Recently, my friend had a fall while playing badminton, and he was laid up in bed for 3 weeks with an ankle injury. He had lost his balance while doing a jump smash. Badminton is usually a safe sport, but if you do not have good balance, injuries can happen.
Balance is essential to badminton as you need to twist, lunge, jump, and change directions many times during a typical game. All this requires balance, as well as good footwork so that you can move quickly and place the birdie accurately. Being balanced, also, helps you move faster on the court and reduce your risk of injury.
Here is a closer look at the importance of balance and how to improve it while playing badminton.
Factors that Determine your Balance while Playing Badminton
There are mainly two aspects to good body balance while playing badminton. These are the primary factors determining our balance during any game. The first one is the center of gravity of the body, and the proper use of the non-racket arm. Let’s examine these factors in a bit more detail:
Center of gravity
As you may have noticed, lowering your center of gravity can increase body balance. For example, if you stand with your feet set farther apart, your balance increases. If you observe sumo wrestlers, they initially take on a posture where they are standing with feet wide apart and body lowered. This helps them lower their center of gravity, and as a result, they become practically unmovable. This, also, applies to badminton; your strength and power come from your stance
Non-racket arm movements
Another secret to better balance is to know how to use your non-racket arm. The extension and contraction of the non-racket arm help to balance the body when the hitting arm is being used
You will notice that while you swing your racquet for a shot, your non-racket arm may naturally extend upwards. This is, in fact, a common mechanism to balance the body when you play badminton. Most people do this unconsciously. But it is important to be aware of it, and deliberately practice it to improve your balance while on the badminton court. You will find that it not only increases your stability but also greatly enhances your game as well.
How to Keep your Balance while Playing Badminton.
1. Receiving shots
2. Doing a jump smash
3. Doing lunges
4. Doing a smash
5. Doing a backhand shot
Backhand shots are tricky, especially while hitting them on the run. This shot requires you to pull back your arm and twist the wrist so that the racquet is turned for hitting the shuttle.
6. How to master the swing
Tips to Improve your Body Balance in Badminton
1. Follow proper technique
It is necessary that you follow proper technique while playing. This, combined with correct footwork, will ensure that you keep adequate body balance. If you are a self-taught player, then you may be suffering from poor form and technique that you developed due to improper training.
2. Strengthen the leg muscles
Since most of the intense movements in badminton rely a great deal on the legs, it is wise to focus on strengthening the leg muscles. Weight training can do wonders in increasing balance as the legs become stronger. The muscles of the calves, thighs, and feet need some extra focus, as they have an important role during intense movements.
Also, exercises such as squats, lunges, cycling, among others can help you strengthen your legs.
3. Become conscious of your body’s center of gravity
4. Always return to the middle of the court
Although for some, this might be obvious, for others, not so much. After you hit the shuttle, remind yourself to return to the center of the court. This will ensure that you are ready for the next shot, as it is easier and efficient to move to any place from the center of the court.
Otherwise, if you stay at the place where your opponent hit the shuttle, then you will probably have to do more running to reach the next shots. It’ll be, especially, difficult to reach the shuttle if it lands in the corners.
5. Let your shoulder and wrists do more work
6. Consider doing Tai chi or Yoga
Tai chi is, essentially, a Chinese art which people of all ages can do. This discipline uses simple flowing movements along with breathing techniques. On the other hand, Yoga is more about stationary postures and breathing exercises. In overall, both of these disciplines can help you improve your physical balance, as well as mental focus.
Finally, it is just a sport… so relax! Some people see everything as a competition and about proving oneself. However, It doesn’t need to be always like this! So, relax and enjoy the game! Being less hurried will make your movements smoother and give you better balance.