There are benefits common to all sports. You get fitter as you play, and as you need an opponent(s) or a partner there’s a highly social element, which creates commitment to playing and a feel-good factor afterwards. As your game improves, you want to play more and play better, which is when you begin to blend additional training alongside play. But badminton has some exclusive plus points that distinguish it from other sports. On top of the general benefits of badminton, there are some very specific upsides to playing this game.
1. MORE PROPULSIONS THAN OTHER RACKET SPORTS
The net sits 5ft high – one and a half feet above the tennis net, so the path of the shuttlecock has to be higher than those of tennis balls, ping pong balls and squash balls on every return.
Shuttlecocks don’t bounce so you have to keep them airborne while in play which means less time to think and generally higher hit heights, even on underarm returns, than other racket sports.
To sustain that height the game requires more jumps for overhead hits than in other sports.
Jumping is a ballistic move, one that requires short bursts of power. Collectively in the course of the game they give you a HIIT style workout that accesses your energy system in a different way to sports with less leaping. It means you metabolise your energy quickly, making badminton a high-calorie game.
The muscle fibres you use are also different to those for lower level games, and the power you build in the muscles make them leaner, stronger and fitter for purpose than slower, grounded games.
2. SPEEDY SHUTTLECOCK DEVELOPS PHYSICAL AND MENTAL AGILITY
Don’t let the innocent-looking shuttlecock deceive you into believing badminton is an easy game. With a top speed of 201mph you have to be physically swift to reach it and mentally agile to work out where to move to return it and how to hit it to win.
The combined agility of mind and body that results breeds fantastic reflexes in the body and advances the ability to process thoughts and accurately develop a plan of action both on and off court.
3. MORE REACH LEADS TO BETTER BALANCE AND FLEXIBILTY
The higher incidence of overhead hits compared with other sports means the body is in a less stable shape than the grounded and steady returns of other racket sports. When this is experienced repeatedly the body gradually becomes accustomed to being extended while moving.
Over time this improves balance as the core muscles rise to a new challenge during play.
Additionally the extension of the body and elevation of the arm are great for flexibility too. So, while many sports tighten muscles, badminton helps to lengthen them.
Together this means better posture, improved balance and advanced flexiblilty – all key components for a healthy lifestyle.