It’s no secret. Height is an attractive quality — one many people desire to have. As a result, many people want that magic pill that’s going to add a few inches to their stature, but can a few rounds on a BWF-approved wooden sprung court be the key?
Yes, badminton can help a person grow taller. Badminton is vigorous enough to stimulate the secretion of human growth hormone (HGH). HGH is responsible for the maintenance and growth of tissues. With enough HGH comes an increase in bone density and height. Other than genetics and age, vigorous physical exercise (like badminton) can affect how much HGH is secreted. Badminton can only contribute to someone’s height development during their pre-puberty years.
Of course, vigorous exercise isn’t the only factor towards growth. Other factors like age and genetics, which are beyond a person’s control are, sadly, much bigger determinants of height.
Does Height Matter in Badminton?
Height seems to be an advantage in many sports. Some sports like Olympic rowing and basketball play to the strengths of tall players. On the other hand, you’ll find that height isn’t something desirable for a high-level linebacker in football.
Does height matter in badminton? The answer isn’t as clear-cut as Ra Kyung-min’s dominating win over Julia Mann in the world’s shortest recorded match. A better way to answer this question is to say that the sport seems to favor a certain height range.
Here’s what I mean.
Badminton is a sport where athletes of certain heights have found success. The average height of a men’s singles badminton player ranges from 168 cm to 175 cm. Female badminton players playing singles are usually 168.2 cm.
Within these ranges, most players have found their share of success on the court. This is apparent as soon as you look at the 2021 male and female rankings.
For the most part, the players on both lists fall within the average height ranges. However, there are outliers. Toma Junior Popov and Viktor Axelsen, for instance, tower above most players at a skyscraping 196 cm 194 cm, respectively.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll get other high-ranking players who are relatively shorter. Having ranked 42 worldwide in the men’s singles in 2021, Koki Watanabe stands at around 165 cm.
For the women, there aren’t as many towering players. However, 2021 World #7 Pusarla V. Sindhu is one of the tallest at 179 cm. Interestingly, the shortest badminton player is a female player by the name of Fitriani Fitriani, who’s only 155 cm.
If you’re male, you’ll likely fare well in badminton if you’re 168 cm to 175 cm. If you’re a female, the sweet spot in regards to height will be around 168 cm. Of course, don’t let your height or lack thereof discourage you if yours falls slightly beyond these ranges.
What Muscle Groups Does Badminton Help Develop the Most?
Like any sport, badminton gets its fair share of fanfare not just from its spectacle but its health benefits. In particular, badminton is a whole-body sport capable of developing numerous muscle groups.
According to Stretch Coach, badminton is excellent at developing the muscles of the quadriceps, the abductors and adductors. The agility required for the sport also fires up the core and posterior chain muscles. The striking movements also develop the muscles that support the shoulder girdle like the pectorals and deltoids.
Let’s look at how each of these muscle groups gets a workout in badminton:
From Movement on the Court: The Quadriceps and Hip Abductors and Adductors
The quadriceps muscles are the muscles on the upper thigh responsible for generating power for leg movement. Strong quadriceps muscles enable athletes to lunge or sprint. These muscles also contribute to jumping.
In badminton, athletes do more than just move forward and back. Many quick lateral movements require the legs to move away and towards the body’s midline. For this reason, the hip abductors and adductors chip in to accommodate sudden lateral movements and re-establish the leg’s position.
From Quick Movements and Stabilizing: The Posterior Chain and Core Muscles
The posterior chain is a group of muscles that make up the entire back (hence, posterior). It consists of the calves, the hamstrings, the gluteal muscles, the spinal erectors, and the latissimus dorsi.
These muscles are responsible for channeling force from the ground, allowing an athlete to move or strike the shuttlecock with force. The posterior chain is also key in channeling force for the athlete to make quick movements like hops and jumps. The calves and gluteal muscles play a key role, in particular.
The core’s main function in badminton is stabilization. After a sudden movement like a lunge to respond to a server, the body must remain in alignment. Otherwise, the athlete falls over. The core muscles like the rectus abdominis prevent this from happening.
From Arm Movements and Strikes: The Muscles Supporting the Shoulder Girdle
Badminton also develops the pectoral muscles and the deltoids. During a service or forehand swing, the arm moves closer to the body’s midline, causing the pectoralis muscles to contract. During a backhand swing, the rear deltoids contract as the athlete makes contact with the shuttlecock using the racket.
What Are the Best Exercises to Help You Perform Well in Badminton?
Excelling in badminton takes more than being in the ideal height ranges mentioned earlier. Oftentimes, excelling in the sport requires strengthening certain attributes.
To be better at badminton, you need strength training to develop the muscles of the arms, legs, and core. As well, you’ll need your fair share of short intense conditioning work like sprints that carry over to the pace of badminton. Lastly, agility drills are a must since you’ll be changing positions often.
Strength training will consist of exercises like goblet squats, lunges, and overhead presses. These exercises will work the muscle groups that are crucial for badminton.
Conditioning drills like circuit training and sprints are preferred to low-intensity cardio since badminton requires quick bursts of energy. Twenty minutes is the ideal length of conditioning workouts, according to Sports Uncle.
Agility needs due attention and improves with shuttle runs and agility ladders. These drills, among others, add fitness, footwork, and coordination — both necessary for recovering and moving with precision.
Beyond Height, Badminton’s Benefits Aren’t in “Short” Supply
Badminton can help you grow taller if you’ve got the genetics and age that allows it. Beyond that, you’ll have to let these two factors determine how far and how long growth takes place.
Sure, age and genetics play bigger roles in growth, but by picking up your racket and playing, you’ll find that badminton delivers an excellent full-body workout. It’s a sport and recreational activity that can give you an athletic build. You’ll also benefit from the game’s capacity to improve your overall fitness and musculature.
Do these benefits trump height? You bet it does!
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