Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Badminton For Beginners

game of badminton
Badminton for beginners can be explained in many different forms. However for the person who is very unfamiliar with the game of badminton it can be compared to several different sports that may help to explain the idea and benefits of the game of badminton.

Badminton is much like tennis in that it can be played with teams of two (two people on each opposing team) or as a singles game where one person plays against another single person. Both of these sports including other sports such as Squash, Racket Ball and Ping Pong use a type of racket (in Ping Pong a paddle). However the differences between badminton and these various racket sports are many.

Different from tennis, badminton uses a shuttlecock, otherwise known as a shuttle or birdie and the shuttle is not allowed to hit the ground as in tennis. Squash is another racket sport that is played with two players but differs in several ways from badminton.

In the game of squash two opposing players take turns hitting a rubbery ball against a wall. The rackets are shorter at the handle and have a larger target area or “sweet spot”. Each player hits the ball against the wall, usually quite violently and their opponent is supposed to return the ball to the wall by hitting it themselves.

In the game of squash there are similarities as well, when the opponent misses the ball and does not hit it back to the wall the other player scores a point. In squash the ball is allowed to hit the floor once much like tennis. If the ball bounces on the ground more than once a point is given to the opposing team.

Much like badminton there are deceptive shots in both tennis and squash and both sports use the same types of strikes. The strikes will include different variations of backhand, forehand and around the head shots.

Ping pong is much like a miniature tennis game that is played on a table. It can be considered to be like badminton and other racket sports as the goal is to score points by ensuring that your competitor does not get the proper chance to hit the hollow plastic ball back to your end of the court.

The ping pong table looks much like a small version of a badminton or tennis court and is raised to waist level with a small 6 inch net stretching across the middle. The players must hit the ball across the net, it is allowed to bounce once and then needs to be returned to the opposer by way of hitting it with a paddle.

All of these sports have the same general idea which is to score a point on your opponent by creating sufficient doubt or hesitation causing them to miss the shot available. There are deceptive shots and similarities in the types of swing in all these games when compared to badminton.

The main differences will be the subtle differences in the equipment and scoring systems. They are all great games but badminton is one of the most exciting in my book.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Badminton Exercises

badminton game

Badminton is a sport that requires a great deal of stamina and physical fitness to endure and become a great player. For this reason alone badminton exercises are a great way to keep yourself in top physical condition to achieve the best play you possibly can.

The range of exercises that you can do for the sport of badminton is really quite endless. These can range from simple or complex cardiovascular work to ensure you tire more slowly to strength training to improve your shot skills and power.

Some of the exercises that will be most beneficial to your game will include a good general conditioning routine, weight lifting and perfection in racket skill and technique. When you can round your work outs well to fit in all these exercises your game will not only improve but it will keep you in great physical condition.

General conditioning is going to seem like a mundane part of your workouts but remember that it is essential. If you are not keeping yourself fit with a good conditioning routine then you will not only be slower on your feet, you will tire faster and be less mentally clear in high pressure situations and games.

Conditioning your body for badminton really requires several things. Any type of conditioning should include a nutritious and well rounded diet. Foods that are high in carbohydrates and protein will benefit you with more energy to burn as long as you are adequately exercising to burn the extra calories that accompany the carbohydrates you are eating. High protein will benefit the production of healthy muscle building which will improve your strength and power behind your strikes.

Aside from diet a great conditioning routine for badminton in particular should include running, stretching and strength training. Stretching should be done before every work out because it will get your muscles ready for the conditioning that you are about to take part in. The effects of stretching will active all the muscle fibers waking them up to build and exercise them properly for the best results.

Stretches that should be done before your work outs should include all muscle groups that you will be working. If you are doing upper body conditioning you must stretch your back, shoulders, arms, neck, stomach and groin. Your groin is not going to be a part of an upper body workout but because so much of the weight and impact of many exercises falls here you should always stretch your groin to prevent injury.

Running is going to build your leg muscle, stamina and breathing. It will also adequately burn extra calories you would otherwise store as fat if they are not used up. Running can take place on a tread mill or in the open outdoors. The key is to change your routine so that you are using all your muscles to capacity.

If you are running out doors you will automatically be doing this as you traverse hills, both up hill and down hill and rougher paths and trails. If you are more accustomed or more comfortable using a treadmill you should select a random pattern or a hill to ensure the proper exercise for all your leg muscles.

The strength training in a conditioning regimen for badminton should include exercises that will improve the full range of motion for your arms and legs. This is usually best accomplished with a cardiovascular weight training circuit. A good strength training circuit for badminton will include resistant sidestepping, crouching medicine ball jumps and medicine ball lunges.

Resistant sidestepping is easiest done with a partner. The assistant will hold on to the runner or side stepper with enough strength to create resistance as they sidestep along the full length of the court and back again.

Crouching medicine ball jumps are performed much like jumping jacks only replace the swinging motion of the arms overhead with holding a weighted medicine ball. The player will start in a crouched or bent jumping position (knees bent, hands between the knees holding the medicine ball or other sufficient weight, and upper body at a 90 degree angle from the waist forward) as the person jumps vertically in one spot the medicine ball is thrust above the head.

As the person returns to the floor the knees are bent again and the medicine ball is brought back down between the knees. As you execute this exercise it is important to keep control of your full range of motions because the control you use is what will condition your bodies muscles. Perform 10 of these and then move to the medicine ball lunges.

Medicine ball lunges can be done with a medicine ball or a single weight. The idea is to hold the medicine ball or wight directly in front of you as you take your lunge. Bring your knee as close to the ground as possible without touching it to the ground, here you will stop and turn at the waist away from the leg you are lunging with.

For instance if you put your right leg forward to lunge, as you hold the lunge you will rotate your upper body to the left from the waist using the full flow of motion bring your upper body back so your arms are extended straight in front of you again, return to standing position and then lunge with your left leg. As you hold the lunge you will rotate your upper body to the right and back again. Do this for a full court and back again.

All three of these exercises put into a circuit means you will move from each one without a break. After you have preformed all three exercises in the circuit you will take a one minute break and then repeat the circuit for a total of three full circuits. This strength training circuit, once you have learned it, should take you approximately 30 minutes to complete making it a quick and thorough workout that accommodates all major muscle groups you must tone and use in the sport of badminton.

Finally racket skill and technique are an essential part exercises you will do to improve your badminton game. Racket skill and technique are best practiced either in play with a partner, however you can hone your skills through general swinging and striking practice motions. Part of improving your badminton skills will be to fully accomplish the backhand serve and forehand serve which can be practiced with a racket and shuttle cock, a net is helpful but not necessary.

Other strikes and swings you will almost definitely need a partner for especially when practicing forehand and backhand overhead, defensive strikes, drop shots and jump shots. Even though a partner is essential these should be practiced regularly to ensure your technique and skill are developed and improved.