Badminton is an extremely demanding sport. At an elite level, players are often required to perform at their limits of speed, agility, flexibility, endurance and strength. On top of all of this, players must maintain a high state of concentration in order to meet the tactical / mental demands of dealing with their opponents. The varied potential stresses of competitive play are considerable. It is therefore essential that everyone involved with the modern game ought to be familiar with the fitness (physiological) requirements of the game and how ‘Badminton fitness’ can be enhanced.
Badminton is a highly complex sport and this presents great challenges for players and coaches of all levels. An individual rally is a series of demanding movements performed using a movement pattern which is unique compared with any other sport. Rally length is often short (average for elite players is around 6 – 8 seconds) and, consequently, performed at very high intensity. However, players must also be prepared for long rallies. Rallies are interspersed with short rest periods (typical duration around 15 seconds) which allow partial recovery from the previous rally. However, competitive matches may last at least 45 minutes. So, badminton is a combination of speed (anaerobic fitness) in rallies and endurance (aerobic fitness) to allow sustained efforts and to promote recovery between rallies. Great strength, power, agility and flexibility are also required. All of these fitness components should form part of a player’s fitness training. Additionally, the development of tactical and technical elements is, of course, also vital. With all of these types of training, an understanding of the principles of fitness training from a general point of view is essential.