Muscles, badminton and the gym

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by Ballschubser, Sep 5, 2019.

  1. Ballschubser

    Ballschubser Regular Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2019
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    94
    Location:
    Germany
    I've some experiences in the gym for at least 8 years and I've done personal research in fitness and sport for quite some time.

    There's often the question what muscle one should train to get better in badminton, e.g. should I train the bicept to get a stronger smash ? The standard answer is , that it is more about technique than about muscle size, but why ?

    I will try to give an short overview about muscles and what would be a good idea to train in relation to badminton.

    Skeletal muscle structure

    Skeletal muscle consists of different fibers which have different tasks. There are fibers which can twitch really fast, really strong, or which can contract for a really long time. Each muscle is a mix of these fibers. E.g. muscles which need to stabilize your spine will consists of more enduring fibers, muscles which need to move fast but are not "active" all the time, will have more fast twitching fibers.

    Movement, power and muscle size

    There are more than 400 muscles which are responsible to move your skeleton. Each muscle consists of multiple fibers of different fiber type. These muscles are controlled by the central nervous system (CNS). When you execute a movement, that is one or more bones are moved connected by a joint, then the CNS need to coordinate and control the movement of many muscles and many more fibers. Even a bicept curl, which should isolate the bicept, will involve a lot of other muscles.

    So, do you need bigger muscles to get more powerful ?


    Not really, at least not at the beginning.

    Compare the muscles and CNS to an orchestra. You put a whole orchestra, lot of professional musicians, in a room and tell them to play a piece of music. It will not work, even thought that all these musicians are experts. Then you add a conductor and it will suddenly start to sound like it could be music, but still chaotic. And eventually you give them time to practise this special piece of music, and suddenly it starts to sound harmonically.

    What happened ? Do we try to exchange the musicians by better one ? No, they are already experts !

    The "same" happens when you regard movement. The movement is like a piece of music, the CNS is the conductor and the muscles are the already profesional musicians. To improve your movement and therefor the efficiency and power, you need to get the coordination of your muscles right. And this is done by practising the movement, so that your CNS learns to coordinate your muscles in harmony. But like an orchestra cannot play every piece of music without practise, each movement needs to get its own portion of exercises.

    This alone will grant you a really great gain in power and strength, this is the reason that some thin yoga girl is able to do a handstand and some pumped up fitness freak is unable to do so.

    Eventually there will be limits and larger muscles are needed to give you more strength, but I think that this is really not necessary to be a very good badminton player.

    Still want to hit the gym ?

    Okay, you still want to hit the gym. This isn't bad, I think that fitness should not be covered by a single sport and that doing more different active things will help you to keep a healthy body.

    I think that training the lower body (legs, calves, gluets) will grant you the most benefits in gaining some additional power in badminton. I don't think, that shoulder and arm train will help you much in regard of gaining some more power, but training these areas will help you to protect your from injuries. At last the core, which is involved in almost every kind of active sport where you need to utilize upper and lower body, will help you in your performance and protect you from injuries.

    So, I would focus on component exercises, exercises which involves multiple joints and therefor a whole bunch of muscles:
    - deadlifts (whole body, lower body focus)
    - squats (whole body, lower body focus)
    - chin/pullup (back + arms support)
    - rows (back,arms)
    - dips (breast ,shoulders, arms)
    - core training (not just the abs! there are a lot more muscles involved)
    - shoulder rotators (really important for the health of your shoulder joints)

    Limit isolation exercises, exercises which involved only one joint, like the bicept curl. You can add these when you hit the gym >3 times in a week, but for a supportive training it is more or less waste of time and energy.

    I think, that this will get you quite far. There will be more specialized exercises you could do to improve beyond a certain stage, but once you have reached this stage in badminton, it is likely that you are with a coach who will tell you what you need to do.
     
    visor, kwun, lurker and 2 others like this.
  2. ralphz

    ralphz Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2016
    Messages:
    398
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    london
    The question asked didn't suggest that it was about muscle size.

    The answer that you call a standard answer is a red herring, nobody ever suggests it's about muscle size. Nobody ever gives that answer. They might say it's more about technique than strength, but they wouldn't bring up the red herring about muscle size.

    Also the question is a bit of a red herring too, 'cos nobody asks "What muscle should I train for badminton". As if you only need one muscle for badminton. I have never heard anybody ask something so ridiculous. For a start anybody can see you use your legs and your arms in badminton, that's already two whole body parts, (besides the torso that some might not think about) but anybody can see there's the arms and legs that are used in badminton and so wouldn't ask "what muscle" like there's one single muscle..like a badminton muscle!

    upper arm rotation is done by the shoulder.

    so *if* upper arm rotation is an important component for power then perhaps one shouldn't discount the shoulder for strength.

    If a person has the technique to transfer power from the leg up the core through to the arm etc, then they'll probably have decent power..and they won't need that much from their arm or even their shoulder

    If not then they'll probably be quite dependent on their arm and shoulder strength.

    The strength disparity between men and women is far greater in the upper body than in the lower body, and certainly when you look at basic club level, the difference in hitting power between men and women is huge and the men at that level mostly aren't hitting with great technique(to use their leg strength and transfer it) , so the main difference there is the arm and shoulder.
     
    #2 ralphz, Sep 9, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
    michael5098 likes this.
  3. asadafgs

    asadafgs Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2017
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    US
    Professional teams hit the gym / do some kind of resistance training basically everyday that they train. Fitness is very important in badminton and I feel that you are understating the importance a lot.
     
  4. ralphz

    ralphz Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2016
    Messages:
    398
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    london
    I don't think anybody here has understated fitness, .resistance training, going to the gym,

    The guy that started the thread mentioned all sorts of compound exercises to build strength.and nobody has taken issue / disagreed with that.
     
  5. asadafgs

    asadafgs Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2017
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    US
    There's an entire section titled "still want to hit the gym?"
     
    ralphz likes this.
  6. ralphz

    ralphz Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2016
    Messages:
    398
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    london
    ah fair point.. I scrolled through his post, and saw he'd mentioned lots of compound exercises..

    his post was full of strawmen so I didn't read it sufficiently to notice that, many of the titles are strawmen.. so I guess I skipped that title!

    but yeah it looks like his post does mention all those compound exercises but above it with that title, kind of undermines what might otherwise have been a focus of his post!!
     
  7. Ouchie

    Ouchie Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2018
    Messages:
    221
    Likes Received:
    105
    Location:
    UK
    Is this like the g-spot. Some can find it easily others can go their whole lives thinking it is a myth.
     
  8. Ouchie

    Ouchie Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2018
    Messages:
    221
    Likes Received:
    105
    Location:
    UK
    Anyway....I recently watched the match where a 17 year old Victor Axelson beat Taufik Hidayat at the Denmark Open. VA has certainly hit the gym hard but I am always surprised by the relatively skinny legs of TH.

     
    #8 Ouchie, Sep 10, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  9. Gollum

    Gollum Regular Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2003
    Messages:
    4,642
    Likes Received:
    283
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    https://xkcd.com/685/
     

Share This Page