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  1. #1
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    Cool A little dilemma here ...

    Hi all!

    First: My question is: Do I go for the NanoRay 20, NanoRay 60, Arcsaber 002 or Arcsaber 003 ? (BTW, I am a Yonex fan)

    And for my dilemma, please read on. Warning: Long post!

    A little background about myself:
    • I was an intermediate player in my "younger" days
    • Restarted playing the game regularly over 1 1/2 months ago
      • Physically fine playing doubles. >4x 21-point games per session.
      • Singles ... I can play a 21-point game, but not a full match (yet).
      • Skills are "still there", but error prone.
      • Footwork is still a mess, but working on it.
      • All-rounder playing style (smash, drops, netplay, etc). Deception is one of my better skills.
    • Noted some "pain" on my shoulder (deltoid) & arm (biceps brachii) muscles in the last 3 sessions
    In my last 2 sessions, I did some experiments and noted the following:
    • During competitive games, when I play at my "normal swing & technique", my shoulder & arm feels fine.
    • It is during the games with "lower-level" friends & family in the last 3 sessions, when I play at a slower & more relaxed swing, that my shoulder & arm develop these pains.
    • Once I develop these pains, going back to my "normal swing & technique" does help a bit, but the pain is there.
    • There is no pain the day after the badminton session (I do proper warm-ups + stretching & cool-downs + stretching)
    I am currently using a headlight & stiff racquet (Prince Whiplite 900, the one with the Y-Frame) with BG66 @ 20lbs (Yup, that's "only" 20lbs). I am guessing that my slower & relaxed swing = the racquet "doesn't agree" with my shoulder muscles.

    So here I am looking to experiement further by buying a racquet.

    Thanks for reading. And thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Regular Member gundamzaku's Avatar
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    i think whether you are playing competitively or just chilling on the court your form should be the same just that the speed is a little slower while you're "chilling". in this case i believe it's not the racket that's the problem.

    i would suggest you demo rackets first before purchase but if there's no way to do that, maybe try a different balance racket than the one you have, borrow it from a friend and play for a few sessions and see if it helps.

  3. #3
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    gundamzaku: I agree with you that it should NOT affect my form, but it appears to do just that! Which puzzles me somewhat.

    I just remembered that I do have a classic oval-shaped T-throat Masuka racquet which I can experiment with. Just have to restring it 'cos the string's dead.

    I'll do a few more "experiements" over the next few sessions and I'll post updates!

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    Regular Member gundamzaku's Avatar
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    if your friends won't allow you to try out their rackets and the badminton gym don't offer demos, the only way is to put tape on your racket to alter the weight distribution of your racket, given that you don't own a bunch of different rackets. for more head light you can put another grip on the handle, and head heavy of course you can put more tape on the racket frame.

  5. #5
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    I just read an interesting post by StefanDO:

    Quote Originally Posted by StefanDO View Post
    While I agree that a flexible shaft is most likely the right feature, I disagree regarding balance: From experience I can say that a head-light racket is suitable for those who got the technique and strength to easily perform powershots. They benefit from better maneuvrability of head-light rackets. But if you don't have so much power, you would adapt to the head-light racket by trying to put more power into your shots, which results in more stress especially to your shoulder, finally leading to shoulder pain. That is what happened to me - and when I changed to a balanced racket, the shoulder pain went away, plus, at a recreational level, your opponents usually don't smash so hard that you'd need the better maneuvrability of a head-light racket. For these reasons, better go for a balanced or maybe even head-heavy racket, it's better for your health, and chances are better that you can play a decent base-to-base clear. Maybe one day, when you feel that you can play such clears without effort really, and with the right technique, you can try a head-light racket.

    And with respect to shaft flexibility: This depends on how fast you can swing the racket. Rackets with flexible shafts are more suitable for players with a slower swing, whereas rackets with a stiff shaft are better for players with a faster swing. As your swing may not be so fast at the beginning, go for a racket with a flexible shaft first. As with the balance of the racket, a wrong choice regarding shaft flexibility may lead to pain or even injuries as you may stress your arm or parts of it too much.
    Related to my "shoulder & bicep" pains?

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    Had a couple of sessions since my earlier post.

    When using the Prince Whiplite 900 only: My arm feels fine up to around the 5th 21-point game. Arm begins to develops sores/pains from the 6th 21-point game onwards.

    When using two rackets - the Prince Whiplite 900 + Masuka 33 (feels like a 3U, balanced, medium flex racket), changing in-between games: No issues so far, even after 9x 21-point games. Only tried this setup once, because changing rackets after every game throws my timing off a bit.

    Going to try only using the Masuka 33 for an entire session. Let's see how it goes ... more updates to follow!

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    I think it might be your holding your racket to tight. so on power play you can hit the shuttle with full force without hurting your shoulder. When you go to a slower match you tent to hold in, but your still holding your racket to tight. So what will happen is your preparing your arm to hit with full force, but at the end your holding it back. So your movement isnt in a flow. Hard to explain.

    What I am trying to say. In a good match your swing is fast and have the same speed all the time. In a chilling match like you mention. Your speed degreases a lot just before your hitting the shuttle. You make a lot of pace, but just before you hit the shuttle you're holding it back. Hopefully you get the message. Kinda chaotic eplanation

    try more a relaxing way to hit the shuttle in chilling games. slower pace and losing tight on the racket.

    Correct me if I am wrong. Cuz I cant see how you swing.

