Given the physical intensity of high-level badminton which makes players vulnerable to various injuries, projects on injury prevention have been prioritised for 2017-2018 BWF sport-science research grants.
Five of ten research proposals selected relate to injury prevention, strengthening, and closely-related topics:
Fiddy Davis, researcher at the School of Allied Sciences, Manipal University (India), is examining the effectiveness of a comprehensive badminton-specific injury prevention programme in reducing the risk of overuse and acute injuries.
Carla van der Merwe of Massey University (New Zealand) is focusing on the function and adaptation of the foot muscles while playing court sports that require sudden acceleration. The study will examine questions relating to training with shoes with minimal support and cushioning, or even training barefoot. These questions include whether training with minimals/barefoot lead to strengthening of the foot muscles/lower limbs; change in the mechanics of the lower limbs; alterations in injury mechanisms, and change in performance of badminton players.
Dr Olivier Girard and Dr Mohammed Ihsan of Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Qatar, are looking at ‘The Effect of Ischemic Pre-conditioning on Recovery from Fatigue and Plantar Loading Characteristics following Simulated Match Play’. Ischemic pre-conditioning (IPC) is an experimental technique for reducing loss of blood supply, and thus oxygen, to tissues of many types. The study aims to determine the usefulness of IPC as a conditioning tool to facilitate recovery in badminton players.
Another study from the same institution (Dr Olivier Girard and Dr Jaime Fernandez-Fernandez) proposes to examine changes in explosive strength, and injury effects after badminton match play.
A collaborative project between Badminton Wales and Cardiff Metropolitan University will look at the effectiveness of strength and conditioning for young badminton players. With increasingly younger generations of players preparing for professional badminton, there is a need for research-based information on the importance of strength training to prevent injury and to maximise performance. The findings of this study are expected to help provide guidance for coaches and players about the use of strength and conditioning in junior players.
FEATURED IMAGE: 3D motion analysis of the badminton smash. The aims are to calculate speed of smash and technique parameters that are associated with this, as well as the relationship between smash accuracy and player-movement variability.
Photo above: Dr. Olivier Girard instructs a participant to contract “as fast as possible” for one second, from a fully relaxed state, in an attempt to achieve at least 90% of their maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) torque. The neuromuscular testing was conducted during the Spanish Junior Championships 2018.