding dynamic stretches to your pre-badminton routine, you can stay more flexible and agile in every rally.
Below, discover six of the best dynamic stretches to include in your next badminton training session.
Static vs. Dynamic Stretches for Badminton
Static stretching can be a useful part of any badminton cooldown routine. But when you’re warming up, it’s better to choose movements that get your blood flowing and actively engage your muscles — and this is where dynamic stretching comes in.
Dynamic stretching involves quickly moving different parts of your body in their full range of motion. And when done correctly, it can make a big difference in your mobility and power.
In fact, a 2019 review from the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine showed that dynamic stretching before exercise significantly decreased hamstring stiffness while improving range of motion. And according to Harvard Health Publishing, it can even help bring more energy and oxygen to your muscles before a workout.
6 Best Dynamic Stretches for Badminton
Here are six of the best dynamic badminton stretches to help you warm up before your next match:
1. Standing Torso Twist
Your core plays a crucial role in your badminton game, but it doesn’t always get the attention it deserves.
Fortunately, this simple exercise can help you loosen up stiff back muscles, engage your obliques, and get blood flowing throughout your whole upper body.
Here’s how to do it:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, being sure not to lock your knees.
- Lift your arms up and out to the side.
- Use your upper body momentum to rotate your torso from side to side.
- Repeat for 30-60 seconds.
2. Leg Swings
Leg swings can help you activate nearly every muscle in your legs — including the hamstrings, quads, calves, glutes, and hip flexors.
In other words, they’re the perfect dynamic stretch if you want more flexibility in your jumps and lunges.
To try this exercise:
- Stand with your feet hip-distance apart.
- Lean onto your left leg, and lift your right leg out in front of you.
- Swing the right leg out back behind you, then out in front of you. Repeat for 10-20 seconds.
- Next, swing your leg laterally (from left to right). Repeat for 10-20 seconds more.
- Repeat these steps with the other side.
3. Arm Circles
Arm circles are one of the easiest, most rewarding dynamic stretches to add to your badminton warm-up routine.
They stretch and bring blood flow to the deltoids, triceps, and biceps — helping to activate your shoulder joints and improve your swing mobility.
Here are the steps:
- Stand with your feet hip-distance apart.
- Extend your arms straight out to each side.
- Rotate your arms in a clockwise circle for 30-60 seconds.
- Switch directions and rotate your arms counter-clockwise for 30-60 seconds more.
4. Kneeling Wrist Stretch
The kneeling wrist stretch helps engage your forearm flexors (the muscles on the underside of your forearms) and extensors (the muscles on top of your forearms).
Not only does it target these busy muscles, but it also prepares your wrists for all the twisting and rotating that comes in a badminton match.
To try it:
- Kneel on a comfortable surface, and plant your hands on the ground in front of you.
- Rotate your hands so that your fingers are facing out to your left and right.
- Rock side-to-side to feel a stretch in your forearm flexors for 20-30 seconds.
- Next, it’s time to target the extensors. Flip and rotate your hands so that your fingers are pointing toward your body. In this step, the tops of your hands should be on the floor, as opposed to your palms.
- Gently rock forward and backward to stretch the extensors for 20-30 seconds.
5. Walking Lunges
Walking lunges are an excellent exercise for warming up your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves before training.
Here’s how to do them:
- Stand with your feet about hip-distance apart.
- Step forward with one leg. Keep your weight on your heel, and slowly lower down into a lunge.
- Step forward with your opposite leg, and push your body up.
- Continue to alternate these steps for 20-30 reps.
6. Hip Circles
You probably don’t think about your hips too much while you’re playing badminton. But with all the leaping, diving, jumping, and running that you do on the court, these joints tend to carry a lot of tension.
The good news? When it comes to dynamic stretches for badminton, hip circles are some of the easiest, most effective exercises to add to your routine.
- Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart. (Tip: You’ll be standing on one leg, so feel free to lean on a wall for extra support.)
- Lift your right knee up, and rotate it in a clockwise circle. Start on the left side of your body, move outward, and finally out behind you.
- Aim to feel a stretch in your hip flexor and a contraction in your glute as you bring your knee backward.
- Repeat for 20 seconds.
- Repeat with the other side.
The right dynamic stretches can mean the difference between feeling loose and agile or stiff and achy in a badminton match. And the stretches above can go hand-in-hand with other warm-ups that get your heart rate up and your mind focused — like shuffling, running, and shadow footwork.
To see the results for yourself, try a mix of these exercises for 10-15 minutes before your next few training sessions. You might be surprised at the boost you see in your mobility on the court!
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