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    Regular Member Mark A's Avatar
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    You say the pain comes in when you use a slower swing... that's unusual, but it might be that you're trying to do too much with your shoulder in those cases.

    I don't think any racket will help here - if you're swinging softly and still getting hurt, I'd check your shoulder first!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark A View Post
    You say the pain comes in when you use a slower swing... that's unusual, but it might be that you're trying to do too much with your shoulder in those cases.

    I don't think any racket will help here - if you're swinging softly and still getting hurt, I'd check your shoulder first!
    Though my explanation was vauge. That's not what I ment. It's like doing a fake shot. You're going for the smash, but then suddely you hold your pace and make a dropshot. Hopefully it's some understandable right now.

    Still I do agree with you.

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    Think about it, out of the whole amount of badminton players in the world, there must be a decent majority playing with badminton racquets that do not have shoulder or arm pain.

    Badminton is not a shoulder/arm sport, it is definitely more forearm. You say your shoulder and arm has pain, perhaps the easiest conclusion is the best conclusion given such limited information. You are probably doing something wrong with your stroke which correlates to your shoulder pain.

    You mentioned the deltoid of your shoulder is sore. I searched online and your rotator cuff is behind your deltoid. Perhaps it is your rotator cuff ligament that is sore, but putting pressure like putting fingers on your deltoid makes it seem like that is sore?

    As I have no idea how you swing, I would suggest either you film it if possible or watch a video of a professional player swinging, watch how you swing in a mirror and try to change your swing. Note things like height of elbow, position of elbow, how the elbow moves in the stroke as compared to the rest of your arm. Some people swing with their elbow almost fully to the side of them. This is not particularly right.

    If your arm is straight out to the side of you, let's say, a 90 degree angle at your elbow. When you swing, your forearm would be swinging from that up position down to hit the shuttle. From your elbow, your forearm would swing over 180 degrees downwards. If you picture this, your upper arm has no choice but to follow the rotation of your forearm and that can put stress on your upper arm, especially your rotator cuff.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiradeathnote View Post
    I think it might be your holding your racket to tight. so on power play you can hit the shuttle with full force without hurting your shoulder. When you go to a slower match you tent to hold in, but your still holding your racket to tight. So what will happen is your preparing your arm to hit with full force, but at the end your holding it back. So your movement isnt in a flow. Hard to explain.
    Actually, I hold my racket in a "loose" grip.

    I would agree that my swing speed slows down a lot when I am "chilling" out.

    All the same, thanks for the post!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark A View Post
    You say the pain comes in when you use a slower swing... that's unusual, but it might be that you're trying to do too much with your shoulder in those cases.

    I don't think any racket will help here - if you're swinging softly and still getting hurt, I'd check your shoulder first!
    That's why I find it odd! Logically, using a "slow swing" = less stress on the muscles = less likelihood of pain and/or injury. Using my normal swing, my shoulder is better!

    I was reading StefanDO's post (reposted above) and I find his comments on head-light rackets, shaft stiffness and swing speed ... very interesting. Hmm ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonster View Post
    Think about it, out of the whole amount of badminton players in the world, there must be a decent majority playing with badminton racquets that do not have shoulder or arm pain.
    ...
    As I have no idea how you swing, I would suggest either you film it if possible or watch a video of a professional player swinging, watch how you swing in a mirror and try to change your swing.
    ...
    If you picture this, your upper arm has no choice but to follow the rotation of your forearm and that can put stress on your upper arm, especially your rotator cuff.
    Hi Jonster! Thanks for your reply!

    My technique is fine. It's not perfect of course, but my usual lobs/smashes/drops are made with my elbow above the shoulder. Even drives, fore-arm returns, etc are done with the correct technique so I doubt it is the "rotator cuffs" that are my problem.

    So yeah, it ain't my technique that's the problem. Thanks anyway!

  14. #14
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    And here I'm back after "experimenting" for a few more sessions!

    Started a session with the Masuka Wide 33 ... I didn't play with it long. It felt very different in my hand, and my timing was off. Switched to an old & beat-up Yonex Isometric racket ... again, I didn't play with that long too ('cos the string felt dead). Finally went back to the Prince Whiplite 900 and played a few games with it (3 or 4 21-point games) at my normal swing speed. No shoulder pain at all.

    In the next two sessions, I played only with the Prince Whiplite 900. Had some chilling games but I did something different : rather than slowing down my swing speed, I decided to redirect the shuttle upwards instead. Had a few competitive games after that. After 6+ 21-pt games, shoulder did feel a bit sore.

    So I decided to bite the bullet and got myself a Yonex Voltric 7 (4U, mid-flex) + BG66UM @ 21 lbs.

    A few sessions with the new racket, playing at my normal swing speed ... and my shoulder's fine so far! In my last session, I played 9x 21-pt games without shoulder pain (though I did have some fore-arm soreness 'cos the racket is more head-heavy than I'm used to).

    Conclusion ... hmm, could there be a conclusion? Probably a mix of:
    1. Racket not suitable ... head-light, very stiff shaff
    2. Slow swing speed + racket type (head-light, stiff) = Shoulder pain
    3. Need to improve on my physical fitness before I can go back to a head-light & stiff shaff racket ... or maybe I'm getting too old for a head-light and stiff shaft racket!

    Anyway, I'm happy with the VT-07 and would probably stick with it for the immediate future. Compared to my old racket - lobs are easier, smashes are pretty much the same (but sounds nicer!) ... quick netplay & defense suffered a bit though.

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