The Badminton Herald

Bringing in badminton news and views to the grass roots..


"I had this intention of sweating out excess fat in exchange for the fun of whacking shuttlecocks in midair. The first time I stepped into a badminton court, I got that... and more! -The Bad Geek 2007


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You don't play badminton to get fit, you get fit to play badminton!


The "ease" of playing badminton is attractive to "I-wanna-be- fit- fast" type of fitness junkies. The slimmer physique may look enticing on seasoned players but this may not be the case among newbie players. Worse, such misplaced attitude predisposes unfits to badminton related injuries if physical conditioning and fitness for badminton is taken lightly.

In a year of playing badminton and acting as a sports physician for mostly less fit players, I saw not a few patients who joined this badminton fitness craze and sustained injuries that are otherwise totally preventable! One extreme case is of an obese newbie who actually fractured his ankle (bimalleolar fracture) during a lunge! He twisted his ankle and the stress loads on his seemingly unconditioned physique forced the ankle to give in!

A recurring pattern of overuse injury and excessive demands on a less conditioned physique is a common finding among these newbie players. Surprisingly, this doesn't seem to stop them from acquiring more self inflicted injuries! I said 'self inflicted' because most injuries are results of over doing and mishandling one's physique while playing! The do-it-yourself type of badminton training also contributes to these 'self-inflicted' injuries.

This famous one liner among sports physicians and seasoned athletes is obviously taken out of context in badminton.

You don't play any sports to get fit, you get fit to play any sports!

From a sports physician's perspective, here is my advice on wannabe fit type of badminton players. Do these before even trying to step into the court!

  1. Have a medical check up to assess your physical fitness capabilities. This is not limited to persons who have illnesses and diseases but to all would be badminton players! The sports physician can actually examine you and give you some specialized conditioning to improve muscle coordination, balance and fitness aside from what you can get from your trainer.

  2. Get a good trainer or coach. Not a player, not your neighbor and definitely not your friend. These guys are poor trainers because of their tendency to be "biased" on their "judgment". Get certified trainers and stick to them. Good trainers starts with the basics, discusses fitness training first and start monitored badminton training and drills before even allowing you to hold a badminton racket.

  3. Get serious about your fitness. Concentrate on physical fitness conditioning and training first rather than whacking off shuttlecocks at first sight. You do not expect to do jump smashes when your leg muscles couldn't even lift your body weight off neutral ground. Or you can't expect to reach that drop shot via a lunge when you can't even run.

  4. Start with off court training and drills . Perform interval training on a graduated, flexible schedule that you can maintain. Monitor your health and training improvement via your trainer. Set goals for every training session.

  5. Get badminton gears and equipment that is right for you. No fancy rackets, shoes or clothes. Grip sizes for example vary and the wrong grip size for you may just start a "tennis elbow" (common term for lateral epicondylitis). Your trainer can help you on this.

  6. Monitor your health condition and fitness. If you feel pain in any part of your body, that is because the body is signaling you that "stress" has already strained that part of your body. There's a fine line between pushing your physique to the limits (so it can be developed) and that of sports related injuries. A well planned, guided and monitored training will definitely increase your chance of avoiding these injuries.

  7. If you sustain any injury, have it checked by your sports physician. Playing with an injury is definitely not a smart way to get fit!

I guess that's all I can sum up for now. These are common advices I gave to my over eager and injured patients. Good articles on badminton injuries and prevention can be read here, here and here. Do these and hopefully, I wouldn't see you in my clinic!

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  1. Abner said...

    nice.. really nice SIR..

    please continue to write like this.

    u inspired me to continue my " My pursuit to my-nearly-impossible-dream "

    and that dream is to represent Phil int the World Stage of Badminton!

  2. jecz_cool said...


  3. Badminton Rules said...

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful and very informative post! Indeed, I agree, If you don't get into badminton get fit to play badminton!:)

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Welcome to The Badminton Herald! Feel free to comment (hopefully in English) so we can all understand in each other. Let me know if I can help you with badminton.