Badminton Tips for Injury Prevention and the Backhand Technique

Zhao Jianhua & Xiao Jie Badminton Training - Episode 29 (Mandarin with Chinese & English Subtitles)
Hosted by Former Badminton World Champion Zhao Jianhua & Badminton Coach Xiao Jie

In this second to last episode of the Complete Badminton Training video series, Coaches Zhao Jianhua and Xiao Jie team up to discuss injury prevention, badminton physical fitness, and a topic that has come up throughout this series; how to improve the backhand skill.

Common Badminton Injuries

Like any competitive sport, the risk of injury is always present. Although badminton is one of the safest sports to play, we should be aware that injuries can still happen at any time. Fortunately, most of the injuries common to badminton are preventable by practicing good habits. The first thing we need to do is understand the causes of these injuries. The following badminton injuries can be summarized by two causes; overuse and incorrect movement:

The obvious solution to overuse injuries is simply to not over-train or over-play pass one's limits. However, proper badminton warm up exercises and post-game relaxation can also help. Injury due to incorrect movement is a matter of technique or the lack thereof. Badminton footwork training would be an essential basic for injury prevention.

Many players simply pick up their badminton racket and start playing with no warm up. They may think that they are in good physical shape and may not feel like they need to warm up, but this certainly puts them at a higher risk of getting hurt. With tense, stiff, or cold muscles, a single explosive badminton motion can result in injury.

Coach Zhao Jianhua recommends doing targeted badminton warm ups; warm ups that specifically focus on the joints and tendons where most movements occur in badminton. In addition, start by playing lightly rather than jumping and sprinting at 100%. Coach Xiao Jie also adds that after playing, it is important to take some time to cool down and to let the muscles relax. This is very important because it will affect your performance the next time you play. You should also take the time to gently stretch all of the muscles you used during the game.

Badminton Backhand Technique

Throughout this series, the question that have been asked the most is how to improve the power of the badminton backhand technique. Coach Zhao Jianhua notes that many coaches encourage players to not play the backhand shot, because it is an inherently dangerous shot. If possible, always use a overhead forehand shot and use the backhand only when under pressure.

Amateur players are always eager to ask how to clear to the back line with backhand or how to perform a backhand smash. Coach Zhao Jianhua thinks that they are too rushed. For every sport and skill there is a natural progression. Beginners should not be worrying about how to use the backhand to get the shuttle to the backcourt. Instead, new players should work on getting the correct form for the badminton backhand stroke before working on power. Good form will ensure that while they may not get very much power, at least they will not expend a great deal of energy. Also, they can work on backhand drops which are very effective.

For training, players can practice the badminton backhand technique with a racket but without hitting a shuttle. Then, they can practice hitting an easily fed shuttle to get a feel for where the racket should contact the shuttle. The next step of this progression would be to move back and forth between frontcourt and backcourt, hitting only backhands. This would help with footwork as well as the stroke. This will lead to the player being able to cover the entire court and be comfortable with the backhand.

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