There are many great exercises in the badminton world. With so many options out there and perhaps limited time to do them all, what’s the number one badminton exercise to do? In my experience, the best badminton exercise is the bodyweight squat. This exercise saved me from knee pain, improved my mobility, increased my muscle endurance, made my legs stronger, and improved my game.
The Bodyweight Squat Is The Best Badminton Exercise
I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know of the bodyweight squat. I mean, it is a staple exercise in the fitness industry.
However, I never truly knew its benefits until later, when I became desperate as nothing seemed to be able to fix my knees. I started performing around one hundred a day, and my body seemed to fix itself. I immediately knew this exercise was special.
The full range of motion bodyweight squat provides numerous benefits but also takes less time to complete. For me, doing around one hundred bodyweight squats would take around fifteen minutes, including time between sets. Therefore, this exercise is preferred as you can perform it when you’re too busy to go to the gym for a full-leg workout.
Bodyweight Squat Mistakes
The bodyweight squat is straightforward to perform, but you must be careful of mistakes that could significantly hurt your gains from this exercise.
Not Going Your Full Range Of Motion
Going your full range of motion is likely the most important part of the bodyweight squat as it trains the muscles the regular squat targets and strengthens the knee. Generally, athletes should be strong enough to squat through a full range of motion (unless injured), but if you can’t, you must start by strengthening your glutes and quadriceps.
Feet Too Narrow Or Wide
Squats are exercises where you don’t need to confine to a certain form. You might not do a squat the same way someone else does, particularly regarding the width of your stance. Everyone’s hip bone structure differs slightly. This makes squatting at certain widths more difficult for certain people than others. Make sure to experiment with different squat widths to see what feels the most natural.
Knees Bending In Different Directions From Your Toes
One myth about squatting is that you shouldn’t let your knees go past your toes when you squat because of knee injuries. In reality, it’s fine to let your knees bend past your toes, and often it’s something that will help strengthen your knees if you’re only doing bodyweight squats.
Whatever you do, just don’t let your knees bend in a different direction from where your toes are facing. Bending in different directions is an action that will put extra unnecessary stress on your knees.
Other Variations Of The Bodyweight Squat
The Lunge/Split Squats
There are other variations of the bodyweight squat that you can do, such as the lunge.
I would say the lunge is equally as good, but it may require more time to perform, may be more physically demanding, and you must be mindful of training both sides equally. However, I recommend performing both the lunge and squat if you have the time.
This way, you are training a motion utilized in badminton a lot (the lunge) and improving mobility and muscular endurance with the bodyweight squat.
Split squats are another type of squat similar to the lunge. The difference is that instead of keeping both feet on the ground, you want to raise one leg in a split squat like in the picture below.
Squats With Heel-Toe Steps
Another great bodyweight squat exercise for badminton is squats with heel-toe steps. I’m going to be honest with you, I made up the name as I couldn’t find any proper name for this squat.
To do this squat, start with a normal bodyweight squat and as you get up, quickly turn towards your right side with your right heel on the ground and toe lifted and your left foot doing the opposite. Then do a normal squat again and do the opposite with your left side.
The the first 7 seconds in this video of Chen Long below is a perfect example of how to do this squat exercise:
Squat jumps are another great bodyweight squat exercise because they develop the muscles and movements that are heavily used in badminton. To do the squat jump, start with a normal bodyweight squat, and instead of slowly going up, quickly explode from the ground into a jump.
The #1 Best Badminton Exercise
The bodyweight squat is the number one best badminton exercise because it trains the most-used muscles for badminton and is something you can do anytime, anywhere.
Be mindful of how your body feels, and respect it. If it is just sore, you can push harder. However, if you have sharp pain, whether it may be in the muscles or the joints, then it is in your best interest to stop the exercise and consult an expert. I recommend the bodyweight squat because it is easy to perform and benefits the health of your joints and muscles.
Stay safe, train hard, and remember, discipline is key.