In this specific article, Hongyan and Julie explain how important a core workout is to improving your game, and why this specific workout helps with the following:
- Avoid wasting energy, prevent injury
- Find a better balance in your movement
- Allow good transmission of forces between lower and upper body
As this type of workout allows for a lot of different type of exercises, Hongyan and Julie have decided to split it in two different articles: on your own and with a partner.
Core workout is a workout which focuses on the deep muscles in the abdominal region to strengthen your overall body.
Why should you work out on your core muscles?
These muscles are crucial to your balance, stability, and endurance, and they can help you in many aspects of the game.
For example, the strength gained from this type of workout will allow for better coordination and strength transmission for movements of the arms and legs. On a badminton court, it will enhance precision wherever you are on the court, even when you are late to reach a shuttlecock.
Forearm side plank: lie on one elbow for 10 sec / 20 sec / 30 sec. Then, start again as you move one leg up and down twice / 4 times / 6 times. Switch sides.
Plank on hands: do a set of dynamic movements while holding the position of your shoulders directly above your hands. Lift up one leg, then one arm. Lift up both at the same time, then opposite sides.
Plank on hands and touch your opposing knee 6/8/10 times depending on your level.
Start standing, bring hands to the mat near your feet, and move them forward to reach the basic plank position on your hands. Do the exact same action in reverse to get back up.
Step 2: Core workout in a fun spirit, to work on your core muscles and balance at the same time.
In a safe place, engage your core and stand on one foot. Then carefully close your eyes. If your balance is adequate, try to hold this position for 20 seconds without tipping over (30 sec or 40 sec for advanced). Do that for each foot three times.
“The plane”: Try to find your balance on one leg, the other leg is up backwards, and the two arms spread on either side of the body, in the shape of a plane. Try to hold this position for 5 seconds on each foot, 5 to 10 times depending on your level.
Step 3: Core workout with external items (Elastic bands, Swiss ball, benches, etc)
Work on your balance while doing a lunge. Keep your hands below eye level and use weights (3 kg / 5 kg / 10 kg depending on level). Keep your head up and look far away while doing this exercise. 3 sets of 3 times / 5 times / 8 times for each leg.
Core workout with fixed lower back.
Lay your back on a bench and put your feet on a Swiss Ball (or another bench if you don’t have a Swiss ball), in a plank position, head looking up. Advanced level: add weight (3/5kg) while always keeping your back in a straight position. Hold this position for 3 sets of 20 sec / 30 sec / 40 sec depending on level.
It’s very important to breathe well during all these exercises. In and out, deeply and regularly. Also, during all these, brace your core, keep your stomach in and contract your pelvic muscles at all times. Once I started using this tip (quite late in my career), I realised that my core workout was much more efficient.
The position of the body is essential in these exercises. The purpose is to work on all abdominal muscles to give extra strength to your trunk. There should not be any pain during any of these exercises. You might feel tired, experience shaking or get hot. That’s ok. But if you feel pain, it means you’re doing the exercise wrong.