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  1. #1
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    Default Shoulder pain: Lighter or heavier racket?

    The joint in my shoulder will start to pain when I smash hard a few times. A question to those who experienced it before. Do you know what was the cause?

    I came across somewhere in this forum that a player mentioned that it was due to the racket being too light and therefore resulting in faster swing which causes the pain. Is that true? Do you think the weight of the racket is the culprit?

    I am not a hard hitter so does that mean that a heavier racket such as Ti-10 is more suitable for me to clear/smash more effortlessly? Or is it the other way round that I should use a lighter racket such as MP88?

    Thanks for your advise.

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    I think a lighter racquet has the same sort of effect as higher tension.
    You get more shock through your arm than with lower tensions or heavier racquets

    I think...

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    Rather than blaming the equipments, in this case, racquet, why not think about perhaps strengthening your shoulder. The pain might be caused by over usage of the shoulder muscle or it is not strong enough for the amount of badminton you go through. Another thing to look at could be your form. Have someone look at it and perhaps you are doing something wrong and rotating your shoulder wrong. I have this problem before when I started to play badminton more competitively and now with some simple strength training, I don't feel any discomfort after play anymore. Give it a try, best of luck to you.

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    I would recommend a racket that you feel comfortable with. There are disadvantages with using light OR heavy rackets so you have to find the right one for yourself.

    However, you pain could be resulting from bad technique and might want to adjust if this is the case. Like jwu mentioned above, you should also strengthen your shoulder. I also heard from a physical theripist (he plays badminton recreationally) to strengthen you rotator cuff, however I'm not sure if that's part of the shoulder area you are talking about.

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    jwu is absolutely right! Rather than looking for an alternative racquet, the thing to do is to study your form and your strength.

    I am currently suffering from the same injury that you might be developing. Being a smasher, I just love to smash. But the repeated wind ups for the smash put a heavy load on my shoulder (deltoid) and rotator cuff muscles, and I ended up injuring them. I'll need to work on strengthening them once I recover from the injury.

    -Rick

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    I, actually, had the same problem as you. But for some reason that problem has disappeared, yay! I don't know whether it was because I switched racquets (from a 4U to a 2U), technique (I don't know if my technique has improved) or because I started doing weight training. Maybe it's a combination of all 3, I don't know.

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    Thanks to all of you. From what I gathered, racket is not the only factor although it could be a small contributor. I am currently using Cab21 2U 22lbs but some of my friend finds it generally lighter than their 2U rackets.

    As for technique wise, I don't think thats an issue to me. I don't get that pain immediately after I smash but rather after over a few repeated and continous hard smashes. Like most of you said, I think it was very likely due to overusaged of the shoulder muscle. So my smashing technique must be right after all because one needs to use the shoulder muscle to smash.

    I think the problem with me could be more on the physical side. I agree with you all that I need some kind of muscle training exercise. Any suggestion on exactly the type of regime I should do for my shoulder muscle?

    Once again I greatly appreciate all your responses here. Thanks.

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    Default ...

    Bad technique won't necessarily cause immediate pain, in some cases, only after repeated use, like u said, the pain will start to crop up. A smash requires a lot of body movement, and coordination. If the body isn't allowed to flow in a natural pattern, u will begin to stress certain muscles and tendons, and with overuseage cause pain and possible damage. U should realli have a coach look over your swing and form, something simple as allowing ur arm to rotate more thru a swing can can prevent a lot of problems.

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    Originally posted by Oranjmaan
    Bad technique won't necessarily cause immediate pain, in some cases, only after repeated use, like u said, the pain will start to crop up. A smash requires a lot of body movement, and coordination. If the body isn't allowed to flow in a natural pattern, u will begin to stress certain muscles and tendons, and with overuseage cause pain and possible damage. U should realli have a coach look over your swing and form, something simple as allowing ur arm to rotate more thru a swing can can prevent a lot of problems.
    I agree with you. Will certain ask the pro to scrutinize my smash technique. Thanks for the advise.

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    Hi Carbonexer,

    Are you warming up your shoulder and body before you play badminton? I used to have lots of pain in my shoulder to regardless of what racquet I use and my form is quite standard. It was hurting because I was being lazy and not warming up before playing.

    Try warming up by starting with drives first, then drops, then clears, then smashes. This gives your shoulder a progressive chance to warm-up with different strokes.

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    In february03 my shoulder started to hurt doing smashes. I thought it would heal on its own, but I kept played 2-3 times per week for the rest of the season and by June I couldn't even hit a backhand smash or clear without my shoulder hurting.

