It’s been cold in Sydney lately. On the way to badminton my car’s thermometer read 13C (about 57F) and I was wearing shorts. My hands were cold and my joints felt stiff.
Warming up helps loosen up and prepare target muscles for strenuous repetitive movements, but it’s hard to remember when you’re eager to get on court. As I sped up hearing the familiar sound of shuttles, I said “Hang on, you need to make sure that your body is ready”.
According to my coach, some of the best warm up routines are:
Do a small jog – My coach encouraged us to do a simple jog first thing, three courts long and back. Do this a few times.
High Knees – Try to bring your knees as high as you can, up to your chest. You can also choose to bend your arms and place your hands in front of you and try to raise your knees to touch them.
Heel Flicks – Try to kick your bum with your heels. If this seems too hard, you can hold your hands behind you and try to touch your hand with your heels.
Rotate your ankles & wrist – loosen up your ankles by putting the tip of your foot on the ground and rotating your ankle. Repeat this for the other foot. Also, rotate your wrists in a circular motion to loosen them up as well.
Rotate your playing shoulder – draw a few big circles with the full circumference of your arm. Another good stretch is to hold your arms back behind you while keeping your arms straight and squeeze the shoulder blades together, then bring them forward and wrap them around your body (it looks like you’re hugging yourself).
These activities don’t take long and you benefit by reducing your risk of injury. You can customise your warm up routine so that you’re properly prepared before you hit. If you want to know more about warming up for a comp, there’s a great comprehensive guide at iSport. Read more.