Badminton requires short bursts of energy for quick movements and changes of direction. For this reason, agility is important to a successful player. To improve agility, badminton players can train themselves into faster reflexes. An agility training program that includes regular drills of fundamental badminton moves can greatly benefit a serious player.
Overall fitness plan
As with any training program, a regular workout schedule is important. A badminton player must diligently train several times a week for the exercises and drills to improve agility. Eating a nutritious diet gives the body enough energy to stand up to the training and game schedules. In addition, badminton players should seek advice from experienced badminton coaches or trainers about how to improve weak areas. In addition, common sense practices such as warming up before each drill or game and never training while injured will also serve to improve capabilities.
Ladder and pattern footwork drills
One of the most valuable categories of drills for fundamental badminton moves is footwork. Regular practice of rapid repetitive foot movement helps a player when she needs to change direction quickly in a game. The badminton player stretches out a rope ladder on the floor or ground then steps between each ladder rung in different patterns as fast as possible. Other footwork drills may include setting up cones in a certain pattern then practicing sidestepping or stepping backward between each cone in the pattern. Endless variations of footwork drills exist.
Plyometrics is a system of training that improves the ability to spring upward or in any direction quickly and explosively. Badminton players benefit from both upper- and lower-body plyometrics exercises. The lower-body plyometrics consist of jumping and springing in various directions. A jump-squat is a good example of a lower-body plyometric exercise. These exercises use gravity and the body’s own weight as resistance. Upper-body plyometrics involve catching then throwing a medicine ball in different ways, such as throwing it one-handed or to the side.
Because of the demands placed on a badminton player’s muscles in the short, quick movements of the game, it is very important that each muscle have sufficient flexibility to avoid injury. Therefore, a regular program of flexibility stretching is in order, especially for the calves, quadriceps, gluteus muscles, thigh adductors and hamstrings. In addition, stretching the triceps, latissumus dorsi, chest muscles and deltoids is also crucial to avoid injury. The badminton player should hold each stretch in proper form between 10 and 30 seconds and stretch just to the point before he feels uncomfortable. He should remember to breathe, not rush the stretches and stop if pain or further tightness develop.
Net drills are specific to badminton in that they focus on a skill needed only in badminton and use badminton equipment. A player stands close to the net while the trainer throws badminton birdies over the net. In this way the player can practice returning shots while in the proximity of the net.