The Best Warm Up Exercise Routine For Playing Badminton

by | Apr 11, 2020 | Exercise Guides | 1 comment

Badminton warm up and warm down exercises are very important. Not doing this can:

  • Make you more likely to sustain an injury.
  • Slow down your recovery time from playing sessions.
  • Leave you not as sharp and ready in the first part of your playing session.
  • Make muscles and bone joints stiffer.

I used to not do warm up and warm down exercises as I thought they were unnecessary. I discovered however that I was slow in recovering from playing sessions and that I was more prone to injury.

When I played in matches, I found I got off to slow starts as my opponents were more warmed up than I was.  

Warming up and warming down for badminton compromises three parts: performing light exercises to warm up, hitting the shuttlecock in a controlled, steady manner while gradually building up the pace and intensity and after your playing session doing stretching exercises so your bone joints and muscles do not become stiff.

I now try to do this routine when playing:

Warm Up

  1. Neck circles.
  2. Shoulder circles.
  3. Hip circles.
  4. Running high knees.
  5. Wrist circles.
  6. Light jogging.
  7. Warming up on the court hitting the shuttlecock.
  8. Your normal badminton playing session.

Warm Down (Stretching)

  1. Neck stretch.
  2. Shoulder stretch.
  3. Lateral stretch.
  4. Back stretch.
  5. Standing hamstring stretch.
  6. Seated hamstring stretch.
  7. Standing quad stretch.
  8. Front quad stretch.
  9. Standing calf stretch.
  10. Wrist stretch.

1. Neck Circles

  • Tuck your chin into your chest and rotate your head around in a circular direction.
  • Do this both clockwise and anti-clockwise.

2. Shoulder Circles

  • Bring your arms out from their sides and make circular motions simultaneously on both sides.
  • Start off with small circles and make them bigger and bigger.
  • Do this both clockwise and anti-clockwise.

3. Hip Circles

  • Put your hands on your hips and keep your feet hip width apart.
  • Rotate your hips in a circular motion.
  • Do this both clockwise and anti-clockwise.

4. High Knees

  • Raise your knees into the air at about hip height.
  • If you can raise your knees higher, do so.
  • Perform this for about 15 to 20 seconds.

5. Wrist Circles

  • Using both wrists rotate them in a circular motion both clockwise and anti-clockwise.
  • Perform this for about 20 seconds.

6. Light Jogging

  • Do one circuit of the sports hall/playing venue, jogging very lightly.
  • Do another circuit, upping the pace by about 25 per cent, using bigger strides.

Warming up with the Racket and Shuttlecock

Now that you have warmed up properly, you may step onto the badminton court. Most players rush onto the court and try to hit the shuttle as hard as they can straightaway.

This is a bad idea. It is better to hit slowly and steadily first and then gradually build up the pace. It is best to find half a court with your partner and to do the following in this order for about one minute on each type of shot/routine:

1. Drives and pushes. Perform a drive and push shot rally. This does not need to be high intensity.

2. Drop shot, net shot and lift routine. One player hits a lift, the other player responds with a drop shot, the player who hit the initial lift then comes in and hits a net shot and the other player then hits a lift shot, as at the start of the routine. Keep repeating this routine.

3. Clears. Hit slow, defensive clears and then build up to faster, attacking clears.

4. Smash, net shot and lift routine. As Number 5, but employing smashes instead of drop shots. The smashes do need to be full power.

5. Net shots. Practice a net shot rally.

6. Serves. Practice your serving. You have now.

7. You have now finished your warm up routine with the shuttlecock- this should have not taken more than five minutes to do. Begin your normal playing session.

Warm Down Stretches

After you have finished your playing session it now time to do some warm down stretches. This should make your muscles and bone joints less stiff and increase the recovery time from a playing session.

The Neck

The neck is used a lot in badminton. You have to look upwards for the shuttlecock and you need to get low when lunging in.

  1. The Neck Stretch
  • Keeping your head straight, tilt your head to the right towards your shoulder.
  • When you start feeling the pressure on your neck, move your right hand onto the left side of your face so you can hold your neck in its position.
  • Repeat the exercise in the other direction.
  • Next, tilt your head forwards, bringing your chin towards your chest and then relax.
  • Finally, bring your head back and look up at the ceiling, with the back of your head touching your back.

