Physical and physiological profiles in badminton athletes

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Darren Richardson with Michael Duncan

Badminton is a physically demanding racket sport, played internationally, requiring high levels of physical fitness. The physical and physiological demands of badminton require athletes to be proficient in several aspects of fitness. This review fills a gap in the scientific literature by critically exploring the physical and physiological characteristics of badminton athletes; it also presents implications for training and future research. Elite level badminton athletes are generally taller and heavier than non-elite athletes, with both groups possessing relatively low body fat percentages. There is some variation in the maximal oxygen uptake of badminton athletes, but the majority of data suggest that these athletes present moderate to high levels of cardio-respiratory fitness. It appears that good levels of strength, flexibility and agility are important in supporting the physical, technical and tactical demands of badminton. However, these conclusions have been drawn from the small body of literature that exists relating to these components of fitness in badminton. More extensive research is therefore required into the physical and physiological characteristics of badminton athletes to extend existing knowledge and better develop specialised conditioning programmes within the sport.

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