For a long period we were unsure if we were doing the right weight training for badminton. Now, after many years of experience working with the best in the field, we have a complete understanding as to what exercises will maximise on-court performance.
Badminton-specific weights training can help to improve strength, speed, and muscular endurance and minimises the risk of injury. Exercises to improve your badminton should target the main muscle groups, including shoulders, core, glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves.
Weights training is a key component to badminton training, significantly helping to improve your game no matter if you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced player. Here are 4 main benefits of badminton-specific weights training:
“I need to have huge muscles to hit the shuttle hard”.
This is incorrect as you still need to have good flexibility, ability to move your muscles quickly and muscular endurance – not to mention good technique and timing!
If you just work on getting big biceps in the hope of getting a bigger smash then this could actually hinder the outcome. There will be a point of trade-off where the bigger muscles you get, the less easily and efficiently you will be able to move around the court.
Everybody wants to improve their smash power and this can be helped by weights training. However, it’s more complex than just doing some bicep curls or bench press. Smash power comes from multiple components: core and oblique strength, rotational power, shoulder strength, and leg power. These many different components is why weights training is so specific for badminton players.
We don’t do lots of heavy upper body lifting being badminton players, but badminton is such a great sport as it doesn’t discriminate too much in shape and size. Players with bigger arms can use their brute strength to generate power in their smash whereas players with skinnier arms can often generate the same power by having great timing, flexibility in their shoulders and the ability to generate a fast swing speed.
We have both been doing weights training with the sole purpose of improving our badminton for around 10 years now. We have worked with numerous Strength and Conditioning coaches both at Loughborough University and at the National Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes. During this time we have spent lots of time adapting our programmes to achieve maximum results on the court.
Weights training should have different aims depending on what exactly you want to achieve. Typically, if you are trying to improve your raw strength and power you would lift heavier weights and do shorter sets. If you are trying to improve your strength endurance then you would lift lighter weights and do longer sets and repetitions.
Generally there are different programs to help you build a fundamental base level of strength. You would then go through a volume stage and heavier lifting stage before tapering towards the end of a cycle and towards targeted tournaments or matches.
All of the exercises we do target the main movements performed on a badminton court. They help to build strength and power in these areas as well as ‘bulletproof’ muscles used constantly in the game. Badminton is a brutal sport on the body and can cause many injuries if you fail to look after your body well enough.
This is just a brief introduction into what is a fascinating process whereby you can transform your body to improve your badminton game.
Badminton requires a lot of lunges, so this exercise is great for improving the strength of your lunge and glutes.
Doing this exercise with a barbell as opposed to dumbbells means that you have to engage your core more, like you do in badminton.
A key focus area is to ensure that your knee does not collapse as you lunge – you should keep it aligned with your front foot. You should power out of the lunge explosively, helping to create quick movement habits.
There are 2 variations of medicine ball slams we would recommend.
Overhead slams mean you have to use your shoulders and core to generate to the ‘slam’, which helps us to generate power on-court.
The side slams creates rotational power, which is essential for getting a bigger smash! You should keep your hips facing forward and rotate your core and shoulders to generate the rotational speed and power.
This exercise targets the main muscle groups and joints that are used all of the time in badminton. It mainly focuses on strengthening the posterior chain and stabilising your body with your core.
You should use your leg and glute power to step up onto the box, driving your hips forward. Use this momentum to press the weight above your head with the opposite arm you have stepped onto the box with.
For this exercise, you must use the back of your shoulder to pull the weight up, not your bicep or tricep.
This strengthens the back of your shoulder which is used in the deceleration of your overhead shots and backhand.
You can also find 5 more badminton-specific exercises in the video here!
Because we believe that weights training is such an important part of badminton that many people don’t have access to, we have created a downloadable PDF with 12 complete weights programmes including over 100 different exercises!
These programmes are designed specifically for badminton players by experts in the field to help you improve your on-court strength, speed, explosive power, endurance and minimise the risk of injuries. These are the same programmes we are doing every week!
Each set of programmes contains 4 programmes designed to improve a specific area of your badminton:
You will also have video and written demonstrations for each exercise, along with both a printable and online tracker to track your progress. Find out more or buy now below:
If you’ve enjoyed this article or have any questions then please leave a comment below!