David Boycott-Brown, strength and conditioning coach at the English Institute of Sport (EIS) works with the GB Badminton team, and gives his top tips for warming up to maximise your potential on court.
Physically preparing for badminton is essential to ensure the body is able to cope with the demands placed upon it. Time should be invested developing the required physical abilities, both on and off the court.
For a full time badminton player this includes warming up before training, recovering appropriately after training and supplementing badminton sessions with separate physical sessions to improve strength, power or whichever physical quality requires work.
A “RAMP” guide to warming up can help you think about what to include before a training session and in which order:
Raising the body temperature and heart rate should be the first priority of the warm up. This can be done in a variety of ways but should be low intensity and progressed as body temperature increases.
Skipping, running and any movement activity will provide the desired effect but the preference should be to progress to sports specific actions.
After the body has been warmed, the key muscles required for the sport should be activated further. This stage could include lunging and squatting based movements to prepare the lower body to move around the court.
It could also include using the muscles around the upper back and shoulder which will allow powerful hitting actions.
The next task is to mobilise key areas of the body. An example of this would be dynamic flexibility work, starting slow and controlled and progressing to an increase in range and finally speed.
The mobility work can be general to begin but should focus on the appropriate muscles or joints that require freedom of movement within the sport.
Key areas for a badminton player are as above and an example of how to implement would include lunge mobility work, progressively increasing range and speed as noted above.
The final phase of the warm up is to potentiate the body. The aim is to prime the body to ensure it has reached the same intensity that will be required from the first point of the match.
The types of activities that might be included in this phase will include high intensity movements such as explosive jumps, powerful shots and maximal accelerations around the court.
To optimise the time spent warming up, a bespoke plan should be developed to ensure individual needs are catered for. If there was a need for a badminton player to improve depth and range within a lunge, then the warm up plan can cater for this.