Passive Exercises for Badminton Athletes
There are different types of exercises that badminton players should be doing regularly to help them perform well. Not only can they help to improve your range of motion, mobility, and flexibility, but they can also decrease your risk of sustaining an injury.
Passive exercises are done primarily after a workout as they can help to prevent muscle soreness and fatigue. Whether you are recovering from a current injury or trying to prevent one from occurring, anyone can do passive exercises. Most of them can also be done with little effort on your part as a partner, or a physical therapist can help you to execute them.
Why They Are Important
Badminton is a full-body sport which is something most people do not know. This means that different muscles from your shoulders down to your ankles are being used while you play. This opens the door to several different strains or injuries. One of the easiest ways to prevent injuries is to warm up and cool down your body when playing correctly.
This is where the passive exercises come into play. They enable you to stretch and ensure that your body is ready for the workout that is about to happen or ready to begin healing itself after a workout or game.
The different exercises will target different areas and muscles in your body, allowing each to receive the attention it needs.
Types of Passive Exercises
So, what counts as a passive exercise? How long do they take?
For the most part, passive exercises are relatively quick to complete if you are doing a simple warm-up or cool down. Each one has typically repeated between five and ten times, depending on the exercise and your preference.
Each one can also be completed as a part of the warm-up or cool-down process, or they can be a part of both. It comes down to your body’s needs. We will cover some passive exercises that may be better for a warm-up and then some ideal for a cool down to provide examples of what you can do.
Before playing a game of badminton, some of the muscles you may want to consider warming up are your shoulders, biceps, quadriceps, and gastrocnemius. Especially if you are running low on time, these muscles are put to work during the game or practice.
1. Reach Ups – Your arms begin at chest level, then they are raised as far up as they can go and put back down to their original position. These are typically done between ten to twenty times. They are meant to warm up your shoulders.
2. Mountain Climbers – Designed to activate your core muscles, arms and stretch your Achilles’ tendons. You begin with your hands down on the ground, the leg of your choice forward, with your knee to your chest. The other leg is placed back, and you will quickly switch the leg’s positions. Five to ten of these per leg is ideal for a warm-up.
3. Jumping Jacks – An essential exercise that we have all done before. You begin with your legs close together and hands at your side. You jump outwards with your feet ending up apart and your hands together above your head. Ten to twenty of these are a great way to increase your heart rate before physical activity.
4. Squats – Stand upright with your feet below your hips and begin to lower your body as if you are going to sit down. Go down until you are about to sit, straighten your legs and lift your body back up. This will help your stomach muscles, quadriceps, and glutes.
These are only a handful of the exercises that can help you warm up before a game of badminton. As we mentioned previously, there are different options available for any muscle you are interested in warming up. Especially when it comes to a sport such as a badminton game where your full body is being used, there is no wrong muscle to stretch beforehand.
Cool Down Exercises
The purpose of these exercises is to lower your blood pressure, body temperature, and heart rate back down to a normal rate, as well as allowing the muscles to expel any lactic acid that has built up from your workout—helping to prevent any stiffness or cramps from occurring later on as well.
1. You can include light walking or jogging into this part of your exercise if you find that you have some extra time before playing. It can allow your body to regulate itself while remaining active during the walk or jog.
2. Toe Touches – A simple set of ten of these is more than enough for a cool-down activity. You begin with your feet being shoulder length or so apart, reaching down as far as you can towards your toes. Those who can touch the ground without bending their knees should, but if not, no worries. Just reach as far as you can, count to three, and begin to stretch your body back upwards.
3. Quad Stretches – This one requires a wall or other stationary object to support your balance. You will hold a foot in one hand and begin pulling it back towards your butt while ensuring that your knee is facing downward. Once you pull it back, you will hold it for thirty seconds and switch to your other leg.
Passive exercises are just one type of exercise you can do that will enable your body to stay in tip-top shape. There are also active stretches that you can look into, which provide several benefits as well—finding the right mix of exercises that leave your body feeling prepared for a game and adequately cooled down after is essential to ensuring that you can play it for the long haul.
Next time you are about to play badminton, consider trying out some of these stretches before and after you play and see how your body feels afterward. It should be feeling good and ready to go the following day.