    Finally I went for physio in July and after 6 weeks of it I'm good as new, but I regret not going sooner. It doesn't cost much and I would have been back playing badminton sooner. IF you're wondering it was repetitive strain injury mainly on rotator cuff.

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    carbonexer, i believe i was the one who you were referring to who said that a lighter racquet results in a faster swing thereby causing shoulder pain. in my case however, at that time, i was using a fake yonex mp 100 racquet, which strung, weighed around 80 g. since the racquet was too light, i had to exert much effort in smashing and clearing to gain power, thereby putting much strain on the shoulder. when i bought (and used) an original yonex ti-10 (2u) though, the pain disappeared.

    i can't speak much about the difference (and how it will help in alleviating your shoulder pain) b/n mp 88 and ti-10, since i haven't used an 88, but i believe if it is an original yonex, even if it is light, it would perform better in generating power than the fake yonex that i had, thus not putting too much strain in your shoulder for smashes and clears.

    agree with stretching as well (not only for the shoulders but whole body) before and after playing. ever since i started doing warm ups and cool downs religiously (only a month ago, unfortunately), i have been feeling less aches in different parts of my body.

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    Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences and advises.

    Seems like this shoulder pain issue is rather quite common among us badminton fanatics. I will keep in mind to warm up progressly and will remind myself not to smash as soon as I get down the court.

    And last nite, I tried a slightly heavier racket Cab20 Special 2U 20lbs. To my surprise, clearing and smashes were a lot easier. Pain was not as intense as before. When I reach home, I will cut my Cab21 string tonite.

    A question for Marky Mark.
    How does your Ti-10 fair in clearing and smashes? Does the heavier weight helps in backline to backline clearing? I am seriously thinking of getting one in these few days time.

    Once again, thank you all for your responses. I really appreciated it.

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    Do not string racquet too tight - too tight can cause shoulder discomfort.

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    regarding the ti-10, true to what majority of posters have mentioned in this forum, it is the most powerful racquet yonex has produced to date (which is why i bought it in the first place ). it took me some time to rein in the power, though . in fact, i posted a previous topic in the equipment forum section which dealt precisely with this problem entitled, "ti-10: too much power???". however, i really loved the racquet so much (and because it's near obsolete, though i saw some '03 manufactured models available in stores) that i bought two (shows my bias doesn't it).

    to answer your question directly, i'm impressed not with the ti-10's capability to do backline-to-backline clearing (that's too easy for this racquet), but more of it being able to do diagonal backline corner to backline corner (cross-court) clears AND drives easily. needless to stress as well, smashes are VERY powerful (and steep, if i may add) with this head heavy (and long) racquet.

    btw, after using the ti-10, i guarantee you your shoulder pain will disappear. in its place, however, will be forearm muscle pain due to the heavier weight (you'll get used to it, though, after you've strengthened it with use).

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    Originally posted by Cheung
    Do not string racquet too tight - too tight can cause shoulder discomfort.
    I think you are right. 22lbs might be the reason for the pain. Thats why I didn't feel much pain when playing with a 20 lbs rackets. I guess I should have adhered to Yonex tension recommendation stated on their rackets.

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    Originally posted by marky mark
    regarding the ti-10, true to what majority of posters have mentioned in this forum, it is the most powerful racquet yonex has produced to date (which is why i bought it in the first place ). it took me some time to rein in the power, though . in fact, i posted a previous topic in the equipment forum section which dealt precisely with this problem entitled, "ti-10: too much power???". however, i really loved the racquet so much (and because it's near obsolete, though i saw some '03 manufactured models available in stores) that i bought two (shows my bias doesn't it).

    to answer your question directly, i'm impressed not with the ti-10's capability to do backline-to-backline clearing (that's too easy for this racquet), but more of it being able to do diagonal backline corner to backline corner (cross-court) clears AND drives easily. needless to stress as well, smashes are VERY powerful (and steep, if i may add) with this head heavy (and long) racquet.

    btw, after using the ti-10, i guarantee you your shoulder pain will disappear. in its place, however, will be forearm muscle pain due to the heavier weight (you'll get used to it, though, after you've strengthened it with use).
    Thanks a lot Marky. You have boosted my confidence level to get a Ti-10 tomorrow. I almost settled down for a MP88 but now you have convinced me that Ti-10 will cure my shoulder pain. Anyway, if my shoulder pain doesn't go away after using Ti-10 then I shall look for you. Just kidding.

    Yuhoooooooooo......... I've found the road to recovery.

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