Gyms and Fitness Clubs

Badminton can be a great way to burn calories while using a full range of motion.

Badminton is an energetic and fast-paced sport that is often enjoyed as a spring and summer afternoon pastime, although when played professionally or with a badminton league it's only played indoors. Wildly popular in England, badminton is enjoyed by a wide range of ages and provides a good workout; a 150lb person burns 476 calories in one hour of very competitive badminton play and 306 in one hour of more leisurely badminton play. The shuttlecock (sometimes casually referred to as a birdie) is designed to move slowly through the air thanks to a drag-promoting attachment; this makes badminton a relatively easy sport to acquire skill in. Whether played in singles or doubles, badminton is primarily an aerobic workout that also requires the badminton player to utilize their full range of motion with sudden jumps, swipes, and lunges to hit the shuttlecock over the 5-foot-high badminton net.

Strengthening Your Wrists to Prevent Injury from playing Badminton

Much importance is placed on the badminton player's wrists, as they are the main component responsible for directing the shuttlecock not just over the badminton net, but in a strategic location on the other side of the badminton court. In order to prevent unnecessary straining of the badminton player's wrists and improve strength, simple exercises may be done. Simple lifting of the badminton racket by flexing your wrists is simple, effective, and can be done anywhere. A lightweight dumbbell lifted in the same manner is good for increasing strength. Badminton players can also tie a rope with a weight attached to a thick wooden dowel (around the same circumference as a badminton racket) and practice rolling the weight up and down while standing with their arm extended in front of them (this will strengthen the hand and forearm as well). Since the wrists are sensitive and are prone to straining, especially in badminton novices, do wrist exercises only in moderation. Remember: even if your wrists don't feel tired at the time, you may easily injure them and not feel it until later. If soreness is experienced after a badminton game, soaking the wrists and hands in warm water with epsom salt will provide some relief.

Choosing a Badminton Racket Based on Your Skill Level

Every badminton player should have their own badminton racket that's suited for their specific needs and skill level. When it comes time to make your selection, remember that in the case of a badminton racket, there is a difference in quality between the cheap and expensive, but that doesn't mean people should automatically purchase the most expensive badminton racket they can find. The most expensive badminton rackets are designed more for the advanced player with fine-tuned skills than for the beginner or even intermediary badminton player; therefore buying the most expensive badminton racket will not in and of itself improve a player's game. Aside from a select few advanced players, most people need a badminton racket with low string tension; this allows the athlete to maintain more control over where the shuttlecock goes. The grip of a badminton racket should also be taken into consideration. While you must find a grip you're comfortable with, consider that thicker grips serve to provide stability whereas thinner grips are useful in quick and agile plays. Finally, the overall balance of a badminton racket must be considered. Generally, beginners should start with a heavy badminton racket, which gives more power, stability, and a sense of better control. Once a player is developed, they may want to use a racket with evenly distributed weight (heavy rackets have more weight on the head), which are easily manipulated and useful in speedy plays.

Purchasing a Pair of Badminton Shoes

Badminton shoes are of the utmost importance when it comes to purchasing badminton equipment. Since your badminton court will be inside on a hardwood floor, your feet are put under extra stress and must be maintained. While badminton shoes are a very important element to an athlete's overall game, there are only a few simple rules to follow when buying a pair. First, make sure the sole is relatively thin (as opposed to the thick sole of a runner), not black so as not to leave marks, and made out of a very gummy material to provide the best traction and control. Secondly, only wear your badminton shoes when playing badminton. If you have a low arch, your badminton shoes should provide extra support; high arches require extra cushioning. Finally, when you go shopping for your badminton shoes, make sure it's later in the afternoon after you've been up and around for a long time. This is when your feet are at their widest and you are able to get the most accurate size. Remember to leave one inch between the end of your toe and the end of the shoe to provide for athletic socks and prevent uncomfortable squishing.