The Shoulders

The shoulders are a key component in playing badminton. They are used most heavily when playing overhead shots such as clears, smashes and drop shots.

2. The Shoulder Stretch

  • Place your right elbow into the crick of your left arm, keeping your right arm stretched out straight.
  • Now gently lift your left arm upwards until you feel the pressure in your right shoulder.
  • Hold this position for 10 to 20 seconds.
  • Repeat the exercise, placing your left elbow into the crick of your right arm.   

The Back

The back is used in virtually every shot when playing badminton, from playing overhead shots to lunging in, to even picking up the shuttlecock. From all this exertion players can develop back injuries.

3. Lateral Stretch

  • Place your right arm behind your head with your elbow bent and your hand touching the top of your back.
  • Using your left hand pull your elbow back until you feel the stretch.
  • Do this now on the left side of your body.
  • Do this for up to 20 seconds each side.

4. Back Stretch

  • Have your feet hip width apart. Keep them flat on the floor.
  • Bring your hands above your head and clasp them together.
  • Keeping your arms straight and your hands still clasped bend your body to right-hand side.
  • Hold this position for about 10 seconds.
  • Now do this but to the left-hand side.

The Hamstrings

The hamstrings are located at the back of your upper legs. As badminton involves a lot of quick, sudden movements and stop-starts, the hamstrings can suffer a lot of impact.

5. Standing Hamstring Stretch

  • Keeping your feet shoulder width apart, lean down and try to touch your toes.
  • You will know that you are doing it correctly when you feel the pressure on your hamstring.
  • After doing this shake your legs and repeat the stretch.
  • Hold each stretch for 10 seconds.
I’m not very flexible!

6. Seated Hamstring Stretch

  • Sit on the floor with your legs fully straight out in front of you and keep your legs together. 
  • Keeping your lower half as still as possible, lean forwards and try to touch your feet. 

The Quadriceps

Located at the front of your thigh and comprising four muscles, the quads are as important to playing badminton as the hamstrings.

7. The Standing Quad Stretch

  • Lift your right foot behind your bum and use your right hand to hold your foot there, whilst keeping your weight on your left leg.  
  • Gently hold your foot up so you feel pressure on your quadriceps.
  • If you are losing balance then use a piece of furniture, a wall etc to lean on.
  • Hold this position for about 20 seconds.
  • Repeat the exercise on the other leg.

8. The Front Quad Stretch

  • Bring your right knee up to around waist/stomach height.
  • Intertwine your hands around your knee, holding the knee in the position. 
  • You should feel a strain on your right quadricep. If you don’t you need to bring the knee up higher.
  • Repeat the exercise on your left knee.
  • Hold both sides for about 20 seconds each.

The Calf Muscles

The calf muscles are located at the back of the lower part of your legs. The calves are used a great deal in badminton when you have to switch direction frequently and make a lot of quick movements.

9. The Standing Calf Stretch

  • Stand about a foot away from a wall.
  • Press your hands into the wall at about chest height.
  • Move your right foot back and then push into wall and bend your left knee.
  • Keep your left foot pressed into the floor.
  • You should feel your right calf stretching.
  • Now do this with left foot moved back and your right foot pressed into the floor.
  • Hold each stretch for about 10 to 20 seconds.

10 The Wrist Stretch

  • Bring your racket arm straight out in front of you and pretend that the palm of your hand is touching a wall.
  • Now use your other hand to pull your hand back so you feel your wrist stretch.
  • Then tuck your racket arm’s elbow into your chest so that the palm of your hand is facing upwards.
  • Use your other hand to pull on the back of the hand so it is coming towards you. You should feel your racket arm’s wrist stretch.
  • Do both of these wrist stretches for 10 to 20 seconds.


Now that you have followed this step by step guide you should notice the benefits. You will be less injury prone, sharper as you start to play and you will feel more supple.

I hope this article helps you!


1 Comment

  1. Gerard

    Very useful, thank you!


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