Badminton is one of the most brutal sports on the body there is, requiring many different physical aspects – agility, speed, power, endurance, co-ordination. Badminton-specific stretches are really important to:
- Improve the range of motion at a joint
- Reduce the risk of injury
- Reduce muscle soreness
The best stretches for badminton are:
- Lower back stretch
- Glute and hip stretch
- Quad stretch
- Hamstring stretch
- Calf stretch
- Shoulder stretch
These stretches are demonstrated in our YouTube video below, and also further explained in this article.
Best Stretches For Badminton Players
1. Lower Back Stretch
Stretching your lower back is really important for 2 reasons. Firstly, a tight back can not only lead to injuries in your back, but also in other areas of your body. Secondly, flexibility in your lower back will enable you to generate the rotation that is needed through your trunk when hitting overhead shots.
This is our recommended lower back stretch for badminton:
To do this stretch, lie on your back and bring one knee up and across your chest. Gently pull your knee towards the floor with your opposite hand. If you want to increase the stretch, look the other way.
2. Glute and Hip Stretch
In badminton, we are constantly lunging. This creates a lot of force going through your glutes and hips. If you don’t keep your glutes and hips loose then they will become stiffer over time, limiting your movement on-court.
Our recommended glute and hip stretch has 2 levels:
Level 2 - The Pigeon Stretch
Level 1: Sit down on the floor with one knee in front of you at a right angle, and with the other knee behind also at a right angle. From here, lean directly over your front knee.
If you feel a good stretch, then remain in this position. However, if you want to advance then move onto level 2.
Level 2: From the position you were in for Level 1, straighten out your back leg and shift your hips so that they are now facing forwards. Your front leg should no longer be at a right angle. This is known as The Pigeon Stretch!
3. Quad Stretch
Having loose quads is really important, as having tight quad muscles can lead to sore knees – and there are lots of sore knees in badminton! A loose quad will help to ease the pressure that we continuously put through our knee joints when playing badminton.
For our quad stretch you lie down on the floor and grab your foot, gently pulling it towards your glute.
If you are struggling with this then make it easier by wrapping a towel around your foot:
4. Hamstring Stretch
Hamstrings are key to overall movement efficiency. For badminton, we need both strength and flexibility in our hamstrings – helping us effectively move around the court!
The below picture shows an image from our recommended hamstring stretch:
To actively stretch the hamstring, lie down with one leg in the air, interlocking your fingers together just above your knee. With your knee bent, slowly straighten it and keep repeating this movement.
To increase the stretch, pull your leg towards you more.
5. Calf Stretch
Stretching your calf muscles is really important as stiff calves will inhibit your on-court movement. In our “Leg Strength and Explosive Power” YouTube video, we showed that calf jumps are important for rebounding around the court, using spring to generate both jump height and quick movements. If you don’t have the ability to generate spring, then you won’t be as effective on court!
Our recommended calf stretch involves slowly walking out the calves alternately in ‘Down Dog’ pose:
6. Shoulder Stretches
We find that after a period off-court, our shoulders are always the first area to tighten up. Also, during a full week of training or competing, we put lots of force through our shoulder – especially when we’re smashing a lot.
If the muscles around your shoulder are stiff, then you won’t be able to generate as much rotation and racket head speed. This will lead to less power in your smash! So it is important to keep all of the muscles around your shoulder loose.
These are our 3 recommended shoulder stretches for badminton, which start in the yoga pose ‘Childs Pose’:
Biceps and Peck
Back of the Shoulder
In Childs Pose, with your arms out in front of you extend one arm out a little further and lean towards this side and hold.
Bicep and Peck stretch:
Bring one arm out to the side, turning your hand so that your thumb and index finger are supporting you on the floor. Again, lean into the stretch and you will feel this in your bicep and peck.
Back of Shoulder stretch:
Thread your arm under your body, leaning down into the shoulder to create a stretch around the back of your shoulder. This is the area used in the deceleration of your smash and is very important to keep loose!
Badminton Stretching Recommendations
It’s widely researched that to get the benefit out of stretching, you should do each stretch for 30 – 40 seconds. The journal linked below supports this and also delves deeper into the importance of stretching:
In total, our recommended stretches will only take around 10 minutes of stretching at the end of a match or training session.
Trust us, it’s DEFINITELY worth it!
We suggest that you do these stretches daily. If you are feeling extra stiff in a certain area, then repeat that stretch.
On top of stretching, we love using our massage device – and we both use this every day! We’ve discussed the benefits of using this device on our Fitness and Nutrition page. The Amazon link below is to what we believe to be the best value for money device on the market. It’s definitely worth getting one if you play badminton or any sport as a matter of fact!