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Badminton Stretches and Warmup

Badminton is a racket sport where athletes require explosive power, move rapidly across the court and make sudden direction changes. This makes stretching and warmup very important.

Importance of stretching

Stretching increases range of motion of the joints and muscles and ensures that the body is prepared for physical activity. Athletes who are highly flexible are able to move better and generally expend less energy while doing so. Flexibility also reduces the risk of getting injuries.

Warming Up

Warming up before physical activity is also very important to reduce injury risk. Badminton is usually played in unheated buildings and during winter months it is especially important to warm up properly. Warming up during a game can be efficient, but if you are still cold the risk of injury is increased.  This is because of the lunges and stretches that are commonly needed to reach a shuttle in time.

Common Injuries

5 Common Badminton Injuries

 

(image from http://www.physioroom.com/sports/badminton/1_badminton_injuries.php)

Common badminton injuries include the following:

1- Sprained ankles - stretching or tearing of ligaments on either side of the ankle leading to painful and swollen ankles.

2- Achilles tendon strain - swelling and pain of the achilles tendon due to overuse, not stretching or sudden acceleration.

3- Tennis elbow - overuse of arm, forearm and hand muscles resulting in elbow pain.

4- Rotator cuff injury - local swelling and tenderness in the shoulder from repeated overhead activities.

5- ACL sprain - tear in the anterior cruciate ligament due to sudden back or sideways bending or twisting of the knee. Can happen with sudden direction changes, sudden stops and landing from a jump.

5- Patella tendonitis (Jumpers Knee) - inflammation and irritation of the knee tendons from repetitive jumping.

Treatments

- Sprained ankle - treatment follows the PRINCE approach: Protection, Rest, Ice, Anti-inflammatory painkillers (NSAIDs), Compression and Elevation.

- Achilles tendon strain - Rest, Ice, Anti-inflammatory painkillers (NSAIDs), Compression, Elevation.

- Tennis elbow - Rest, Ice, Anti-inflammatory painkillers (NSAIDs), Cortisone-type medication, physical therapy.

- Rotator cuff injuries - treatment includes Rest, Anti-inflammatory painkillers (NSAIDs), Steroid injection, Physical therapy. In severe cases surgery may be recommended.

- ACL sprain - treat using RICE (Rest, ICE, Compression and Elevation). Further treatment depends on severity of the tear and will include physical therapy rehab and in severe cases surgery.

- Patella tendonitis - treatment can include Rest, Ice, Anti-inflammatory painkillers (NSAIDs), Stretching and Protection with strapping or braces.

Stretches

Here are a couple of stretching exercises that can be helpful:

Toe Touches

 

- Alternate toe touches - stretches and prepares your calf and lower back muscles as well as the hamstring.

1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
2. Reach down as far as you can to one foot until you feel the stretch at the back of your leg.
3. Repeat for the other leg.

Heel Dips

 

- Heel dips - stand with the heels of both feet hanging off a step. Press your heels down until you feel the stretch in your calf muscle.

Shoulder stretch - across

 

- Shoulder stretch (across chest) - reach one arm across the chest and firmly pull the arm toward the chest with the other hand until the stretch is felt. Alternate arms.

Shoulder stretch - reach back

 

- Shoulder stretch (reach back) - Clasp hands behind the back, straighten arms and push away from your back.

Tricep stretch

 

- Triceps stretch - place one arm behind your head and pull the elbow behind your head to get the triceps stretched.

Quadricep stretch

 

- Quadriceps stretch - lift your foot to your back and pull your foot lightly with one hand to your back. This will stretch the quadriceps muscles.

-Hamstring stretch -

Hamstring stretch - standing     Hamstring stretch - sitting

 

 

1. put the heel of one foot on a step in front of you while keeping the other foot flat. Bend slightly forward toward the front foot to stretch the hamstring.
2. Alternately, sit on the ground with one leg straight and the other leg bent so the foot is against the inside of the straight leg. Bend forward and reach for the outstretched foot.

Hold a stretch for at least 30 seconds and don't overdo the stretch. A stretch should be uncomfortable, but never painful.

Warm-up Exercises

Good warm-ups to do before playing include:

- Arm swinging - loosens and readies the arms for play. Swing your outstretched arms in small to large circles across the entire range of motion.

- Side bends - while standing, bend side to side at the waist.

- Upper body rotations - rotate upper body to the left and right while standing still.

- Alternate toe touches - with your feet shoulder width apart, stretch down to your toes. Try to touch as far down your leg as possible.

- Lunges - warming and strengthening leg muscles.

- Jog around the courts - a couple of laps will get your cardio going.

- Skipping rope - warms up and strengthens wrists and legs.

Additional Ways to Prevent Injuries

- Play on well maintained courts that are not slippery.

- Good endurance will delay the onset of fatigue when players are more injury prone.

 - Good shoes will help you move about and prevent slipping.

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