Everything Badminton, which is a high quality badminton blog about fitness, strategy, and products, has now come out with an eBook! It’s called Fitness and Footwork and is written by former Malaysian National player Goh Jian Hao alongside many other coaches and players around the world. Like its title says, the eBook primarily focuses on fitness and footwork.
While the general public may not see badminton as a highly physical sport, us badminton players know that competitive badminton is certainly very tiring and requires more physical strength than it seems. Moreover, experienced players understand that speed and movement is really important to help set up good attacking chances and helps your retrieval skills. Because of this, Everything Badminton’s eBook focuses heavily on fitness and footwork to give all aspiring or even experienced badminton players a great foundation for success in badminton.
Let’s first take a look at the cover and table of contents to see what it has to offer:
As you can see, the eBook is broken down into 5 major sections:
- An Introduction to Badminton Physiology
- Upper Body Workouts
- Lower Body Workouts
- Full Body Workouts
The Introduction in Everything Badminton’s eBook describes how the human body’s movements are translated to badminton and how badminton affects the human body. For example, different muscle groups are used to perform different shots or types of footwork and badminton has been shown to produce an increased heart rate due to its intensity. This section goes much more into detail and is a great way to understand how and why you need to train your body a specific way for badminton. It’s followed up by warm up and cool down routines that you should follow to keep yourself healthy and fit before and after a workout.
The Upper Body Workouts section focuses on strengthening your upper body strength that will certainly help you hit and smash harder with less effort. This section gives fully illustrated pictures of many exercises and highlights the targeted muscle areas that are being worked on and tell you a target number of sets and reps. The upper body workouts are further categorized into push and pull exercises so that you have a variety of motions for your workouts. The Upper Body Workouts section really contains a wide range of exercises such that you really won’t get bored for quite some time.
The Lower Body Workouts section is similar to the Upper Body Workouts section but focuses on core and legs. I would personally focus more on core and lower-body first before upper-body exercises but both are certainly needed for badminton! Once again, there are excellent pictures with the targeted muscles highlighted and with a suggested number of sets and reps.
Continuing on, the Full Body Workouts section provides exercises that help with your entire body and includes cardio exercises to help your heart. Full body exercises engage your entire body rather than specific muscles and are great to help your different muscles get used to working together, like how they’re used in badminton. Moreover, badminton is approximately 60-70% aerobic (cardio) according to a study from The Science of Badminton: Game Characteristics, Anthropometry, Physiology, Visual Fitness and Biomechanics, so the cardio exercises can give you a boost in your endurance and badminton gameplay.
The last section, which is my personal favorite part of the eBook, is the Footwork Drills. This section gives you 6 on court and 6 off court drills to practice your footwork. If you read my post on Do’s and Don’ts of Badminton, you’ll know that I really stress the importance of good footwork and movement. It’s the number 1 thing I would work on to improve my game. What the Footwork Drills section does so well is it gives you step by step instructions with diagrams for each of these fundamental drills. I’ve personally done some of these drills when I was training and they’ve been the building blocks of my entire badminton journey so I can vouch for the effectiveness of these drills. The 6 Corners and Front and Back drills were my staples, make sure to try them out!
The eBook also provides some neat bonuses that weren’t described above – they include Challenges and Printouts.
Challenges – The eBook provides workout challenges throughout the eBook which is quite nice for you to strive towards. Each challenge has a beginner, intermediate, and advanced level to test your abilities. It’s a nice touch to help you benchmark your current level and see what you need to work on.
Printouts – There are nice little printouts sprinkled into the eBook that lets you keep track of your own progress. They’re there to help keep you organized and motivated. There’s nothing like ticking off a checkbox day after day and then see your accomplishments at the end of the month.
What You’re Not Getting
What’s also important to note down is what you’re NOT getting from the eBook – just so that you have the correct expectations.
The eBook is not about strategy, tactics, rules, equipment, history, or competitions. It doesn’t teach you how to execute the different shots in badminton and doesn’t teach you how to hold your racket. It’s much more focused on fitness and footwork exercises.
What I Liked
With all of the above said, I can now tell you what I liked about Everything Badminton’s Fitness and Footwork eBook.
The body diagrams in the eBook have been top notch. The highlighted portions are easy to see and distinguish from the rest of the body so that it’s clear which parts each exercise is working out. In addition, specifying the target sets and reps for each exercise makes it easy to develop your own workout routine. This is especially great for beginners who don’t work out regularly. The wide range of exercises that the eBook provides gives you an organized library of exercises you can pull out at anytime. Excellent for anyone just diving into the fitness world and doesn’t know where to begin.
Next, I really enjoyed the bonus challenges and printouts. These add the variety and interaction into the eBook to let you follow along and feel involved. The challenges took into consideration different levels (beginner, intermediate, and advanced) while the printouts are sleek and easy to use.
Lastly, I also really liked the footwork drills portion of the eBook. As I said previously, footwork is essential to badminton and the footwork drills presented in the eBook are the golden standard to help you improve. Practice these over and over again and you are certain to up your game purely by movement and speed alone.
What Can Be Improved
While there is a lot to like about the eBook, there is always room for improvement. I know that the Everything Badminton team has put a lot of effort into making a product for all badminton fans to enjoy and use to improve their gameplay so I hope that this criticism is met with open ears for improvement rather than seen as just criticism for the sake of it.
First off, while the diagrams in the eBook were well illustrated, they did not provide any written muscle names to accompany them. This means that you will need to either already know the muscle name or look it up. It would certainly be helpful to have them included on the side of the diagrams or have a summary page that maps each muscle to its name.
Next, the form for most of the exercises isn’t explained. If you want to make sure you’re using the correct form while doing the exercises, you’d have to look it up. I’ll say though, that it’s quite difficult to describe the form in words or even diagrams. Your best bet would probably be to look up a video where you can see it in motion.
My final criticism is that the exercises that are described and illustrated aren’t well tied in with badminton. While the introduction and footwork sections of the eBook have strong ties with badminton, the exercises don’t have many explanations as to why they’re important for badminton specifically. It would be great to have small notes on the side that indicate how certain exercises help. For example, having a note that indicated a particular exercise is a great way to help with your agility to quickly move side to side would help the reader understand why they’re doing the exercise and what to expect. Readers would then be able to choose which exercises they want to do based on what they want to improve.
Where Can I Buy Everything Badminton’s Fitness and Footwork eBook?
You can buy and learn more about the eBook on their site over here.
More About Goh Jian Hao
The main author of Everything Badminton’s Fitness and Footwork eBook, Goh Jian Hao, is an ex-national badminton player in Malaysia. He was part of Malaysia’s Badminton Association where he won gold in the Asian Junior Championship and silver in the World Junior Championship among other achievements. He has even coached the Turkish National team. Now, he coaches at his own badminton academy, JH Badminton Academy.
More about Everything Badminton
Everything Badminton is a badminton blog that comes out with regular articles written by high level badminton players. They generally write about badminton equipment, workouts, strategy, and as their name suggests, everything else about badminton. Check them out in addition to their eBook – they have loads of free content to help you in your badminton journey.