Have you been practicing your badminton skills like crazy lately, but aren’t seeing improvements as fast as you’d like? Or, perhaps you spend hours a day doing drills, but can’t seem to hit that shuttle with any more force.
If you’ve been facing plateaus like these in your game, strength training for badminton could be just what you need to overcome them.
In this post, find five of the best exercises to try the next time you hit the gym, along with a few tips to help you along the way.
How Can Strength Training Boost Your Badminton Game?
Strength training can boost your muscle strength, explosive power, and endurance. On top of that, it can help you quickly recover from each shot as you transition into your next move.
On the court, this means you’ll be able to hit the shuttle with more force, run back and forth faster, and jump higher without missing a beat.
When you strengthen your muscles, your balance and coordination also become easier to control. And a bonus is that strong muscles can help you prevent injuries.
Strength Training for Badminton 101
Strength training for badminton can include weights, resistance bands, or your own body weight. Whichever way you choose to go about it, you’ll see the most gains when you train two or three times per week.
Disclaimer: These tips are meant as general information and are not intended to be used as personal training advice. Your body and needs are unique, so adjust and check in with experts as needed.
Without further ado, here are some tips for starting a strength training routine.
- Start with the fast, explosive exercises first. For example, you’ll want to do jumps before you do weights. Aside from that, isometric exercises are usually best saved for last.
- Do the less technical exercises last. As you run out of energy, it gets more difficult to maintain proper form. So, get your most form-focused activities out of the way early on.
- When you find it difficult to maintain proper form, that means it’s time to move on to less difficult, slower exercises.
- You should aim for 3 to 4 sets of 6 to 8 repetitions for the weighted and resistance exercises. With single-side exercises, a set is complete after you’ve done your reps on both sides.
- Start with light weights and resistance and move up from there. You’ll want to see what it takes to get your muscles to burn out by the 8-rep mark.
- You can rest for one to two minutes between sets.
- Maximize your effort during plyometric or jumping strength training exercises. Strong jumps equal strong legs!
Below, you’ll find some of the best strength training exercises for badminton. Remember to make sure you can safely perform each one before diving in. When in doubt, start light and focus on form.
1. Step-Ups with a Press
To do this exercise:
- Start by standing in front of a box jump, holding one dumbbell.
- Step up with the leg that’s opposite to the side of the dumbbell you’re holding.
- As you step up, lift the dumbbell on your side straight up. Your thumb should be facing your body here. At the same time, lift the knee on your back leg in a fluid movement.
- Then, step back down with the dumbbell side of your body first.
- Complete a full set on one leg, then switch to the other side.
2. Alternating Barbell Lunges
Alternating barbell lunges are a perfect strength training exercise for badminton — simply because lunges play a huge role in your footwork.
To complete an alternating barbell lunge:
- Lift the barbell, letting it rest across the top of your back, near your shoulders.
- Make sure you have plenty of room ahead of you before you begin the movement.
- Step forward with one leg. Keep your knee in alignment with your foot as you lunge forward.
- Push back up forcefully with your front leg to return to the starting position.
- Lunge forward with your other leg.
- Repeat for as many reps gets you close to burnout.
3. Medicine Ball Slams (Front & Sideways)
Medicine ball slams increase shoulder, upper body, and abdominal strength. To start:
- Lift a medicine ball up and over your head behind you with both hands, bending your elbows as you do so.
- Then, forcefully launch the medicine ball forward and into the ground in front of you. Lean forward and down as you complete this step.
- Repeat for several reps.
Next, you’ll be doing sideways medicine ball slams into a wall. To start:
- Stand a few feet away from a solid block wall (not sheetrock!)
- Rotate your hips and shoulders away from the wall, holding the medicine ball in both hands.
- Then, rotate towards the wall and throw the ball forcefully into it. (You should stand close enough to catch the ball after it hits the wall. But don’t stand close enough to hit your hands on the wall.)
- Finish your set, then repeat on the other side.
4. Dumbbell Rows
- Start by holding a dumbbell with one arm.
- Bend over, facing the ground. Remember to keep your spine in proper alignment so you don’t hurt yourself. (Pro tip: Keeping your knees slightly bent can help with this.)
- Lift the dumbbell up towards the outside of your chest. Your elbow should go straight up towards the ceiling, with your thumb facing towards your body. Try to use your shoulder to lift the dumbbell as opposed to just your arm.
- Finish the reps on one arm, and then repeat with the other side.
5. Bar Tricep Extensions
The bar tricep extension is an excellent exercise to increase your racket speed.
These are slightly different than the exercises covered above, as they don’t use the traditional sets and reps recommended for strength training. Instead, try to do as many reps in a row as you can — you’ll want to aim for a final count of 100 to 200.
- Hold a weighted bar with both hands up and over your head.
- Then, bend your elbows, so the bar is behind your head. Make sure your elbows are pointed forward here.
- Move the bar up and down as quickly as you can, without letting it go past the front of your shoulders.
- Repeat until burnout.
Keep Strength Training a Permanent Part of Your Routine
Once you get stronger and see improvements on the court from strength training, don’t stop there. To see more progress (and keep the gains you’ve already made), make it a long-term part of your weekly routine.